I am very troubled by the proposed Comcast / Time Warner Merger. If the merger goes through, the company would control roughly three quarters of the nation’s cable and internet service. They will also be one of the largest content providers and news distributors in the world. Less competition in these three areas will be bad for consumers, bad for the future of the internet, and bad for democracy.
While the City does not have the power to prevent Comcast’s $45 billion purchase of Time Warner, we can take steps to make sure competition is stronger in Seattle. One step will be to evaluate our City’s relationship with Comcast. The City’s franchise agreement with Comcast expires January 20, 2016. As part of the renewal process, the Office of Cable will conduct a review of Comcast’s relationship with the City. Part of the review process will include a telephone survey of Seattle residents; an on-line survey; community meetings; and focus groups. I strongly urge Comcast customers to participate in this process once it launches. If we determine Comcast has not lived up to their obligations, the City of Seattle will not renew the franchise agreement.
Democracy thrives when information is readily available to anyone regardless of their economic status. Media monopolies threaten the free flow of information, make competition nearly impossible, and put too much control into one company’s hands. I hope regulators prevent this merger, while I do my part to foster competition in Seattle.
I applaud Governor Inslee today for his choice to put a moratorium on executions in this state. We have certainly seen evidence that the death penalty has been applied unevenly over the years in many cases of race and social justice. As DNA evidence and other advances have been made in technology, more than 140 death row inmates have been exonerated in this country since 1973. Governor Inslee’s bold move today is the first step to righting this uneven system.
I applaud Michael Sam for his incredible courage to come out.
He could – and should – become the first openly-gay NFL player in history. Who he is or who he loves shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is because he is the first to blaze this trail.
The importance of his leadership on this issue cannot be overstated – even as we hear about the possible reluctance of teams to take a chance on a player who happens to be gay.
I hope to see Michael Sam play for a team deserving of his incredible talents – perhaps even right here in Seattle for our Super Bowl Champion Seahawks.