Davis Media Access: Getting back into the routine (Column for Apr 1, 2021 Davis Enterprise)

Excitement is building for vaccine availability and the prospect of life beginning to return to normal. I’m starting to field many questions about when Davis Media Access will “reopen,” and would like to take this opportunity to address a number of them in one place. Some things to know:

* While many KDRT programmers continue to produce from home, DMA has largely reopened to solo KDRT programmers for whom that was not possible. We’re on the cusp of figuring out to bring cohosts back into the studio together — vaccination and improving numbers countywide now make this a possibility sooner rather than later. We’ve asked all other programmers to remain virtual until full reopening at a later date.

* We plan to keep all group meetings (board, committee, programmer, staff) virtual for the foreseeable future.

* Staff is currently working to develop “curbside pickup” for our field equipment, and online workshops on a variety of topics.

* Reopening the community center as a whole is trickier as it depends upon the remodel that DMA began planning in 2018. This mostly impacts our television studio and edit suites. This also may impose occupancy limits in the building. Due to limited funding, DMA has deferred maintenance in this area. Notably the front entry door, sliding doors, heater and air conditioner require replacement before these amenities can be opened to the public.

* We have complete plans and a permit from the city for the remodel and currently DMA’s staff and board are working on a roadmap for completing the project. The remodel will be completed in phases, and repairing the facility so we can fully reopen will be the first priority. We are currently projecting to begin the repairs this fall.

* The remodel and reopening is a long process, complicated by the pandemic, and one with which we have no prior experience. We thank our community for your patience and your involvement.

Meanwhile, DMA’s staff has remained incredibly busy helping other nonprofits and community organizations produce content virtually during the pandemic. Here are some programming highlights:

* Recently, we recorded two videos with Dr. Aimee Sisson, the public health officer for Yolo County. The first https://youtu.be/H0eXw7o0Afk outlines new vaccine eligibility in Yolo County. In the second, https://youtu.be/ShUYaWq3UJw, Dr. Sisson outlines the county’s transition to the MyTurn application.

* In partnership with CommuniCare Health Centers and Yolo County’s Public Information Office, DMA also produced Spanish-language videos on the same topics. They are available at https://youtu.be/7uMueNuKFA8 and https://youtu.be/TIieXgDiPiM, respectively. These were voiced by MariaIsabel Mandujano from CommuniCare.

* All the PSAs air on DCTV Channel 15 Comcast in Davis, at Menu 99 on AT&T’s U-verse system. DMA initiated these projects as a community service and part of its ongoing commitment to providing locally relevant information during the COVID-19 pandemic. DMA is the only nonprofit community media center in Yolo County, and while based in Davis, serves the region.

* In another recent collaboration, Climate Strike Davis organized a Walk for Climate Justice on March 11. The event was organized in conjunction with Greenfaith’s “Sacred People, Sacred Earth Day of Climate Action” https://greenfaith.org/take-action, and was part of climate action events held on six continents. Walkers visited with elected officials and community leaders throughout downtown Davis to discuss their climate action policies and plans.

* DMA recorded the walk. An 11-minute program is now airing on DCTV Channel 15 Comcast in Davis, at Menu 99 on AT&T’s U-verse system, and is also available on demand at DMA’s YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/HyJv3wxl3u0 Thanks to Production Specialist Bryce Parker for his work this past year covering many marches and vigils, as well as other community events.

* Yolo United Against Hate — YED Spring 2021 Leaders Summit: YED stands for Yolo, Education and Discovery and is a name play borrowing from the well-known TED-Talks. It’s an evolution of the Yolo Leaders summits that have been organized with local school, city and county elected officials and executive staff for over 10 years to gather and learn about issues of common interest.

According to organizers (which included Yolo county Supervisors Oscar Villegas and Don Saylor, as well the Local Agency Formation Commission), “racism, whether it is targeted at AAPIs or any other minority, doesn’t start or stop at an election or a pandemic. During times of social, political, economic instability, our society has a history of marginalizing and blaming other groups for problems instead of coming together and looking for solutions together.” DMA was happy to support video editing for this project and is hosting the video on our YouTube Channel. https://youtu.be/ThRAYxkqDX8.