Dear Longmont Public Media Members & Community,
First, thank you for being members. You are our strength and our reason for operating one of the most unique makerspaces in the state and the country. Right now we need your help to make the city aware of the value Longmont Public Media (LPM) holds for you as the City Council decides on our budget for next year. What happens with the budget may determine whether LPM stays open in the coming year.
As some of you may know, funding for LPM is primarily through what are called franchise fees that Comcast pays to the city of Longmont. LPM currently receives 25% of those fees as compensation for its contract with the city as the city’s public access provider; the rest of the fees the city puts into its general fund. We have been fortunate the last 2 years to also receive supplemental funding from the city to help us deal with the impact of COVID on LPM’s growth.
Unlike most contracts that go through a standard procurement review, LPM’s contract with the city is the only contract that is reviewed and voted on by the City Council. Our contract budget is due to be reviewed in the early Fall. We have requested the city dedicate more of the franchise fees to LPM and/or request another year of supplemental funding. Based on conversations we have had with individual City Council members, we are at risk of not receiving the additional funding and/or dedicated fees needed to stay open. Without additional funding, LPM will not be able to recruit and retain the staff we need to continue our mission.
Here is what you can do to help:
- Contact the Mayor and Council members by phone, email, or requesting an appointment, and explain to them why LPM is important to you and what impact it would have on the community for LPM to no longer operate:
Aren Rodriguez, At Large Representative
Shiquita Yarbrough, At Large Representative
Tim Waters, Ward 1 Representative
Marcia Martin, Ward 2 Representative
Susie Hidalgo-Fahring, Ward 3 Representative
- Submit letters to the editor to the local papers such as the Longmont Leader or the Times-Call (or leave a comment on the Times-Call phone line).
- Attend a City Council meeting (schedule) and speak during Public Invited to Be Heard about LPM.
- When we know at which City Council meeting the budget for LPM will be discussed, show up to the meeting so we can point to the community enthusiasm for LPM with your presence. The more who show up, the better, as we have first-hand experience that this tactic actually does have an impact on City Council decision-making.
- If you are not a paying member, please consider upgrading your membership, even to the sponsor level ($25/year).
If you choose to help, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org first, so we can get you set up for success with tools and strategy.
We are proud and excited about what we have built here at LPM. We want to continue making LPM the best and only media makerspace in the area and we appreciate any help you can provide at this crucial time in LPM’s development.
Sergio R. Angeles
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Longmont Public Media