Those of you involved in rural community computer networking and
rural datafication might find this of interest. Please note the
special call for CommNetting stories from rural Maryland and rural
<forwarded message follows; header edited>
>Date: Thu, 6 Apr 1995 23:17:50 -0500
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard Civille)
>Subject: URGENT - Tell Your Stories: Save Community Net Funding
> TIIAP Funding At Risk
> Time to Tell Your Stories
> News is breaking that the Telecommunications Information
>Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) is under fire. With its first
>round of grants hardly awarded and results too early to show, this extremely
>promising Federal assistance program is in danger. The prospect of TIIAP
>losing substantial funding in 1995 -- for this current grant cycle -- is real.
> If this is important to you, please send us your stories -- now.
> While the big fight is over Big Bird and public broadcasting, this
>small program that's helping to make the Internet work for everyone may die
>on the vine, unnoticed. There are two recission bills. Cuts proposed in
>both bills have the prospect of being combined. Until yesterday there was
>risk of the entire TIIAP program being killed. What will remain has not
>been decided. The range as of April 6 appeared to be between a low of $9M
>and a high of $49M. The first grant cycle, awarded in late 1994, was about
>Tell Your Stories
> Do you know a story about a community network, or how the public
>Internet was used locally -- and recently -- in a way that:
>* Created a job opportunity
>* Helped start a business, especially a very small business
>* Saved someone's life
>* Diagnosed a disease
>* Provided disaster relief and/or coordination - floods, earthquakes,
>* Improved literacy
>* Created a unique educational opportunity
>* Prevented a crime
>* Prevented a suicide
>* Helped the homeless or critically poor
>* Improved the quality of life for the home-bound
>* Involved an Enterprise Community or Empowerment Zone
>* Involved Americorp National Service Initiative projects
>* Involved the Cooperative Extension Service of USDA
> Especially important right now: Stories from rural Virginia and
>rural Maryland. But, we need to hear from all over the country. We need to
>show -- very, very quickly -- that there is a broadbased constituency for
>this program from Congressional districts all over the country. And, that
>the program is supported by local public officials, businesses, educators
> Please let us know right away. We will quickly compile these
>stories, and get them to the White House and the Hill, fast. We need real
>stories about real people. They do NOT need to be about currently funded
>TIIAP projects, important as that is. Please send us any leads, whether
>they be first hand or second hand.
>Please send your story this way:
>* Be brief. What's your name? How do we contact you?
>* What's the application area, such as health, disaster relief, crime
>* Tell us "who, what, when, where and why". Who benefitted? Was there
>* What system or service made this possible?
>* What Congressional District do you live in?
>* Who is your mayor is, or closest equivalent public official?
>Concerned Citizen Letters Needed Now
> This could be on a fast track, or it may take several weeks. If the
>White House vetoes the recission bills, there may be more time, but there is
>no indication this will happen. Predictions at this time are pretty hard to
>make. A letter or fax to your Congresscritter or Senator can help. If you
>send a letter, please let us know, and send us a copy if you can.
> Use your own words. Be polite and direct. Give a local example if
>you can. DO NOT send email. Send a real letter with your signature, or a
>fax with your signature. Handwritten letters really get looked at closely.
>Say something to the effect:
> "I strongly urge you to support full FY 1995 funding of the TIIAP
>program in NTIA/DOC and to oppose any proposed cuts. This program is
>helping make the information economy work for everyone, in communities such
>as mine. America is at a crossroads. Jobs and opportunity in the future
>depend on the information highway. This program is helping build onramps.
>I do not believe TIIAP is unnecessary pork barrel government spending.
>There are lots of examples of that. TIIAP is not one of them. TIIAP is a
>solid example of what government ought to be doing. The more people that
>use the net to get useful things done, the more valuable the net becomes for
>everyone and the country. TIIAP is creating economic and social value, not
>wasting taxpayer money."
> Language couched in economic and community development terms will
>likely have the greatest impact. Remember, one well written constituent
>letter from a concerned citizen is read as if there were THOUSANDS saying
>the same thing. Especially, if you are a USER of a community network, your
>letter can have a real impact right now. If you live in a rural community,
>your letter will also be very important.
> As we learn more, we will pass specific suggestions along. Stay
>tuned, and if you have a WEB browser, stay in touch with daily reports being
>posted by the Benton Foundation, http://cdinet.com/benton. Members of the
>key committees in the House and Senate are also posted on this Web site.
>See anyone who works for you? Send them a letter.
> The Center for Civic Networking has a reputation for independent
>research, analysis and promotion of the public use of telecommunications for
>community economic development, service delivery and participation in
>governance. Two years ago this month, the Center produced a conference in
>Washington, DC, sponsored by Apple Computer, Inc. and the National Capital
>Area Public Access Network. One hundred public service telecommunication
>practitioners from communities around the United States met together for the
>first time, and "talked story". Administration officials from the White
>House, Department of Commerce, USDA and other agencies attended, as well as
> From the advisory input of many who attended that conference, the
>National Strategy for Civic Networking was produced, which cited dozens of
>examples of how these services were being used around the country. This
>paper has been circulated worldwide. It is used in college courses and was
>directly cited in the Administration's Agenda For Action for the National
> We talked story and we made a difference in policy then.
> It's time to talk story again.
>Thanks a lot for your help.
>Center for Civic Networking
> Center for Civic Networking Richard Civille
> P.O. Box 53152 Executive Director
> Washington, D.C. 20009
> (202) 362-3831 email@example.com
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
Agricultural Technology and Family Farm Institute
UW-Madison--Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
Baseball must be a great game to survive the fools
who run it. --Bill Terry, HOF 1b