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Local Congressional Leave Behind

How We Are Telling Our Story to Elected Officials:
As we work to expand bipartisan support on the Hill, we have been telling a specific story of public service that is resonating well across the political spectrum. As you prepare for your upcoming Congressional visits as part of The 2016 Public Media Summit, we are asking that you help us continue to make this case by focusing on the local public service impact your station is having in your communities.

Over the past year, we’ve made significant progress in attracting new support from Members of the House and Senate (and a few Governors and other influential leaders) by focusing on the missions of education, public safety and civic leadership that lie at the heart of public media’s work.

We have found that focusing on these missions gives us a new way of engaging with our political leaders – of every political persuasion – by concentrating on our delivery of essential public services, the importance of which is unquestionable.

To those who are critical of federal support for television programming in an era of extraordinary budget austerity, we say that television is only the beginning of public television. Our mission of education, public safety and civic leadership extends far beyond the TV screen into classrooms and communities nationwide. And thus we turn the conversation about the future of federal funding for public media into one focused on addressing the unique ways in which public broadcasting is serving core community needs and critical constituent interests – through a remarkably successful public-private partnership that saves taxpayers money while garnering their overwhelming support.

When we frame the discussion this way — when we present ourselves as partners in public service with the leaders of our country and the citizens they represent — we are seen in a much different and more favorable light by an increasingly broad array of elected officials.

How You Can Help:
Please take a moment to download a template to help you create a localized one-pager to bring on your Congressional visits that reinforces this message of public service by focusing on the impact you're having in the areas of education, public safety and civic leadership.

  • Stations are asked to fill in their station information in the top section and use the questions that are posed under each of the subsections to best tell your local story. 
  • We realize that not every station will have an answer to each question. 
  • The questions and the information shadowed in gray at the top of each section are not meant to stay in the final document.
  • Rather, these questions and the information in gray are meant to serve as guides to help you frame the strongest local case for the impact you are having in your local community.

When You Have Completed the Local Case Statement:

  • Once you have completed your localized leave-behind, we ask that you print enough copies to leave with Members of Congress and staff during your Congressional visits and bring them with you to The Summit.
  • We also ask that you send an electronic version to APTS so that we can stay informed about all the great work that is being done locally, which will help us as we strive to make the best national case. Please send these via email to the APTS Legislative Team.

For Those Not Attending The 2016 Summit:

  • Obviously we hope as many stations as possible will be able to come to Washington, D.C. for our 2016 Summit.
  • In addition to the great opportunity to interact with the leaders of our country and our industry, to network with your peers throughout the public broadcasting system, and to learn about the great public service work underway nationally and at local stations, The Summit’s annual Congressional visits are a time to really show our strength to Congress and meet with them just as the annual appropriations process begins.
  • But if you can’t join us this year, we would still like to encourage you to go through this exercise to create a local case statement that can be used throughout the year as you meet with your elected officials, at both the federal and state levels.

Thank you for your help with this important initiative. We have already had great impact as we have tied the case for federal funding to our critical public service mission. We know that this support will only grow as each station highlights their local stories of impact in a unified way that reinforces this national message.

If you have any questions while you are working on your local case statement, please don’t hesitate to contact any member of the APTS Legislative Team — we are all here to help you make the best case possible.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing at The Summit on February 21-23!

>>> Please take a moment to download the Local Congressional Leave Behind template <<<

The Public Media Summit

Webinars/Conference Calls

The Grant Center Announces a 2017-2018 Webinar Series on Evaluation
Learn more and register for our three-part evaluation webinar series.
Through the Looking Glass: Distribution and Reflections
Date and time TBA. The final webinar in our evaluation series will help attendees understand how to communicate their impact to potential funders.