WASHINGTON — April 4, 2011 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) presented Kathleen Pavelko, president & CEO of witf in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with the 2011 National Advocacy Award for her exceptional efforts in furthering public television’s legislative goals. The National Advocacy Award recognizes an individual that exemplifies effective advocacy on behalf of public television.
Ms. Pavelko is being honored for her leadership at the national and state level in recognizing the critical importance of sustained engagement with policymakers, both through direct and grassroots advocacy. Following a bruising campaign to preserve state funding for public broadcasting in Pennsylvania, Ms. Pavelko immediately threw herself into the fight to preserve federal funding as well. Her leadership skills were evident as she actively worked with her Pennsylvania public broadcasting colleagues to engage their entire congressional delegation—particularly those Members who may have been inclined to oppose federal funding for public broadcasting.
“Kathleen Pavelkois a hero in public broadcasting,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “No legislator is beyond her reach, and none is ever considered a lost cause. Kathleen combines passion with persistence and a deep understanding of our mission to be an extraordinarily successful advocate for public television.”
In addition to her willingness to engage in direct advocacy, Ms. Pavelko has also been active in developing public broadcasting’s grassroots strategy. In the fall of 2010, she urged the national public broadcasting leaders to work proactively with local stations to develop new tactics to confront the imminent federal funding battle. To advise her board of the challenges that we would face, Ms. Pavelko invited an APTS government relations professional to attend a witf board meeting to discuss the political environment and the planned response. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Pavelko fully embraced the new 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting campaign and quickly became a champion of that grassroots effort.
Under Ms. Pavelko’sleadership, witf has been at the forefront of the 170 Million Americans campaign, creating board testimonials and other catchy videos to rally the Harrisburg community around the campaign. Thirty-two witf staff members also worked together to create the “Go Public” video (http://www.youtube.com/user/witfnewmedia) that has received almost 3,300 views on YouTube. In all, witf produced and aired 48 testimonial spots on radio and TV that pointed viewers and listeners to 170millionamericans.org. witf’s example inspired numerous other public television and radio stations to actively embrace this vital grassroots campaign.
Pavelko said, “I’m honored to be the one accepting this award. The real recipients are the staff of witf, who used their enthusiasm and creativity to celebrate what’s great about public broadcasting. Go Public!”
Ms. Pavelko received the 2011 National Advocacy Award on Monday, April 4, during the APTS Capitol Hill Day conference in Washington, DC.
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct - in concert with member stations - advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides leadership and information to help our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.
About 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting
170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting is a collaboration of public radio and television stations, national organizations, producers and public broadcasting viewers and listeners throughout the country in favor of a strong public media in the United States. This project receives no government funding.