Singing some praises, then having some sung
By Autumn Labbe-Renault, Executive Director
This column was originally published May 5, 2022 in The Davis Enterprise
This election season marked the second one in which Davis Media Access (DMA) has recorded candidate statements virtually. The pandemic left us without access to the community television studio and teleprompter at our Fifth Street facility, and was in some ways probably more challenging for candidates, although it did eliminate the travel time for some!
Before I go any further, let me heap some praise on DMA’s Studio Manager, Diane Dedoshka. A longtime, part-time staff member, she’s the reason we’ve been able to funnel resources into making sure that every candidate running a contested race in Yolo County has the same opportunity to get the word out about their campaign. A pioneer in local broadcast TV, Diane broke the glass ceiling for female directors back when she worked for KXTV, and we’ve been beyond fortunate she’s called DMA her work home for many years.
During the pandemic, she helped evaluate virtual broadcast platforms, retrained herself to do everything remotely, and was pivotal in DMA’s work to keep Yolo County connected and informed. Lately she’s been working with community member Tim Gaffaney to highlight our local arts and culture sector via “In the Studio.” None of this work would be possible without her!
Diane also recorded a variety of campaign statements for the June 7, 2022 primary election. This non-partisan work is central to DMA’s mission of shining a spotlight on local issues and interests. Races covered include Measure H (DISC) in Davis and candidate statements for the following contested races:
* Congressional 4th District
* State Assembly 4th District
* Yolo County District Attorney
* Yolo County Sheriff/Coroner/Public Administrator
* Yolo County Supervisor District 2
These statements air on DCTV Comcast 15 in Davis, at AT&T U-verse on Menu 99, and at https://dctv.davismedia.org/collections. The entire collection may also be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/c/DavisMediaAccess/playlists. DMA will also air outside programs submitted by the League of Women Voters.
This election work is one of the things that’s brought DMA acclaim of late. I’d like to take a moment to thank Yolo County District 2 Supervisor Don Saylor, and his deputy and assistant deputy Tara Thronson and Sara Simmons, for their tremendous work in hosting and organizing the final Soup’s On event April 21 in support of DMA. Thanks also to the all the sponsors, volunteers, auction donors, and attendees, and of course to local legends Mumbo Gumbo.
The one-time event raised over $62,000 for DMA. Here in year three of the pandemic, DMA has plenty of company in the struggle to keep going. Going virtual —and helping many across Yolo County to do so—resulted in greatly increased technology and staffing costs. Coupled with lost event and workshop income, and the very real impact of inflation, it’s been a struggle. We are most grateful for the ways this money will help mitigate these impacts.
Finally, my year was made recently when I learned that Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa) had named DMA as his Yolo County Nonprofit of the Year. I work closely with many in the nonprofit community and let me say, heroes abound, and there are many who are deserving of such an honor. On behalf our board,, staff and volunteer community, we’re incredibly honored to be seen in this way.
Diane and I have worked with the Senator over the years on the very candidate statements I mentioned, and in conversation with him last month, he said he felt we’ve never gotten the recognition we deserved, that he was happy to help boost awareness, and was proud to recognize our work.
I will end by saying in a time of crisis, DMA worked hard to become a resource for Yolo County, documenting local response to the pandemic, and providing resources to both inform and uplift. We are honored and gratified that Sen. Dodd has recognized our work in this way, and look forward to continued service.
— Davis Media Access is the only nonprofit community media center in Yolo County. Autumn Labbé-Renault has served as its executive director since 2007, where she writes and blogs about a wide variety of media and community issues. Learn more at http://davismedia.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (530) 757-2419.