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FCC Chairman To Hear Young New Mexicans

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The Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission, the agency that regulates communications industries, is coming to Albuquerque next week to hear from young people about what media issues are important to them.

Nuestra Voces/Our Voices: A Youth Dialog with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, can be thought of as a town hall meets panel discussion with a state senator, the press, a medical director and researcher, and young New Mexicans who will be in person, on tape, and on video.

Alanna Offield is with the Media Literacy Project, one of the organizers of the event. She said Wheeler has been getting feedback from a lot of communities, techies, and policy makers, but that he’s left out another important segment of the population – America’s youth.  “A lot of the policies and decisions that the FCC makes really do impact young people,” she said.  “We wanted to create an event that would highlight their voices.”

Offield encouraged young New Mexicans to join in on the discussion by coming to the meeting, or by emailing a video testimony to be played and then discussed by the panel.  She hopes the event has a conversational feel, rather than having people preach - one after another - like at other public meetings. 

Offield says young people are deeply affected by things like rural broadband access and net neutrality. She says they also care about phone charges for family members in prison and telehealth, an integration of communication technology and healthcare. 

The Our Voices event will be at Albuquerque’s South Broadway Cultural Center this Monday at 6:30.

Editor's Note: KUNM Public Health Reporter Marisa Demarco will represent her online news site NMCompass.org on the discussion panel.

Kaveh Mowahed is a reporter with KUNM who follows government, public health and housing. Send story ideas to kaveh@kunm.org.