"Town Meeting" PR Efforts Gain Ground

Seal of the Commonwealth of MassachusettsA representative from the Governor’s office has reached out to the Amateur Radio community in the wake of last week’s perceived “snubbing” of Amateur Radio emergency communications efforts in comments made by the Governor in a televised “Town Meeting.”

According to Eastern MA Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, Pam Hickman from the Governor’s Office of External Relations telephoned Macedo yesterday. “Hickman stated the Governor’s Office would like to the ‘make the situation right,'” explained KD1CY.
Macedo told Hickman that he and the ARRL/ARES leadership are seeking a “short visit” with the Governor so that they might “describe Amateur Radio and its benefits to the community.” KD1CY says he’d like to use the opportunity to push for an Amateur Radio proclamation during the June, 2006 timeframe, which coincides with the ARRL’s annual Field Day operating event.

“I gave a brief description of Amateur Radio and what we do and tried to give her a flavor of our organization,” noted Macedo. “Hickman has requested pamphlets and information be sent to her office. I will begin working on that as one of my highest priorities.”

KD1CY expects to have a package consisting of ARES/ARRL pamphlets, sample articles from the ARES E-newsletters, a writeup on the Whittenton Pond Dam operation, and other relevant materials sent to Hickman no later than Friday.

“Depending on time constraints, I may also provide a brief, high-level PowerPoint presentation, leveraging material used from the MEMT meetings where we’ve discussed ARES and RACES.”

In a related development, District Emergency Coordinator Steve Schwarm, W3EVE contacted his state representative regarding the Governor’s comments in the Town Meeting program. “[Steve’s] representative sent a response, saying he was going to be contacting the Governor’s office,” reports Macedo. “This is the first I’ve heard of a state rep getting involved with making contact as well.”

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