Dear Friends –

We’re reaching out to you on behalf Open Access Connections (Open Access).  Since 1994, Open Access has worked hard to ensure that thousands of homeless and low income people have reliable voice mail telephone service.  In the wake of the Minnesota state shutdown and draconian budget cuts, Open Access now finds itself without the key funding that they need to keep their doors open.

“We need to support Open Access, who has been a pivotal member of the Media Action Grassroots Network,” says Betty Yu, National Organizer for the Center for Media Justice. “Not only have they been a major regional ally in the media justice fight, but their voice mail services are invaluable to growing and sustaining the Minnesota economy.  Without Open Access, over 4500 people will be without phone services, which in today’s world has become a life-sustaining tool, particularly for those unemployed.”

Open Access has been a crucial resource for people that are actively looking for work, but are homeless, have unstable housing, or are living in a shelter.  They rely on on Open Access’ services in order to provide a call back number for employers on job applications.

“How can an employer offer you a job when he can’t even call you? People have to be accessible in order to land the jobs they need to get back on their feet,” says Steven Renderos, Media Justice Program Director, Main Street Project. “Without jobs, people can’t earn the money that they need to afford a place to live, or food for themselves and their families, or put back into Minnesota economy.  We encourage everyone to please give what they can to help support our Minnesota MAG-Net cohort.”

Open Access is the only community voice mail program in Minnesota, and because of their active outreach and partnerships with agencies, they are also the largest provider of free voice mail to low income people in the United States.

How you can help Open Access:

  • You can donate to Open Access directly by going to their website.
  • You can connect Open Access to possible funders who would be able to generate funds quickly.
  • You can write a letter of support for Open Access to distribute publicly outlining the importance of our services.
  • You can connect Open Access with key decision makers who might have the ability to provide them with funding.

Please help in anyway that you can!

In Solidarity,

Betty Yu

National Organizer

The Center for Media Justice

Steven Renderos

Media Justice Program Director

Main Street Project


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