|Here is an excerpt of a letter from Pacifica Counsel Arthur Schwartz to New Day Pacifica (NDP) spokesperson Beth Kean:”As you know, you sent out an email to the Pacifica list stating that Jane Fonda had endorsed the New Day Bylaw changes. She contacted me and asked what this was about. She said that she had NEVER endorsed New Day’s proposals, didn’t know what New Day was, and wanted her name removed. Apparently she got an email asking her whether she wanted to ’save Pacifica’ and she replied ’yes.’That is some pretty high-profile dishonesty, which I have asked you to clarify to the Pacifica members.…”- Arthur Z. Schwartz, Pacifica General Counsel, May 29, 2021|
|Nobody enjoys a negative campaign. But if NDP is desperate enough to use a phony endorsement from someone as high-profile as Jane Fonda, what else are they lying about?|
|Maybe we don’t need “professionals” to take control. Maybe NDP is discounting Pacifica’s GREATEST ASSETS:Our thousand-strong corps of very diverse, grassroots unpaid staff whose labor allows Pacifica to broadcast VOICES OF DISSENT and MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES! Our COMMUNITY of 40,000+ members and hundreds of thousands of listeners who keep the stations responsive and support them financially. Maybe…Pacifica needs MORE democracy, not LESS! Pacifica needs MORE inclusion, not EXCLUSION!|
|This communication has not been paid for by the WBAI LSB or the Pacifica Foundation. It is a campaign communication distributed by or on behalf of Pacifica Fightback for Democracy. Otherwise, it has no affiliation with or endorsement by the WBAI LSB or the Pacifica Foundation. Please note that you are receiving this email because you are on the WBAI membership list.|
|NDP Bylaws Would Make Pacifica Top-Down|
What’s NDP’s answer to the money crunch Pacifica — like the 99% — is facing? Scrap democratic bylaws. Install four unelected NDP Officers to run Pacifica until 2024. Hire a high-paid exec and professionalize the network (with what money?).NDP’s board-shrinking bylaws would cut out diverse local voices — and thus suppress opposition. They would slash the voting power of unpaid programmers, making it easy for NDP to take over — or even sell — any of our precious stations. They can make “executive decisions” to fire local staff and replace them with the bland, one-size-fits-all Pacifica Across America (see what they did to WBAI in 2019 until defeated, below). Canned programming controlled by “media professionals” is the death of community radio, People’s radio.Mumia Abu-Jamal is a brilliant, unjustly imprisoned radical Black journalist. From his prison cell in Pennsylvania, he has studied Pacifica and warns of the dangers of top-down, centralized control. He strongly advises us to Vote NO.
|NDP’s “efficient” national board will put a small faction in complete control of Pacifica–and therefore, the fate of YOUR station. NDP’s community-excluding bylaws could signal the death of local democratic input into community radio.Sound far-fetched? Maybe you’ve heard this story:At Pacifica’s New York station, WBAI, on Oct. 7, 2019, a “professional” Pacifica exec showed up with guards, fired the entire staff and padlocked the door. WBAI became a repeater station, with shows piped in, eliminating local community-based programming. But a NY court granted a grassroots challenge and ruled this drastic action ILLEGAL. They overturned the disenfranchisement of’s board members by a minority faction. Yet this FLAGRANT violation of Pacifica bylaws has been SUPPORTED by 3 out of 4 of NDP’s pre-selected board officers (if their scheme passes)!Then some of them mounted last year’s effort to strip democracy from our governance through a network-wide referendum. But our members defeated them, 2 to 1. Now NDP has forced Vote #2 with — if passed — a new way to marginalize the DC and New York stations—the two with the largest Black audiences & staffs: EXCLUDE THEM from the 4 locked-in officer positions for three years!A “New Day?” Sounds like the “same ol’ same ol'” where someone who knows better than you wants to come into your neighborhood and “improve it.” (Gentrification, anyone?)NDP is asking YOU to help them suspend democracy for 3 YEARS as they “professionalize” the Management and Staff and marginalize under-represented communities!Don’t burn down democracy because “New Day” Naysayers are yelling “FIRE!”|
|LOOK at recent FINANCIAL STABILITY STEPS by the Pacifica National Board and/or our interim Executive Director Lydia Brazon (working voluntarily with no salary):SAVED $1.9 million in 2018 by negotiating down a huge debt on antenna rental.SET SOUND FINANCIAL POLICY to gradually pay off loan principal via bequest income.IMPROVED OUR FINANCIAL SITUATION AND RECORD KEEPING enough to win an 18-month extension on a loan to repay outstanding debts.SECURED $2.4 million in Federal pandemic stimulus funds.CAUGHT UP ON FAR-BEHIND AUDITS, paving the way to resume much-needed federal grants.FOILED an effort to force Pacifica into bankruptcy, which had been backed by some who are now behind NDP. Bankruptcy like would have led to selling some station signals.|
|And, what Pacifica is all about:|
|RESPONDED TO THE COVID CRISIS with our unique, national COVID Race and Democracy program, created with our Pacifica affiliates. Still on the air & archived online|
|NDP A Financial Disaster for Pacifica|
COMPARE THE MEASURABLE PROGRESS OF THE PNB with the BACKWARD STEPS of “NEW DAY” NAYSAYERS and their supporters in “Pacifica Safety Net” who:
COST PACIFICA A FORTUNE by shutting down WBAI in the middle of a fund drive seizing its bank accounts, and shutting down its fundraising website
COST PACIFICA ANOTHER FORTUNE by supporting two successive network-wide votes for undemocratic bylaws and expensive litigation to ram them through
OFFER NO FUNDRAISING PLANS…except mystery donors who will magically appear after New Day seizes power!
|Get Active… Meet other listeners & staff!|
SATURDAY • JUNE 5
2pm PT/ 4pm CT/ 5pm ET
Come to a
Pacifica Fight Back National Virtual Town Hall TEACH-IN
|Time: SAT. Jun 5, 2021 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada)Join Zoom Meeting:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89037964625?pwd=VjdVUjN6SUsvWTlLS1RxOWgrdjlWZz09|
Meeting ID: 890 3796 4625
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Mumia Abu-Jamal, Danny Glover, Cindy Sheehan, Leonard Peltier, Oscar López Rivera, Abby Martin & other leading anti-racist activists say, “Vote NO!”
ENDORSERS WBAI FIGHT BACK
COMPARE the REAL DEMOCRACY including Proportional Representation of Pacifica’s current bylaws
NDP’s “Winner-Take-All,” corporate-style
REAL DEMOCRACY & DIVERSITY vs. “NEW DAY” TOP DOWN CONTROL
Currently, ALL directors are elected.NO appointed Officers.No appointed Directors. (Current bylaws allow 1, but this option has not been used in 18 years)Fair Recall process.
Under New Day revision, FOR NEXT 3 YEARS (til 2024):
4 Top Officers of National board appointed by NDP—but WBAI & WPFW are excluded.
4 NDP Officers remain in powers with NO RECALL (or turnover) POSSIBLE.
A total of 7 out of 15 directors on National board are Appointed.
Local boards with oversight powers over station Management
Under New Day:
Local Boards stripped of all oversight powers. Complete control of local station by Top Down Management chosen by Executive Director, who is selected by National Board.
Local Boards elected by Proportional Representation = Minority & Under-represented Communities get a chance to serve.*See: FairVote
Under New Day, local representation shrinks from 4 to only 1 seat per station on National Board = LOSS of DIVERSITY
So-called “Direct election” actually = Majority wins EVERY seat.
Diverse Listeners elect 18 Listener reps to Local Board, LSB elects 3 Directors to the National Board (per station).
Under New Day”
Listeners elect 1 Director to National Board. It’s a Majority Rule election, so Minorities lose out.Note:
Currently, All “Staff” = producers, programmers & engineers, Paid and Unpaid, volunteer staff have equal rights. They elect 6 reps to Local Board, which then elects 1 Director representing Staff to National board (per station). TOTAL # of Directors elected to National board per station = 4 (3 Listener, 1 Staff)
Under New Day:
Staff is segregated into Paid and Unpaid, creating a new, THIRD CLASS of MEMBERS (Listeners, Paid Staff, and Unpaid Staff.)
Paid staff: A total of only about 100 elect 1 Director to National board (for all 5 stations). Now a THIRD CLASS, Unpaid volunteer staff LOSE voting power. In effect, each Unpaid staffer is treated as 1/10th of a person compared to Paid Staff. A total of about 1,000 Unpaid Staffers get only 1 seat on the National Board (for all 5 stations).
“Higher income” stations like KPFA with more paid staff members have the advantage over “low income” stations like WBAI with fewer paid staff.
Replacement of Local Board members is democratic: Next highest vote-getter is seated on Local Boards.
Under New Tay:
National Director replacements elected by Local Boards. Replacement of any Director is Centralized. They are APPOINTED by the National Board.
Pacifica Fightback for Democracy
PO Box 34236
Los Angeles, CA 90034