Faith-Based Grassroots Education and Action

OCincLOGOCheryl’s client, the United Church of Christ’s media justice and communications rights ministry, OC Inc.,  started work in coalition with other groups to end predatory prison phone rates.  Cheryl was able to combine her policy skills with grassroots education tools to bring the issue home to people in the pews and persuading the FCC to act. [Read more…]

Progressive States Network

The Progressive States Network needed assistance during a staff transition in order to keep its program on community broadband for state legislators vital.

  • Cheryl stepped in and seamlessly provided materials and a briefing for the annual legislative policy retreat in a few weeks’ time.
  • Cheryl took over the @BroadbandPSN twitter feed, providing a constant flow of interesting and relevant articles and doubling the number of followers.
  • Cheryl wrote regular blogs tracking activity around the states, and developed an email list to push out the blogs to interested state legislators who might not otherwise see them.
  • Cheryl drafted model legislation geared to appeal to state legislators of color and promote a progressive broadband agenda.
  • Cheryl provided detailed strategic analysis enabling the leaders of Progressive States Network to more deeply understand the landscape at play in state capitols around telecommunications issues.
  • Cheryl not only helped the organization meet its funder’s benchmarks, but also identified emerging policy opportunities worthy of forward-looking philanthropic support.


Native Public Media

Native Public Media wanted to obtain a regulatory change that would facilitate radio service to tribal lands.  NPM needed to build a record to assess the impact of various regulatory changes and eventually support a proposal to the Federal Communications Commission.

Cheryl undertook a confidential academic-quality research report identifying the impact, on tribal applicants for radio licenses, of Section 307(b) of the Communications Act (which requires a fair distribution of service throughout the United States).  Cheryl developed a survey instrument, combed FCC databases for relevant data, and prepared a detailed policy memo to explain the impact of this provision on the regulatory process of assigning new radio licenses.  She compiled detailed data and charts and quantitative evaluations for 38 applicants and 61 applications.

Loris Taylor, Executive Director of NPM, said, “Working with Cheryl was a satisfying and collaborative endeavor.  Her report was exceptionally thorough and answered the questions we needed addressed.  She stuck with the project even as the FCC’s glacial pace slowed our ability to acquire needed data.”

Local Community Radio Act

Problem:  Local Community Radio Act had been pending for almost 10 years.  Advocates for the LCRA were running out of time–the Federal Communications Commission was going to release spectrum that would be used for local community radio.

  • Cheryl successfully helped to bring the Local Community Radio Act across the goal line after 10 years of advocacy.
  • Cheryl led weekly coalition meetings for two years, handling the agenda and distributing detailed notes that enabled a wide range of groups to collaborate with one another.
  • Cheryl was able to combine advice on grassroots legislative advocacy–identifying the type of local advocacy that could be most effective–with detailed legal knowledge to draft legislative language and negotiate with the bills opponents.
  • Cheryl represented the coalition in her testimony before the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, energizing legislative supporters and painting a clear vision of the low power radio service.
  •  Cheryl’s legislative strategy enabled the grassroots champion, Prometheus Radio Project, navigate a gridlocked Congress so that the LCRA obtained unanimous consent in a sharply divided Senate.

Solution:  The coalition effort obtained bipartisan and exceptionally widespread public interest support for legislation, and the Local Community Radio Act became law in December 2010.

Learn more:  See and read Cheryl’s presentation describing the elements of the successful campaign.

Orient a New CEO to the Policy Space

NFCB LogoIn early 2010, a membership organization representing community radio stations, the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB), was undergoing a leadership change.  The new President & CEO knew a lot about making community radio, but needed to quickly get up to speed on the key policy issues and policymakers.  Cheryl assisted in the transition between the outgoing and incoming CEOs.  [Read more…]