5.26.2009

Houston City Councilmember Jarvis Johnson expressing his support for minority radio stations and against House Bill HR 848

Dr. King once said, “In the end it is not the words of your enemy that you will remember most in life but rather it is the silence of your friends.”

With this sentiment in mind I can not sit idly by and allow my voice to be silent. With an industry that has done so much for the African American Community, I must do all I can to tell my colleagues in the Unites States Congress the great importance behind African American radio stations. African American Radio Stations have been around since 1949. Mr. Jesse B. Blayton Sr. started the first minority radio station in Atlanta, Georgia.

Minority and small radio stations play an intricate part in the lives of millions of constituents throughout the City of Houston and nationwide. In today’s times of economic uncertainty, these stations serve as not only an information center for millions; they also employ hundreds of people and help generate a base for entertainers everywhere.

The commentaries that they provide during their broadcast are ones that are always centered around the affect of current events on minority communities. They serve as a galvanizing center for minority communities nationwide and their affect is felt throughout the world.

It is my sincere desire that all elected officials would protect the voice of these radio stations, by not just reviewing the words of this bill, but the effect of the Bill’s application would have on the minority community. The obligation of every elected official is to represent the people. Over past few weeks the people have spoken.