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CAT and The City - HOW YOU CAN HELP (Updated 8-28-2013)

So many of you, CAT's loyal members and supporters, have asked how they can help convince the City of Columbia to add us back into the 2014 budget. Please see below, and THANK YOU.

What YOU can do to help

Add Us to Your Calendar - Show your support IN PERSON at City Council meetings in August

  • Tuesday, September 3rd, 7 p.m. - Meet at CAT's downtown space at 6:30pm to walk over, listen in and speak up.

  • Monday, September 16th - The city council is having a budget work session in which CAT gets time to make its case to the council. Please come and support our efforts by packing the house

Pop in to 23 N. 10th Street to give a quick video testimonial

  • We’ll have everything set up and ready to go during CAT's business hours (Tues-Sat, noon-8pm) -- you simply chat about why CAT is important to you and to Columbia.

  • It's as easy as stating your name, occupation, and "I am CAT-TV."


Easy First Steps - Take to social media!


  • Leverage the power of social media and tell your friends how much you care about CAT. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter (@columbiatv) to get the latest updates about our funding battle.

  • But don’t just read about it, post about it too! We’re using the hashtag #CATTV2014 to share your best pictures, videos, and inspirational stories about our classes, channel, and what Columbia Access Television means to you.

  • Send CAT a quick email of support at! We’ll start a collection to share with City Council and post on our website.

Share Your Stories - Contact your mayor and city councilperson

Contact your mayor and city councilperson today to tell them how important Columbia Access Television is to the community. Please consider copying CAT on your correspondence so we may collect them to show to City Council at a later date (email, mailing address: CAT, 23 N. Tenth St., Columbia, MO 65201.)

You may contact your ward representative in the following ways:

Mayor Bob McDavid

Ward 1- Fred Schmidt

Ward 2- Michael Trapp

Ward 3- Karl Skala

Ward 4- Ian Thomas

Ward 5- Laura Nauser

Ward 6- Barbara Hoppe

If you’re not sure which ward you’re in, be sure to check the ward map here:


Share Your Stories - Write letters to the editor

Letting other members of the community know what’s happening is key to enacting a change of heart by the city. Tell Columbia how you feel and why they should save their community media center. Please write to all the following publications:

The Columbia Daily Tribune

Letters to the Editor: Maximum of 250 words, Letter must be signed and include your name, street address, city, and phone number.

  • Mail: Open Column, Columbia Daily Tribune, P.O. Box 798, Columbia, Mo., 65205

  • Fax: (573) 815-1701

  • E-mail:

Opinion Pages: Deadline is one week before publication. Submissions of 800 words or less to

The Missourian

From Readers section: Please include your name for your byline and one sentence about you or your relationship to the story

The Maneater

Guest columns must be about 450 words and include email addresses. Letters to the editor must include phone numbers. All letters must be signed to be published.

What you can say:

“CAT is important to Columbia because [personalize this!]

CAT has benefitted [me, my family, my organization] by [personalize this!]

Please continue to support Columbia’s very own Community Media Center and Public Access Station, Columbia Access Television, in the 2014 City Budget!

I believe the City of Columbia should support its PUBLIC VOICE just like it does its GOVERNMENT VOICE (According to the current version of the 2014 City Budget, the City will continue to support The City Channel, the voice of City Government.)

You support CAT, but did you realize the breadth and depth of our mission? Here’s an overview of your Community Media Center and Public Access Channel for use as you reach out to others:

With the leadership of a strong membership, board of directors and staff, CAT has grown from small public access cable channel to an award-winning, full Community Media Center.

  • CAT’s channel is a dedicated media outlet for freedom of speech and freedom of expression, without interference from government or private interests.

  • CAT’s Community Media Center (23 N. Tenth St.) offers the community access to two fully equipped production studios at Stephens College, video equipment for checkout, hands-on production training, computers with the latest editing technology, air time on Mediacom channel 85, CenturyLink 98 and Charter 983, locals-only prime time, online video-on-demand and more.

  • CAT is the only place in the region where individuals, families and organizations may:

  • SHARE their diverse voices with Columbia

  • LEARN new and innovative media skills

  • USE high-tech video equipment and other media technology

Need more to make your case?

Stop by (23 N. 10th St.), give us a call (573-442-4447) or send us an email ( We have lots of data to prove CAT's value in our community. Below are just a few points to keep in mind.

  • CAT keeps its membership and training fees low to ensure that EVERYONE may have equal access to its resources and to non-commercial television.  

  • CAT has provided direct support to nearly 900 individual CAT members over the 5 years of the City grant, members who have taken media classes, checked out and used CAT’s media equipment and submitted television programming to the channel. 

  • CAT’s reach extends way beyond its membership, however. CAT also collaborates with a growing base of essential non-profit organizations in town, including dozens of public service organizations, schools, colleges and universities, and more. 
  • CAT’s Youth Programming has grown over the past two years through collaborations with the True/False High Def Academy, the Citizen Jane Summer Film Academy, Columbia Public Schools, CALEB: The Science Club, Performing Arts in Children’s Education (PACE) and more. In fact, over the past three months, more than 110 youths have been trained in resume-building media skills by CAT’s training staff.  

  • CAT opened a downtown Community Media Center last year to supplement the Stephens College location and to better serve its members and the public. Over the past 14 months, CAT experienced more than 2,800 stop-ins by members who created programming in the edit suite, checked out equipment and used the meeting space. In addition, nearly 800 non-members stopped in to inquire about CAT’s mission and services.

  • CAT has experienced growth in locally produced programming on its public access channel, CAT-TV. In the first half of calendar year 2013, 92% of CAT-TV programming was locally produced, a jump from an average of 88% local in calendar year 2012.

  • Contact us if you'd like to see more!