Category Archives: WPFW

Democracy Leaves Pacifica unless we Fight

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Better read the 31!.  They make me sick.

31 Things About the New Bylaws Proposal

31 Things About the New Bylaws Proposal

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:January 26, 2020

It’s Up To You Now

 

Berkeley – On January 23, an Alameda County, California courtroom decided to allow 600 members to force their late-submitted anti-democratic bylaws proposal to a referendum vote immediately at the expense of Pacifica’s membership. The January 23 decision pauses the results of the last delegate election, which 6,085 members participated in. It delays the seating of national board reps selected by newly-elected delegates and keeps the outgoing national board unwillingly frozen into place for another seven weeks. Each Pacifica member faces a bill of approximately $1.50 each for what will be the third nationwide election in little more than a year. Ballots are expected to go out in mid-February.

This publication had previously suggested that Pacifica members would be well-advised to simply ignore these bylaws ballots should they receive them. But we are now changing that advice. On further review of this ill-advised proposal, we strongly recommend a loud and decisive “NO” vote. We will talk a bit about why below.

For those who want to climb into the weeds, (and pretty much everyone now has too), Pacifica in Exile has prepared a detailed guide called 31 Things About The New Bylaws Proposal. You can find it here. Please distribute widely.

Below we will highlight a few general points about the Pacifica Restructuring Project proposal that you should keep in mind.

1. The referendum the Court forced despite the lateness of the original proposal is NOT a referendum on the current bylaws, but on this specific proposal. This proposal was drafted in secret by less than a dozen people and never vetted beyond this tiny group before being foisted upon the network.  Acceptance would impose a permanently un-elected national board majority. The proponents generally argue on the basis that the current bylaws have problems, which is a position most would agree with. But instead of putting their proposal up for broad discussion as one possible alternative among many, they have short-circuited dialogue and proposed an ultimatum: their way or the highway. These are not the values a community-based membership organization should espouse.

2. The new bylaws proposal installs immediately, 6 particular people, who would compose a permanently un-elected majority on an 11-person board. Those 6 seats would be filled by other national board members into infinity and this group would be free to operate the Foundation more or less as they please, since they have an absolute majority and can establish the board quorum of 6 entirely by themselves. The installed directors require no consent for any board action d by the pro forma member-elected portion of the board (5 seats – 1 from each station signal area). In other words, in this model you get a vote, but it is only symbolic.

The original proposal, which was sent to 47,000 Pacifica members and signed on to by less than a thousand of us, named 6 individuals and 3 alternates. Of those 9 individuals, two have dropped out since the proposal was floated in September. Of the 7 remaining, only 2 have media experience. The most heavily represented constituency is civil rights lawyers, who compose 3 of the remaining 7. 2 are based in the San Francisco Bay Area, 2 in Texas (the smallest Pacifica signal area) and 2 in the Midwest, a region which does not have a Pacifica-owned station. None are located on the Eastern seaboard where Pacifica maintains WBAI-FM in New York and WPFW-FM in Washington DC. None of the 7 people asking you to install them has made a single public comment about what they will do if placed on the board of directors.

3. We encourage you to read the full 31 Things About the New Bylaws article. Here is a quick touch on a few of the salient changes:

* While your vote drops in value from 4 seats on the national board to 1 minority seat, the cost of that vote doubles to $50/yr from the current $25/year.

* There is no residency requirement for a sole elected station representative on the national board.

* Quorum drops to 5% for future changes to the bylaws including station license sales.

* Station unpaid and paid staff are prohibited on the national board. Pacifica affiliated stations no longer have seats for their representatives on the national board.

* While there are nominally 5 member-elected directors (1 from each station), they are not only a permanent minority, they are prohibited from serving as the board chair or board treasurer. Only the self-appointed directors can chair the board or serve as the treasurer.

* Conflict of interest rules for board members are loosened so that any claim that a director has a “personal interest” in a board decision can keep them from voting. This explicitly allows the prevention of directors from voting as happened with the exclusion of WBAI’s representatives from voting on the raid of their station. That action was thrown out by NY’s Supreme Court as “trumped-up” based on the current bylaws. It wouldn’t be in the future.

What Will Happen If These New Bylaws Are Adopted

It doesn’t take a crystal ball. ​After 7 weeks of bylaws election, then Pacifica will have to have 5 more elections, one at each station, to select a new sole station director. After that is all over, this new board will finally sit down and realize they have a loan principle payment of $3.2 million due in less than a year. The new board will panic, examine their assets, and immediately call yet another election seeking member permission to sell a station license. What else can they possibly do? What we are looking at is just another pathway to the unnecessary break-up of Pacifica. The people’s media assets, which are held in trust by the Pacifica Foundation, deserve better.

We know there are other answers. $1.9 million dollars was given to this organization in one calendar year in 2019 in windfall gifts. Loan obligations can be met, if we want them to be. Bylaws don’t replace the will to survive and putting the public interest first.

Vote to keep your membership rights and vote NO on the break-up bylaws. 

If you value being kept up to speed on Pacifica Radio news via this newsletter, you can make a little contribution to keep Pacifica in Exile publishing . Donations are

secure, but not tax-deductible”

More: No paid or unpaid staff on the board. Both paid employees and any member of the unpaid staff including hosts, producers and technical staff are prohibited from board service.
Price of a voting membership goes up from $25 per person to $50 per person per year. This is a bigger annual donation level to maintain basic voting rights and requires $100 a year from couples if both wish to vote.
Volunteer for membership goes up from 3 hours to 15 hours a year. People who pick up memberships by volunteering in the fund drive room or tabling at events would have to book 5 times as many hours each year
Location of the Pacifica Foundation national headquarters. They place the headquarters of the national foundation inside KPFA at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way when the national office has never been permanently lodged inside KPFA and is in the process of moving to Los Angeles right now. All vacancies filled by board. If an elected station director resigns, their successor will be picked by the board with a dominant preselected majority, so in the event of a resignation by a station-elected director, that signal area will have no member-elected representative for as many as three years until the next election

carradioPacifica

Article on WPFW fighting or . . .

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http://www.counterpunch.org/2006/06/02/can-pacifica-live-up-to-its-promise/

Telling Facts and Naming Names
Since 1993

Can Pacifica Live Up to Its Promise?

Pacifica was founded by radical pacifists who refused to fight even in World War II; nor were they content to wash their hands of the situation and be quietly hidden away in camps. Rather they wanted to disseminate their ideas; so after World War II, they established Pacifica radio, in the words of its mission, to “gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between” and to “contribute to a lasting understanding between nations and individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors.” Hopefully the Pacifica board, which meets this weekend in New York City, will live up to this legacy.

In the late 90s and early in this decade, problems long-festering Pacifica spilled out and resulted in a series of lockouts, lawsuits and conflicts that gripped the network, which owns five stations. By the time the cataclysmic events of 9-11 happened, the network was in a state of internal war; crucially, its flagship program, “Democracy Now!”, was eerily being censored from Pacifica’s stations in New York City and Washington, D.C.

This occurred largely because “Democracy Now!”, unlike much of the other programming on those stations, sought to report on moves by the Pacifica national board, which seemed intent on mainstreaming the network, and possibly selling off parts of it. There was some indication that these actions could even have been motivated by goals of personal profit for board members (the stations are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars). . . .”

for more go to:  http://www.counterpunch.org/2006/06/02/can-pacifica-live-up-to-its-promise/

WPFW carries on listener-sponsored radio

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Over 60 years ago Lew Hill wanted to develop a voice for peace. He had faith that the people would pay for what they believed in. Pacifica is the model for NPR and PBS. WPFW does not accept underwriting, and is not associated with a university. WPFW exists through your generosity. We Are Because You Are. If you rely upon WFPW, WPFW relies upon you to ensure our ability to bring you radio you love. Please call 202-588-9739 or visit us on-line at www.wpfw.org to make your contribution today!

Washington DC, listener supported community radio station dedicated to Jazz and Justice streaming live.
WPFWFM.ORG
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Video: WPFW Askia on the nature of public radio and Democracy Now clip of history

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Nice clip at 7:47   1:01:32  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXeQhe6aX_M&index=2&list=PLE3u-VfgG8cW7BLX9qP-iq6I3NTY0uKz2

Askia Muhammad says that there is a focus around activists, and another around radio professionals. Each tries to pull in their own direction.  If activists control, the only people who can afford to work have trust funds.  If broadcast professionals, then those who don’t pronounce words “perfectly” (in their estimation) may be let go. This tension remains, but it works itself out for the best.

Radio will never be obsolete, wherever you go, radio gives you the local story. How often do you listen to your ipod?  It’s old news.

A programmer said it’s the volunteers who stay but the paid management and others keep leaving.