Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) should be aware, at this time of so much controversy on issues of importance to his constituents (opening/closing businesses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, mail-in voting, the impact of the coronavirus on state and county revenue in 2020 and beyond), it is important that citizens be informed of the facts relevant to those issues. Unfortunately, this pandemic has so disrupted businesses that they have stopped advertising in local newspapers.
These organs provide news and information unique to our communities.
This, in turn, has put severe financial stress on the solvency of these vital organs of public debate and jeopardize their long-term viability.
I am writing to suggest that Sen. Van Hollen ensure that pending legislation to help save important business sectors includes funds for our local newspapers.
Our founding fathers, particularly Thomas Jefferson, argued so strongly for the importance of a free press for a viable democracy. I urge the senator to ensure that funds be included in any future COVID-19 legislation to support these vital forums for all these open democratic debates.