A video presentation based on the Spanish-language programmers at KPFK and a flyer from WBAI
“Do Not Change The Bylaws”
Danny Glover To Pacifica Supporters & Members : “Do Not Change The Bylaws”
Renowned actor and Pacifica supporter Danny Glover urged the members of Pacifica not to change the bylaws to eliminate representation of the staff, paid and unpaid on the Pacifica board. This move toward corporatization would lead to an NPR operation with appointed boards of directors and eliminate the democratic governance in part by the workers who produce programming at Pacifica.
Production of Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org
Wanted, More Dead Than Alive: PACIFICA
A Message from the President:
if you think
Pacifica must CHANGE!
Who do you want to control Pacifica microphones?
A “democratic,” mixed mob of “diverse” LOSERS and “grassroots” RABBLE that come out of the prison justice, immigrant rights, LGBT, labor, Black Lives Matter*, women’s, environmental, Indigenous and anti-Capitalist movements? (Here… listen to this mob. They can’t even speak proper English!)
A small, elite group of clean-cut, self-selecting, rational professionals who aren’t afraid to cut local boards, slash voting rights, jobs, sell stations–WHATEVER IT TAKES to balance the checkbook!
Vote “YES” to build an impenetrable
Guaranteed to keep the rabble off the air & off Pacifica’s National Board!
And make the world a BETTER PLACE!
And don’t go to this website:
It’s bad. Very bad.
*If you look closely at the banner of our Restealing Pacifica website, you’ll see we FLIPPED the photo of a Black Lives Matter placard, so it reads BACKWARDS! Pretty cool, eh?–
An Open Letter to Fellow Pacifica Listeners & Paid/Unpaid Staff
by Fernando Velazquez, host of Informativo Pacifica and former News Director of KPFK
Dear fellow Pacifica listener-sponsors and staff,
The Pacifica Foundation will be sending you a card or ballot asking you to vote for or against an initiative to reform the current bylaws.
Said initiative is being promoted by a small group of people pushing for a more corporate model for the network.
The main thrust of their argument is an alleged dysfunctionality at Pacifica caused by the National Board of Directors, elected by the five Local Station Boards, chosen in a secret vote by listener-sponsors and staff.
They don’t tell you that the never-ending fund drives, the shopping-channel-style programming, failure to deliver premiums, and irrelevant shows are local management decisions, and not impositions by the boards.
The “reformers” argue that new bylaws and a new National Board of Directors will translate into more professionalism and more successful radio stations.
Keep in mind that back in 2004, the Air America network was launched with “a more professional staff”, beset by a raft of off-air problems: a charity-loan scandal, contract disputes with affiliates and employees, continual changes in ownership and management, and a 2006 bankruptcy.
And a few years earlier, the Central Intelligence Agency promoted around the world and here at home the so-called “Healthy Station Project,” a model that sought more government and private sector funding and less community and activist input for non-commercial radio stations.
Back then, the Pacifica Foundation fell into that magic spell, becoming a battlefield, and facing four law suits and seven years of internal strife that left the network with over five million dollars in debt.
The current initiative for “bylaws reform,” if approved, would destroy whatever little internal democracy and transparency there is, leaving its staff, both paid and volunteers, as well as its listener-sponsors stripped of their rights to influence policies, such as class and race considerations in programming.
Just say NO to the proposed plan for “bylaws reform” and let’s come together in a broad national coalition to save the Pacifica Foundation for a true participatory democracy.
Pacifica Radio currently faces dwindling numbers in its listenership and among its key local leadership in some of its radio stations is evading their responsibility, practicing the blame game instead of revisiting the already obsolete reading of the marketplace, it’s trying to apply a quick fix with the proposed bylaw reform initiative.
There is no serious discussion or debate about the fact that all radio stations in the country have suffered major losses. Some have lost their listeners to the Internet (both computers and cell phones), yet others rely on underwriting and some form of direct corporate funding.
Pacifica Radio continues to apply what many argue is what has worked for the last two decades, so why change it? Long fund drives, repetitive pitches, some even five or ten years old, failure to deliver premiums on time, unresponsive staff to answer the phones when people are calling, insulting listeners by sending their pledge calls to some far away call-center land where they will be placed on hold for ever and disrespecting a great number of their listeners by removing their favorite shows without a warning, without an apology, or an explanation.
Although most these decisions are made at the local administrative paid staff level, their answers always point to some misguided, confused, dysfunctional local or national board of directors.
Now, a former KPFA producer now turned into a judge, while still being friends with the Berkeley station, is helping the Berkeley based bylaw initiative to move forward in a move to undemocratize the network using the same arguments used by the CIA to promote the so called healthy station project throughout the third world since the 80s.
The arguments call for “real professionals” throughout the network, completely ignoring the fact that Air America and other failed experiments in US media were run by professionals!
One could argue that progressive media outlets could come together in a collaborative enterprise to strengthen each other not in a permanent marriage but rather in individual projects. Say… the party convention before the elections. Say.. the Women’s March… the political economy of immigration? The pros and cons of climate change, etcetera.
Instead, the Berkeley based initiative calls for less democracy, less transparency, less horizontalism, and more corporatism almost identical to the one adopted by the democratic party in 1994.
The so called professionals in radio are calling for the elimination of all five local station boards of directors, the destruction of the national board of directors and its replacement with a corporate model board and a CEO whom they insist on calling executive director.
They also call for one national director per station and for the appointment of six of their friends and political allies with no input from the listener subscribers or the workers!
In short, the abolition of what little democracy there was still since the early 2000s.
This is a good moment to ask ourselves, what is Pacifica radio and what is it good for? Is it a social club? Educators and revolutionaries? An extension of the ruling class? An arm of the military industrial complex? ….or a university for all?
Given the state of the world, intoxicated, contaminated, suffering terminal desease of press-titutes and public officials for sale, approved even by the Supreme Court of the nation, one may think and rightly so, this is the moment to locate the media players on the world scene and reach out to some of them with the willingness to engage in mutual assistance in terms of using their reporters, their researchers, their talents and offer them ours.
This is the time to draw a geopolitical map of the US, locate the oligarchs, the power groups, the ethnic groups, peoples’ needs and current trends in public opinion to design relevant radio programming for the nation.
This is the time for all the Pacifica stations and their allies and the radio affiliates to pitch in for a series of national productions designed to diagnose the problems, consult with local communities and present solutions moving away from the top down pyramid oriented leadership towards a circular and horizontal model of media.
MORE REASONS TO VOTE “NO!”
As a member of KPFK, you’ll be receiving a ballot (probably by email) soon – the middle of February
Vote ‘NO’ on the Pacifica Bylaws Amendment Referendum!
(text in italics is from the proposed Bylaws which can be viewed at https://pacifica.org/)
The proposed Bylaws Amendments would:
Make it easier to sell a building and even a radio license – possibly to sell KPFK!
Article 4, Section 3. QUORUM FOR ACTION BY VOTE A quorum for any action by membership vote shall be 5% of the members, or 5% of the members associated with that station. (The quorum in the current Bylaws is 10%. The Bylaws being proposed make it much easier to sell a major asset of Pacifica such as a building or to sell or swap a radio station license because the voting threshold is much lower.)
Remove the entire Pacifica National Board that was democratically elected by our Local Station Boards.
Article 15… The terms of the previous Board of Directors shall expire on that date. (When the Transition Board consisting of the 6 appointed At-Large Directors is seated.)
Eliminate the local boards that were democratically elected by listeners and staff.
ARTICLE X… Upon adoption of these Bylaws the Local Station Boards authorized under the previous Bylaws shall be terminated…
Give majority control of the National Board to appointed people.
ARTICLE VI. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Section 1. NUMBER OF DIRECTORS There shall be Eleven (11) Directors, including five (5) Station-Representative Directors and six (6) At-Large Directors.
Give greater power and control to At-Large (appointed) Directors because Directors elected by station members cannot be either the Chair of the Board or the Treasurer.
ARTICLE VIII. OFFICERS… The Chair and the Treasurer are required to be At-Large Directors.
Eliminate staff representation completely on the National Board.
ARTICLE V… No staff member, as defined in Article III, Section 1.B, above, nor any station or Foundation employee, nor any person who hosts or helps to produce a program regularly aired on any Pacifica radio station shall be eligible for service on the Foundation Board of Directors as an At-Large or Station Representative Director.
Eliminate representation from our Affiliate Network on the National Board.
Make it easier for outsiders and corporations to influence our programming.
Open the door to corporate sponsorship.
Open the door to censorship and a push for more ‘moderate’ political programming.
Make the Bylaws easier to amend, opening the door to breaking up Pacifica, selling assets more quickly, etc.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS The Board of Directors may amend these Bylaws by a 2/3rds majority vote of all the Directors at a regular or special meeting, provided however that written notice setting forth the amendment or summary of the changes to be effected thereby shall be given to each director and shall be posted on the Foundation website and each Pacifica radio station website at least thirty (30) days prior to the vote.
FROM RICHARD UZELL, KPFT (Houston TX)
My Opening Comment for the Proposed Bylaws Vote.
Now, it time for a crushing NO vote by our Membership !!
I will be voting NO!!
I’m Voting Against the Proposed (and I would even say Alien) Bylaws!
I think that proposing an Organizational Model (which is what Bylaws Do), that would clearly all but abolish member input, while forcefully Corporatizing Pacifica is a total game changer!! Rather than making Pacifica more Open, Transparent and Inclusive like we need; they would loudly Slam the Door Shut on our Members !!
I have read and worked with our Bylaws for almost 20 years now. Yes, at times, they are awkward, cumbersome, and frustrating, but our Bylaws clearly show that the writers of those Bylaws wanted (and I agree) a more open and inclusive Pacifica organization, and dare I say it – a family.
The Proposed Corporatized Bylaws rather than merely shrinking the size of our Boards (which I could support); would pretty much abolish all public contact with Pacifica. A cold splash of ice water like that, would essentially drive the rest of the public away.
Sadly, the goal of some of the writers of the proposed Bylaws (I believe) is to smash our network apart and then to sell off stations. That’s what corporations Do!
It’s very common to hear people complain that our current Bylaws are the main problem and cause of all of Pacifica’s woes and miseries.
I STRONGLY DISAGREE !!!
I believe the more important shortcoming has been our lack of choices of talented, qualified management – and those great amounts of void time of choosing no one. This lack of leadership has been in place both with our Programming and our Accounting/ and Business Model !!
Although this gaping hole must be closed and a better business model enacted, Us becoming stiffly corporatized is not our right path – That would not be the Pacifican Way.
PLEASE VOTE NO !!
Thank you !!
Richard Uzzell, KPFT LSB Houston
PS: The KPFT LSB voted the Proposed Bylaws down last night – 14 NO to 3 YES
Statement from the KPFK LSB:
The KPFK LSB voted 21-3 last month against the proposed Bylaws revision and also passed a motion to urge members to vote no and explain the reasons why. At the LSB meeting on Sunday, February 16, the LSB passed the following motion:
The KPFK LSB urges members to vote no on the proposed Bylaws revision because it makes it easier to sell off assets, makes it more expensive to become a member in a discriminatory fashion against volunteers, gives 6 outsiders the power to change the bylaws further, prevents staff members from serving on the board, and eliminates Local Station Boards and their ability to provide local oversight to management and budget and local representation on national board committees. It does nothing to solve Pacifica’s financial problems, and actually wastes money while Pacifica is facing a financial crisis.