Statement: On Introduction of a Comcast Franchise Bill to City Council

The following statement can be attributed to Hannah Sassaman, Policy Director at Media Mobilizing Project, which coordinates the CAP Comcast Campaign:

“The initial “terms sheets” that comprise today’s legislation – and we need to see the full language of the franchise itself – show that Mayor Nutter, and Councilman Henon and his other Council colleagues, are listening hard to the needs of everyday Philadelphians as they negotiate this historic, once-in-a-generation franchise. 
There’s promising initial language in these tentative agreements about affordable and reliable access to cable and the internet in America’s poorest big city, investment in City communications infrastructure that we desperately need, and a realization that Philadelphians are fed up with poor customer service and high prices.
That said, this is just a start and we are looking forward to bringing Council’s constituents even more into City Hall to fight for the priorities they’ve focused on since this franchise process began.  
As a Fortune 50 company that pays drastically abated property taxes and only 3.4% in state income tax in a state where 9.99% is the average, Comcast has a responsibility to fund tech education – computers and technology teachers – in our Philadelphia public schools, many of which have 10+ year old computers and uneven access to tech teaching.  
Comcast must invest in our award-wining public, education, and government access TV stations, which bring rich culture, learning, and civic life and access into many thousands of homes.  
And Comcast must protect its own workers by ensuring diversity in concrete ways throughout their business; by paying them, contractors and subcontractors at least $15/hour in wages;  and by not blocking their rights to form a union here in Philadelphia.
We’re looking forward to bringing regular people into Council to share their stories about the affordable internet and cable they need, the investment in technology education that we should expect in the poorest big city in America, protecting community media, and the protection for consumers and workers in Comcast’s hometown.”
The CAP Comcast campaign is endorsed by over 5000 Philadelphians, and groups including the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, Media Mobilizing Project, ACTION United, Working Families Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Philadelphia Student Union, Maypop, Liberty Resources, Women’s Community Revitalization Project, Prometheus Radio Project, Get Lucid, Philadelphia Jobs With Justice, UNITE HERE! Local 247, and others. Visit us at capcomcast.org.