In this edition of NHMC Updates
Lowering Predatory Prison Phone Rates Another “treat” has been the FCC’s continued leadership on an issue that impacts far too many families in this nation: exorbitant phone rates when trying to connect with incarcerated family members. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, in particular, with the support of Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Rosenworcel, has been a champion on this issue stating, “If ever there were a time to stand up for fundamental fairness, this is it.”
For decades, due to a series of kick backs and outrageous costs, the phone rates charged to families of the incarcerated have been egregiously high — up to almost $20 for one 15 minute call, or almost $3,000 for one call a week over the course of a year. Last year, Commissioner Clyburn, in her role as Acting Chair, took steps to cap the exorbitant rates charged for certain calls, among other things. The result? Certain call volumes have increased by up to 300 percent — keeping families connected to loved ones and preparing inmates for life outside of prison. Just this month, the FCC moved forward on further action to finish the job. Kudos to Commissioner Clyburn and the FCC for taking on this important issue.
Protecting An Open Internet In the “trick” category, an FCC proposal that would allow Internet fast lanes for those who can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else, still appears to be on the table. NHMC and its allies have urged the FCC to treat Internet Service Providers as common carriers and prevent blocking, discrimination, and paid fast lanes online. NHMC et al. also urged the FCC to issue the same protections to consumers, regardless of whether they access the Internet from a home computer or a mobile device.
Time is running out to make your voice heard on this important issue! The FCC could decide the future of the Internet before the end of this year. To share with the FCC why an Open Internet devoid of discrimination is important to you, click here. For more information, visit www.nhmc.org/openinternet.
NHMC has long-defended this critical program designed to keep poor individuals and families connected to basic communications services, and we feel that it is time to update the program to fully support broadband connections.
Where to Watch Latinos in TV in Fall 2014 Every year, we get more Latinos both in front and back of camera, and though the road ahead to full inclusion and fair and accurate portrayals is a long one still, this is something worth recognizing. Here is a list of some of this Fall’s shows featuring Latinos both on-screen and behind the camera. See more on our blog.New Shows:
Veteran media activist and longtime NHMC board member Marta García shared a few words about the passing of her dear friend:
“Elizabeth was one of the most loyal friends anyone could have. She would call her long-time friend and acting buddy Nelson Landrieu (my husband) in the middle of the night (East coast time!) and they would chat for hours, catching up on New York gossip and their personal lives. She lent an ear to old pals, caring for their problems, despite struggling with her own. In our household her past midnight calls will be missed, as will her contagious laughter. We have lost a faithful friend who never forgot to check-in on her old buddies.”
Elizabeth will be deeply missed.
NHMC Television Writers Program Congratulations to the newest graduates of the NHMC Television Writers Program! The writers are: LauraAlexander, Sabrina Almeida, Jake Brooks, Alexander Felix, Zayre Ferrer, Valen Hernandez, Frank Nestor, Edlin Ortiz, Daniel Perez, Jorge C. Perez, and Claudia Restrepo. Read from one of this year’s writers about his NHMC TV Writers Program experience here.
The 2015 NHMC Television Writers Program submission period will open in April 2015.