tv Former FCC Chairs Discuss Telecommunications CSPAN July 19, 2021 8:30pm-9:49pm EDT
with these other television providers giving a front row seat to democracy. >> next from a former sec chairs and commissioners discussed telecommunications policy including media diversity and inclusion. broadband access, 5g technology and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. multicultural media telecom and internet counsel holds this hour and 20 long event. >> former chair, we are glad you're here. i won't keep you long. i just want to say a few words about the former fcc chair we have lined up for yesterday. some are close personal friends and have been for many years. some i have worked with and consider colleagues, all are very accomplished and successful people and we are grateful to them for making time in their busy schedules to be with us
today. thank you to my friends and our support moderators for agreeing to share today to steer today's conversation. thirty-five years ago, david and i were involved in founding information been was to promote equal access representation in tech media and telecommunications through opportunity creation, awareness building and advocacy. it's opening our doors in 1986 and mtc has worked tirelessly to promote and preserve equal opportunity civil rights and social justice in mass media, broadband industries and close the digital divide. we are widely recognized as the leading policy advocacy organization working at the intersection of communications policy, diversity and equal opportunity. what it does matters to both
minority and female communities and the broader u.s. democracy. it's most fitting thing that we host this gathering of those who formally left the country's foremost communications policy making apparatus. everyone in the communications space should listen well to the words and wizards are speakers will give us today. i leave you with these words of wisdom for my law partner, longtime friend and mentor, chairman riley. always remember, he told me once a chairman, always a chairman. once a commissioner -- thank you. i'll turn it back over to bob. >> thank you, appreciate that. my pleasure to introduce our co- moderator today. i'd like to start with the president and ceo of the infrastructure association. jonathan is a former
commissioner having served 2002 -- 2009. in 2009, the administrator of the u.s. department of agriculture service. previously, legislative staff over 15 years in the u.s. senate. the bia partner on many adventures but most on venture to diversified tele- communications workforce. apprenticeship, he also by the way, is 2013 award recipient, our highest reward. most recently, he spoke at the media institute medications form where he urged congress to provide flex ability and broadband legislation, i think back to be found and maybe will put a link in the chat box for anyone who wants to read it. >> his moderator happens to be
deborah who is a former commissioner as well and also vice chair and now ceo of tennessee, almost 200 million judicial branch oversee administration for 1000 but she still has her hand in numerous issues from cutting edge online resolution platform for medical debt online legal services and also a tireless advocate for new #988 suicide preventive line after chairing the opiate task force. he has served since her departure from fec, senior fellow at sfs foundation and so female during her tenure which
became known as the children's commissioner. for a positive impact on children's programming across all platforms, she cochaired healthy media mission with dena davis and a very first lawyer children online protections, more important now during and after the pandemic so let me turn it over to the two of them who have prepared well and let them introduce our speakers. >> running it now, what a privilege it is to have you to have this association for so many years has been at the forefront for diversity telecommunications. i'd like to turn to introducing our chairman we have, we have a
wealth of policy history here in one place now, many decades of experience, i'm not going to go into all their biographies because it can on them all over, and that some of them were chairman before there was this. just so you have a sense of when they served the most recent chairman, many of these were commissioners first. in 2012 -- 2021 and elevated to chairman in 2017. next, chair driver who served from 2009 -- 18 under president obama, and after that would be bill who served under president clinton 1997 -- 2001. he's the only chairman who was a commissioner so he jumped from
general coaches job. riley, speakers chairman under resident dixon, ford and carter serving under both republican and democrat from 1972 -- 77 in chairman from 74 -- 77 savannas our chairs so we welcome you here today. >> i'll add my thanks for the lovely introduction and welcome, we are so glad to have you and thank you for your vision and i guess you are our forefathers so thank you. and certainly to our chairman for being here today. mtc has had an incredible impact for over 30 years and i think you will hear that throughout the day so how appropriate, jonathan ask you first questions
which is about the digital divide. i thought by now we would not be talking about the digital divide of numeral but i think we still are. i certainly got to see this firsthand and my new job with the court system, constitutional rights that need to be protected, victims that need protective orders from adoption needed to continue dealing with the huge impact of the opioid epidemic and continue to ensure people could get services that they need so we had courts in tennessee, if you can believe it's that had one megabit of service so we were able to go in and it doesn't do good to arm people with laptops and zoom
licenses, we don't have access to service as you all know so we were proud of the fact that we can upload and 100 download and none of this is a big extensive fiber network but just looking at local service providers and then all of the other benefits whether it's telehealth, mental health, everything americans benefited from being at home, not the least of which is education since all of our schools basically went remote so regulatory touch by the fec led to trends of dollars higher speeds, lower prices but i want to ask you all if there is still a digital divide. we know there is one in minority and communities of color so why don't we concentrate efforts where the need remains who open
up, i think we should go from recent to historic so we will start with chairman kyle. >> thank you for the question, perhaps the critical communication question of our time but first, let me start by thanking hosting this event and more importantly is to pass advocacy over the years the vision commissioner had some 35 years ago believes give it to this day and i want to thank all of you including rent for the kind introduction. hosting commissioners, good friends and dedicated public service as well and last but not least, what a privilege it is to appear on the same virtual stage that was some of my predecessors, distinguish public service, just great americans.
terrific but i think of the digital divide remains an issue today for a couple of reasons. number one, and parts of the country where there isn't sufficient access, typically depends on rural areas where it sponsor, incomes tend to be lower and deploying a broadband network is accordingly much more challenging is an area where at least in my vision, fec and federal government has a role in serving in changing regulatory framework and apply subsidies to make that case but there are also parts of the country they exist but simply not affordable and there we need to have the conversation how to close that divide. there are other digital programs that need to be boosted and to me, you said so much of our
lives today depend on my digital connection, remote learning and even rural areas and things like that so we need to make sure every american has access to what i call digital opportunity and a gateway at the 21st century and not a republican or democrat issue, it's simply an american issue. i've been gratified to hear conversations surrounding the infrastructure plan that elected officials in the white house and capitol hill recognize a national priority. >> thank you, it is good to see everyone and a pleasure to join you today and i might reap cap the question if you will allow me too. each of us has traveled very extensively and we have seen when it comes to this, the
ultimate challenge goes to the heart of your question. the digital divide has not been tackled completely because there is no one, two or three, no single digit reason why it exists, the differentials, the barriers of challenges that the chairman enumerated in terms of photography, making the business case but looking inward. i'm going to say part of the challenge when it comes to legislative and regulatory has been a silent approach to this. within the fec with some of the existing infrastructure in terms of staff. they work tremendously hard but some of that framework has been
a challenge when it comes to meeting the needs and to be honest, there is some legislative challenges to all of us, by our very nature through our own lenses. they have been traditionally silent and i think, if i could resurrect something i had to do with his lack of interoperability. i don't believe we have been taking as holistic, complementary approach to tackling these issues. there have not been enough partnerships and part of those would be public partnerships working aimlessly. other countries are fairly extensive fiber and other infrastructure. we hear about these by 25 to
enable 5g. we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are debating in some cases but i consider this process. we need to think big and bold and address the needs and do so in an efficient manner that recognizes if we do so efficiently, there will be cost savings and opportunities and every center of our economy is dependent on broadband access. covid-19 affirms how much is needed and regardless of what side you find yourself, none of our communities should be left without so i say part of the child from a regulatory legislative view has been this lack of interoperability for not being able to find common denominators in working
complementary. the silos have been the challenge but i am hoping moving forward we will address those. >> thank you for having me. as i was reflecting on my colleagues, i think we have almost every decade represented for the last two years. thank you for that and that is quite a sweep of telecom policy history so i am delighted to be part of this, thank you for mmt c and not only for the work you've done over the years but the work you did with me personally when i have the privilege of chairing the fec. many of these things i feel most proud of having accomplished would not have happened without this report so thank you for that. when it comes to the digital divide, i think we should acknowledge that we have a gap
in america today but i also think because networks are dynamics and involved, it's addressing these issues and to some extent because the way networks are deployed everyone on the call knows, some people get access to the newest and fastest from the challenge we have is some people in the country because of either where they live, how much money they have are really cut off from the technology they need to be participants in society. the pandemic exposed a lot of this in the way average americans saw for the first time. the good news about broadband networks here in the pandemic is they were incredibly resilient. imagine if the pandemic hit us five to ten years ago before we
have the bandwidth we enjoy today, it would have been much more devastating than it was. the last 15 years, average broadband increase from five megabits to 100 so that is incredible progress over a short period of time. in some ways, the pandemic has shown many of us how important these networks are particularly for children, it was heart wrenching to see 17 million americans schoolchildren unable to work from home because they didn't have access technology to do so. they would go to the parking lot at starbucks to do their homework. many americans saw that and the good news is that there is bipartisan support for major
infrastructure funding for broadband networks. right now as we speak in washington, there's legislation but the fund up to $65 billion of funding for broadband networks, that's impressive. we've never seen that amount of money that one time so the hopeful news here is that the pandemic could create conditions. not done until it done but there is bipartisan support and has the potential not only of this huge infusion of new funding but also one move reforming the universal service subsidy system design for the monopoly and is unsustainable, it just not working anymore so there is a possibility now of not only
reforming the lifeline program but doing it in the context of huge direct preparation of new friends so i think as we meet together and help this call, it's more hopeful than it's been at some time because there is this swell of support generally among the public and capitol hill to do something about it. >> thank you. i would like to add in addition, i think one of the things is an ability to for people in low income housing, particularly minority homes to have a digital education, some understanding of how to use the online digital tool. i think we can put in all the equipment possible but if people don't know how to use it, they
don't have the devices in the home for example a cell phone isn't going to do it all the time for many of the uses people need so i would suggest empty ia and congress and fcc with the money available, try to help minorities libraries and schools to educate our citizens on how to use the new online equipment, online programs. >> one of the big aspects getting this done is having this spectrum needed to be able to have them carry those and spectrum is the lifeblood of what we rely on every day but they have done an enormous amount to the pipeline that we
can have enough we could get these devices to really work and right now you mentioned congress is thinking about the $5 billion investment in infrastructure, they have to pay for that and they sell off more spectrum paying for the infrastructure plan. i think it suits the wireless industry to pay for the infrastructure package, we should be chronic great service in america. what can congress and fec do not to meet consumer demand and enable 5g in our most recent chairman if you think wireless is paid into the program, should we be included in the package hard to serve areas but also the work of building infrastructure. >> i do think wireless is a critical part of the equation,
certainly wired networks to connect consumers at home are important but it's increasingly a mobile economy as well so people need to be connected on the go and we have to the extent in infrastructure package to support fiber deployment, fiber is many, one of the critical aspects of 5g network to tackle internet traffic but i do think also especially with the critical thing the ftc should be focusing on and congress as well and held this option, she did everybody's forecast, proceeds directed to the treasury and over the years so leading up to that i encourage congress to think creatively about legislative solutions about what to do allocating allocation for the proceeds onto contribution
factor which has been rising dramatically, we could pause for five years while congress thinks about a solution. all of these things are still on the table for congress to consider and i do hope they consider mobility as part of the equation as well and the last thing we want is of course ubiquitous wired network everywhere in the country but the last thing is to create of 5g haves and have-nots. i think it is possible we will be cap back in terms of deployment especially in rural areas where the networks will be very difficult to deploy. hopefully we'll get these infrastructure assets in place so every american can benefit from 5g. >> i'll chime in that this affirms a need for in all of above approach solution.
it is not a one size or one direction fits all but i'll call back except when it comes to federal policy, i think in terms of spectrum, the design of the auction design, that is important, to and should be robust and include those. one of the things that i was concerned about ensuring that multiple players, big and small wherever they call home they might be urban terms of corporate headquarters, there are multiple ways to compete in this to allow for competition at the front end so i think we need to look at a to z what we can do and how we can put competitive and inclusion scale to ensure wherever it is along the delivery to be robust ubiquitous
more attainable opportunities by way of productivity that we are thinking about including the competitive framework from the beginning of designing through their retail and of the spectrum. >> you see that as well. >> i was just going to take the opportunity to publicly thank chairman for the work he did on spectrum management. during his tenure, he was able to reallocate significant amount of commercial wireless use. high end from big band in the upcoming sectors so that was a
significant contribution establishing the future of the commercial wireless business in particular 5g so many people don't realize how important nondescript agencies in washington are to make the wireless networks work but it's really important what he did. >> if i could think you and i'll give you my mom's television number if you don't mind giving her a call. he's making a lot of enemies on the route to 5g and listed all of the federal agencies that opposed us on different spectrums but you can't preapproved, something for commercial use, we work collaboratively. americans consumers and hopefully he will be doing that in years to come.
>> i want to agree with that as well. current commission and under chairman pie, i think about your amazing job getting it identified for 5g and bringing it to the public to integrative options and it's important for a number of reasons. we are in an international race of 5g. we were the leaders informed g and made a difference in the country economy and now we are facing a lot of competition from other nations, particularly china and you will be able to have spectrum made which combines speed and publication which will be available which chairman pie and chairwoman are making available. it's extremely important to congratulations. >> thank you very much.
felt free to go over me, i don't know how much time we have. [laughter] >> i'll bring the sobering field. i wanted to add to that all of the things we are thinking about is not only community but critical when it comes to addressing international and national security issues. we must have robust firm heart networks in order to protect our assets so it is very important across the board we have these policies and i on national security issues. >> if i could take 15 seconds, we've been talking about spectrum but unlike, it is critical. i find was a game changer during the pandemic to allow kids to study and parent to work at home at the same time.
great job bring up the first wi-fi some people considered it drunk band but based on that model we freed up the license to propel unlicensed individuals in the future into another era consumers will benefit from. people don't notice it so they don't have it. ... the return of the tax certificate policy that you championed and that actually i understand there've been some recent meetings, and there may
be some in the reconciliation somehow strengthening the eeo enforcement and told jonathan he would like to hear extending the table beyond. creating a program to facilitate minority ownership. i know we all agree it came out of hurricane katrina. if you can believe that was 16 hurricane seasons ago and at that time just a plethora i think 70 organizations recommended that we should ensure that all people no matter what language they speak should have access to emergency information about catastrophic events and so it's when and how can we take the action to address some of these continuing
issues. i will just throw it open and you can step on each other as you wish and maybe we can keep this to a quick ideas or thoughts. >> i know a lot of you were in grade school but we recognized the problem for minorities and broadcast stations and communications properties was a lack of capital and so we organized a program to try to bring bankers, advertisers, other sources to the attention of the prospective buyers. we had some people there after the tax certificate was a useful means to try to get capital to people. it was abused and ultimately
abolished but i think it can be brought back with appropriate safeguards. i think the congressman has taken the lead in that regard. i hope it is looked at because that's another way to get the opportunity for people of all color and backgrounds and communications but capital is the main thing. i also want to mention i think the chair man did a good action on the radio incubator program. i'm glad to see the program going into existence for radio and we could bring it for television. that's another way again to bring minorities in, and i think that is the key.
targeting the tax certificate for the repeal and it was tragic because there was widespread support for it. when he constructed it everybody loved the tax certificate and it created a lot of opportunity so it's great to hear there's an effort to bring it back. in the general topic of the minority ownership and media defined broadly is that we have to recognize the media landscape is changing dramatically and the technologies that we all grew up with. it's all being transformed.
the next opportunity and content creation is going to be to create content for these new straining platforms. that's why i think the discussion that's happening in washington about bottlenecks to the delivery of that content over the large platforms is really important because if we are going to envision the next generation of minority producers and writers and actors and how they are going to get their product to market is going to be different platforms and so in the economics change it's important that we recognize what are the barriers to allowing those people to succeed in the
marketplace? >> radio stations that are minority owned, this is a persistent problem. they may need to expand diversity. the organization chartered the training and apprenticeships but what needs to be done now to the telecom and congress in this massive infrastructure package we talked about? is this a prime opportunity to expand development to get congress to expand for the skills they need for the broadband infrastructure and maybe fast-forward if you could address what needs to be done
now. >> one of the things we attempted to do is to do studies and gathered a the data going forward. with the information to the solutions there is no set reason, access to capital is a big barrier but it isn't the only creative mechanism the last administration put in place as was mentioned to have an incubator program singularly to radio. that's a solution that is ubiquitous. but part of having a sustainable and creative blueprint. i'm the only non-lawyer on the
line. it's based on something that has to be proven, codified and upheld. i really don't think we have all of the ground we needed to launch forward with some of these ideas that would be sustainable so we can't forget we have some homework to do in order to shore up and prop up some of the solutions that are bubbling that would include creative partnerships in the models and recognizing that the landscape is changing but some of the classic barriers to entry across multiple platforms, legacy and through today's lens they remain. >> i would add to what my colleagues have already pointed out. you put your finger on it this is a once in a generation opportunity to deploy digital
infrastructure thanks to the commitment that is likely to come in the context of an infrastructure plan. i want to salute you for the joint efforts you had in terms of workforce development. there are going to be thousands upon thousands to help build these next-generation networks and that is a great gateway for anybody to be able to get a foothold in the communications business. i also want to thank the chair man for pointing out the program. one of the things i was keen to create this was a brainchild of some two decades ago and we finally got it launched to have the third circuit strike it down but earlier this year as the chair pointed out unanimously rejected the decision and reinstated the program and i hope that this will be a way for the minorities to get into the broadcast. we want them to reflect the richness of the country and i want to give a shout out to the
commissioner i don't know if he's watching but he helped lead and we partner on the staff diversity initiative to make sure that we give a stipend to the students that want to work during the summers or semesters but wouldn't be able to because of unpaid internships and because of that they are now doing outreach thanks to the leadership and the minority serving institutions and others so we don't want to focus just on the communication sector but to be a place where everybody can find a home. >> if you are ready for me to move on quickly, chair man, something near and dear to you, the fcc organization and management and restructuring some of that recommended a self and self-imposed rule and if
there was any action as we know they are not, then a petition being denied and at least petitioners could proceeded to the courthouse rather than just the pocket veto we have seen and probably participated in. given the sophistication of everything now that the fcc sees and does, you had kind of agreed with me. i reduced the attorneys in my office and added economists that i thought we really needed to do. do we need the same a structure in the offices and bureaus during the time in 1972 so we will start with you and maybe each of you can quickly respond because the time is running to a close. >> i certainly agree with a lot of the proposals that other good government measures. i remember there is some
certainty on which way this is going to go so i commended you for that. the one regret i have for my time in office is i didn't have the chance to put into place the future forward-looking framework. reimagining the agency and getting rid of the silos that they aptly talked about earlier and focusing on the core functions what is it the fcc is doing as opposed to what are the classifications that it's examining. we tried to do a little bit of that with the creation of analytics and i would love to have done in the future is think about the universal service
function. it's a big challenge working in the 1970s or 60s. >> thank you for the shout out. i'm amazed someone read that paper. 20-years-old. the 1970s the truth is rule-making and other proceedings that were over a year old and then we established dates to make those decisions on. a lot of industries get
frustrated with regulatory delay. obviously some matters are more complex than others and i'm not sure that one year definitive date is the way to go but i do think more emphasis as the chair and other colleagues did put during that period of time is really important, trying to set internal deadlines to get the decisions made. i think that's a very important element. >> i would agree with what was just said. this is an issue for the agency to impose discipline on itself similar to what we did with the merger review process where we established a block which i think was a procedural improvement at the risk of alienating my host a little bit, i worry a little bit about a one
year shock because what that will do is as a formal counseling sure you can appreciate this, you put enormous pressure on the general counsel's office with every rule-making that isn't decided in the year goes to the courts. i'm not sure that's the solution but i do think coming up with a process for more discipline in the process is a good thing. >> i will add my little slice of the pie, one of the things we did a head less than six months but one of the things we set out to doing was trying to clear the debt, trying to find procedures or dockets big and small. how could we close things out and that was a very deliberate
plan, you know, during that particular time in the administration. with that, there might not be talking about some of the biggest issues or dockets. we are talking about the dockets that meant something to somebody. so i agree that mindset and that approach to finish what was started, answering the questions of those that had to these business models dependent on our decisions, that's important to put a period behind that sentence and i won't get into the debate across the board because there's some things that are more complex than others but i think that looking through that lens is very important for the agency to improve itself and to better serve the american public.
>> when we were both state commissioners we would hold a docket review just like the judge and if you didn't show up to tell me why that needed to remain, 2000 matters. i suggested i would be happy to take that on, that i didn't have any support for my chair man. i will just remind you all how the justice referred to the delays we have so much history represented and what you are able to accomplish diversity the people they serve and customers they have, what remains the unfinished business in the fcc
when you were done and what remains to be done if we could start with you and think what is your legacy and what would you do if you were the chair now and to see how the history has progressed and where we go from here. >> as far as my legacy is concerned, almost 45 years since i served as the chairman of the fcc. i just hope that they remembered. that is true but let's not go there. i hope that people would remember that we try to make decisions that serve in the public interest and we work in a bipartisan basis. one of the things you asked is
whether we should have a department of communications and that was the view of henry galler and i use to debate him all the time on that. i particularly liked the fcc model that has democrats and republicans working together to try to solve the communications issues and it worked during my time and i think it's worked more recently. there will be some issues we can't make an agreement on, but i think by and large the models work very well for the country. >> i think that if you were to look at each of our careers, you would see an individual that did everything in their collective power to answer the need of their time. that is the opportunity and the challenge of each commissioner and chair. how do you ensure that those
things that need to be fixed in real time that are that you can influence and hopefully fix that you do not squander that opportunity. so they talk about it in the calling and some of the things we try to bring forth when it comes and you mentioned it more than once in terms of the media ownership and opportunity. you talk about the design to ensure the regional players are able to participate and not only one or two or three players would be eligible or able to bid. so for me, it's opening up the
opportunity for more competition and inclusion and more advantages for those that have been stuck on the wrong opportunity so that has been the northstar of the commission. yesterday, today and tomorrow. i completely agree. i've been asked this question many times since i left the agency. what do you think your legacy is. and i have a policy of never answering it because i think that it isn't my role to tell people what my legacy is and for other people deciding what it is. but i do think that was why is because i will never forget when i first joined the fcc, i sat
down with a sort of legendary commissioner that served as the acting chair and i asked for some advice and he said most of the controversies of what i call big money fights between the rich and very wealthy. the challenge of everyone who gets the privilege of serving at that agency really is to look beyond that, to look for areas when you can help people who don't have lobbyists or the voice of the ftc, but are profoundly affected by the actions of the agency just like the discussion about the digital divide to give a voice to the voiceless. i know each of my colleagues i'm
looking at has done that in his or her own way but the challenge of everyone who gets to serve at the agency is to look beyond the fight to figure out what can you do for average americans, people who are the most deserving and needy among our fellow citizens and try to help them. a. >> i think i would answer the question this way and i have a feeling it's one of the most challenging in washington no matter when you have been to serve or who you have been to serve with it is a challenging job. i remember sitting then with the chair and i can't remember what the issue was about how i was probably being an annoying commissioner and i remember to him saying one day you will have this job and understand how difficult it is.
i think it just highlights you've got to balance so many different things coming at you in limited time to get these things done. i remember thinking over the year that i served, from the first lord of the rings he was advising about carrying the ring and he says that's not for you to decide. all that is left for you to decide is what to do with of the time that is given to you and that is very much how i embrace the job. i knew that it was going to be a challenging four years. it's fair to say mine were more tumultuous than most but i wanted to get done a lot of things that would benefit the american people part of which included the virgin islands and the work that involved the other federal agencies and consumer
protection issues which were important to me for example the three digit number for suicide and prevention help. publishing their decisions in advance and making sure we elevated the staff to bureau chief position. making sure we did the diversity work to get the new workforces and those are the types of things that make might not make the headlines but when i go to the agency, to look them in the eye and see friends but not just somebody i work with. those are a few of the things i think about and i'm very grateful i had the privilege to serve as i'm sure my colleagues are. >> you are on mute. i wanted to say thank you. you were so welcoming to all of the mental health community is.
we are still working on it so hopefully one of these days and it's so important especially covid may have been on the front page but obviously our country is still facing overdoses, addiction problems and sadly, suicide. and then chair man, i should apologize publicly to you because you were really the one that launched everything relative to children's television. you encouraged me to continue on with your legacy. i tried to do that and certainly that is something we should thank you for. i'm so grateful that you mentioned he had such an impact on all of us. talk about the ultimate true example of that. mignon, i miss our days coming
to talk about an issue together. thank you all again. i will send it over to you. >> giants in our own industry continuing to the telecom and the development of our infrastructure we thank you so much for your service and look forward to getting a lot more done for the country. >> there is applause going on altogether so you can hear it. thank you. >> thank you for hosting us. >> we appreciate you bringing the southern drawl to the rest of the communications.
100%. >> we've got to some other business to complete today so i will go on for the chair man for the past 12 years additionally developed and moderated the equity and inclusion and was considered a foundation piece in the supply and diversity. we have a new one coming up we will talk about later. over the previous ten years, the chairs have pointed out the initiatives involved in several meanings and related issues. chairman johnson served in the
agriculture and education and the last 22 years as commissioner secretary of defense nondevelopment authority authorityand worked to trying tn business with billions of dollars in industrial revenues. is strong and compelling the force for the inclusion and also a longtime member of one of the top and to follow the politics at one of the leading institutes. >> thank you so much. it's just amazing that in the last 59 days you were able to assemble some of the nation's greatest most deliberative communications but you join us
as most of our audience would know with a stellar career your self and communications, and i know that this is just a taste of your experiences and talent and vision that you will add going forward so thank you and i personally look forward to working with you in the months and years to come. this reminded me of a simple chat with a moderator and some friends and they allowed us to join in on their private conversations so thank you. deborah, you have been a cochair for many years and i've enjoyed working with you. i know you will keep me and my
colleagues well grounded so thank you for your service and certainly grounded in some respects based on your experiences in the fcc before and after so thank you for your years of supporting. and of course we met during the early days and i learned quickly that he is a determined advocate for making changes in the industry and we thank him for that. he's grown stronger from our perspective in his reach and now as the president and ceo has accelerated its robust diversity and outreach programs that would include this year's conference from october 4th where he will
welcome some of the most brilliant, inspiring and thoughtful leaders and forces on the workforce development and representing minorities serving in the institutions and the government industry and private sector and community institutions, so thank you, commissioner edelstein for your support, continued support in our work and we look forward to october. last but not least, you know, let me thank the distinguished former chairs it is my great privilege to have them today and thank them for taking time from their schedule to share with all of us their perspective on the challenging issues in the communication industry today so during this season of social and political unrest and the fight against the greatest pandemic and the generation we know that
the forces resonate loud and clear on these issues that confront us so we thank them again for their continued service to these issues in the sphere that they operate so thank you for your great service. during my years of involvement i had a great joy of working with all but one of you and so glad to know you are committed just as you were then sue on behalf of the entire staff thank you for your participation today and your service to the american people as chairs. we continue to follow your great work and hope to have you join us again in the near future. and finally, the sponsors that
made the event possible for their generosity and ongoing commitment to the work. you can see some of the sponsors on the screen and in addition to our great sponsors i would like to thank the committee who have been supportive of this initiative, the vice chair and secretary fitzgerald and former commissioner and of course david harding, president emeritus and one of our founders for their continued support of what we do and last but not least, the staff. he's not the newest employee right now but one of the newest and joining him is daniel davis
who is our newest lawyer and of course david, the advisor in one of the major broker programs and he supported them with henry solomon who worked on this important initiative. thank you to the sponsors and with a consulting firm that we hired to help us. one last important element today how intriguing and challenging and important they all are to us going forward. it entails the great work of the
former president and ceo. i don't know whether or not -- there she is. i am hoping that your resolution will appear on the screen if our consultant could get that done. you have the resolution -- let me paraphrase a little bit of this. we are going to post it on our website to our friends and supporters. it is my great pleasure to present this very special to you. you are recently retired and as president and ceo, we are just delighted that you have accepted
the resolution and the honor and from beyond the resolution, you know how we feel about you as our former president and ceo but we cite some of this resolution, perhaps all of it in my own ways the audience can recognize the wonderful contributions. thank you so much. you joined us over ten years ago as the chief operating officer. you didn't leave us. you decided to stay around while we were making this transition and for that we owed a great sense of depth and gratitude. in 2018, you were selected as the third president and ceo and you served in that position
until your retirement on may 31, 2021 and quite frankly a very disappointing retirement but the reason you had to go on to do other things we are not complaining. i'm just happy that you are well and for the great service and relationship we enjoy. during your time as ceo and president when i had the opportunity to be the chair you provided tremendous leadership and commitment to all of the mission oriented goals and sometimes i'm sorry to say, a great sacrifice to you and the founding and i would like to say about all of the wonderful things you did for that we are personally gratified.
for all of the sacrifices that you made in this steadfast and creative resolve to increase funding through difficult times as you know in the pandemic it was doing all of the social unrest but you still were able to hold fast to your responsibilities so we thank you for that and for continuing to work with the board and directors and advisors in a collaborative way we certainly appreciate that and would have expected nothing less. as the resolution will attest for the issues you advocate for.
for all of your distinguished service and dedication, we would like for you to have a copy of the resolution signed by secretary fitzgerald. this will remain in the historic to provide an example of your stellar service to this great organization. but as a special point of privilege i will certainly miss working with you on so many issues and challenges. you and i were lockstep all the way and for that i am tremendously honored and gratified. one of the things you and i will certainly not miss our the long evening and night conversations working on the mtc matters and
so they've assured me that i will not be doing that going forward but probably will be spending some weekends. again thank you so much on behalf of all of us for your great service. we would like to hear from you for now. >> here is a resolution that i would like to thank you and the executive committee for such a personal and touching recognition. this proclamation is so beautiful and eloquent and really captures. it has just been a phenomenal experience and i feel like i'm getting the key to the city. but really what this is is the key to this wonderful village
that we all call in an mtc. i can think of no one better than brainstem to take over the reins. but also i appreciate the proclamation. as everyone knows, irwin, debbie tate, the executive committee, the staff, it isn't one person. as wonderful as david was and the ceo and now, you as the sports ceo in our 35 year history we get the recognition in that role, but the success is an incredible village of people who are dedicated to the
mission. this event today is an example of the kind of support. i saw some of the incredible lineups and the thought leadership by the fcc chairs who are so supportive of us and the work we do. so i would like to thank everyone. i can't really acknowledge all of the support that i've received over the past ten years. i would ask that you provide him the same support, and overwhelming support that i had. organizations like mmt see often don't have the resources that are needed so i'm going to ask everyone in the sound of my voice and hopefully this will be
viewed and recorded i'm going to ask everyone to support mmtc with your hearts and thoughts and liens and also financially so that bob can increase the current staff which is like five or seven. people can't believe all that mmtc does with a few people and think of what is possible if we had 1421, double, triple, quadruple the advocates in creating a pipeline with is the diversity of thought and media telecom sectors. i would like to thank mmtc and the board and incredible staff. i see two of the former staff.
i would like to thank my mom, my grandmother who is 103 by the way, and i've been so grateful to be able to spend a lot more time with them in my retirement and i vowed to do that and continue to do that. my friend maureen, my son, paul. it's funny we will celebrate our tenth anniversary next month. i've been married to paul and at mmtc the same amount of time. i promise i won't retired on you, honey. and one of the last things i think i would like to say as ron said, mmtc is a village and it takes a lot. you all know that i came from the old viacom bet and we did a lot with a little.
i would like to say the same saying that i guess i would say about bet that i would say about mmtc, that we were often in a situation we were working hard and had to change. one of my producers said it's like trying to change the tires on a car while you are trying to drive the car. i would ask everyone that believes and supports mmtc that you continue to do so, continue to reach out. i have a very special closing i would like to make. we were joined at the hip. my weekend church sometimes was the only sacred time when we didn't put our heads together and keep this wonderful organization going. we had over 100 graduates and
alumni. with support "a triple, quadruple that. that's all i can say in closing. i've had a lot of support. i said i wasn't going to mention names and i started doing that so i will probably get in trouble. thank you all. it's been a wonderful experience. i hope after i rest up to continue to be part of the cause. it's been a pleasure. thank you. >> appreciate those remarks and everyone staying with us. it's important that we get to the end of this and have time
for remarks. very much a part of the mmtc family, we want to send her out on a good note so we are very pleased you were here to help us do that. everyone have a great day and keep up with us because we have other programming. thank you very much, everybody. bye-bye. you think this is just a community center? it's more than that. comcast is partnering with a thousand community centers to create wi-fi enabled buildings so students get that tools they need to be ready for anything. >> comcast supports c-span along with these other television providers giving a front row seat to democracy. >> scientists testify before the