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July 1, 2011


From the Albany Community Television (ACT) archives. Scroll down to the Albany Common Council meeting for December 20, 2010. Lester Freeman starts at about 1:59 after Dominick Calsolaro's speech. Let the player load first.

ACT is a group of Albany citizens who are working to expose our City of Albany Government. They basically show up at Common Council meetings and other governmental functions and record the proceedings. (Their first recording device was a $99 dollar video camera from Walmart.) The results of this simple "act" have been stunning. Several politicians (such as John Rosenzweig) spit and snarled at the rays of sunshine entering their lives and called for ACT to be locked out of City Hall, but this was empty noise. The ACT people had every legal right to be present at City meetings and recording.

There was a definite learning curve for our elected officials. Most of them quickly learned to stop casually saying what they really think because their sneers and curses against the public were becoming part of a permanent record.

And all of a sudden Jerry Jennings and his obedient minions became genuinely interested in securing a cable access channel for Common Council meetings. You see, Jerry can't control citizens pointing cheap cameras at His people. But He can exercise at least some control over a contract that awards cable access to a corporation. For Him, that's the lesser of two evils.

But even if Jerry gets the kind of contract from the Time Warner Corporation that He wants, ACT is not going away. Nor will He be able to bar ACT from public meetings. He delayed signing a corporate contract that would have provided a televised window into His political activities for some 15 years. Yes, His Majesty blew it. He didn't count on the taxpayers taking matters into their own hands... and out of His.