When: Jun 17, 2023 03:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
RUN FOR THE LSB
Consider to run as a Listener or Staff Delegate Candidate of your station, or work on a campaign to elect Delegate Candidates committed to the Pacifica mission-driven, democratic, transparent, and accountable platform, and join forces with us now at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Listeners and Staff of Pacifica:
PACIFICA IN JEOPARDY
With today’s wars, economic inequality, environmental devastation, and growing fascist threats, the need for independent uncensored, democratically governed, member-centered Pacifica has never been more essential but is also in great jeopardy.
The PNB Violates the Bylaws, Takes Away Members Powers, and Muzzles Dissent
PNB VIOLATES THE BYLAWS
On October 20, 2022, The Pacifica National Board (PNB) declared that it could not afford to pay for the network-wide Delegate/Local Station Board (LSB) elections scheduled for 2022, then the PNB proceeded to illegally vote to extend the 6 consecutive years terms limit.
The Bylaws state that “IN NO EVENT shall a person remain a Delegate more than 6 consecutive years without a 12-month reset.”
RUNNERS-UP RIGHTS VIOLATED
Between elections, the Bylaws mandate that the runners-up from the most recent election must be used to fill vacancies.
Article 4 Delegates, Sec.10: Filling Vacancies
NO COST TO REPLACE 6 YEARS TERM LIMITED PERSONS,
NO COST FOR LSBS TO ELECT PNB DIRECTORS
Why would the PNB majority violate the normal Delegate replacement process?
Article 5, Board of Directors of the Foundation, Sec.3: Nomination and Election of Station Representative Directors
SELF-ELECTING ? ! WHAT NEXT ? !
If they are allowed to get away with postponing elections, extending their own terms, and blocking runners-up, which other members’ rights will they “suspend” next?
Did you know that Pacifica’s communication policy means you have a right to useful information–not just solicitations–from and exchanges with the board and management?
PNB OBSTRUCTION OF COMMUNICATIONS TO THE MEMBERSHIP
Pacifica Fightback was denied permission to access the 45,000 membership list via a third-party mailing house, a method provided for communications, but the PNB’s hired lawyer Arthur Schwartz refused access to the list because there are some Pacifica Fightback members who are plaintiffs suing Pacifica for an injunction on the PNB to adhere to the extension limitations in the bylaws, replace termed out members with runners-up, conduct new LSB elections for PNB directors and declare null and void decisions on the sale of the building housing the KPFK station and the Pacifica Radio Archives. The plaintiffs are only asking for a court-ordered governance remedy. The Members have the right to know what is happening!
Did you know that members have a right to vote on sale or transfer of our broadcast licenses? Selling WBAI’s frequency or a signal swap is on the table, again.
Did you know that members have a right to vote on the disposition of substantially all assets?
PNB DECIDED TO SELL KPFK PROPERTY, ANNOUNCING THE SALE IN MARCH
The PNB is in the process of selling the most valuable physical asset–the Los Angeles 14,374 sq ft home of KPFK and also home of the Pacifica Radio Archives with 50,000 celluloid tapes which have yet to be digitized and require a temperature-controlled room. Station Engineers asked in the Mar 11, 2023 Technology Taskforce meeting, WHY WAS A CONTINGENCY PLAN NOT DONE?
This could be a fatal blow to KPFK, just as audience and fundraising are ticking upward.
KPFK LSB FOLLOWS THE BYLAWS
At KPFK in Los Angeles, the Local Station Board (LSB) Delegates decided to replace their 6-yrs termed out Delegates with runners-up from the 2021 election.
PNB RETALIATES AGAINST THE KPFK LSB
The PNB has launched a fierce assault on KPFK LSB by refusing to recognize the local election of officers, removing the KPFK LSB Chair and a KPFK LSB member, and suspending the Secretary, the Treasurer, and another KPFK LSB member, without due process, canceling notices of all KPFK LSB committee meetings on the Foundation calendar, blocking the required posting of further meetings at kpftx.org, refusing to seat the new PNB Directors elected by KPFK Delegates, and declaring all KPFK LSB actions since the seating of the newly constituted board on Dec 18, 2022 to be null and void”.
On March 16, 2023, the PNB voted to instruct the Executive Director to instruct the KPFK interim General Manager to remove from the KPFK airwaves, a KPFK Programmer who is a plaintiff in a lawsuit for an injunction on the PNB to follow the Bylaws. In addition, the programmers were not to mention this lawsuit on the air.
Yes, the PNB is furiously punishing KPFK Delegates for insisting the Bylaws be obeyed!
I. Get Informed: Visit and bookmark: https://pacificafightback.org and http://kpfknot4sale.org
Tell the PNB to do the right thing and follow the Bylaws:
• REPLACE the 6-year termed-out delegates network-wide with runners-up and initiate NEW PNB Directors elections immediately
• STOP the sale of the KPFK & Pacifica Radio Archives building
• END talk of selling or swapping our frequencies and reducing our reach
Email PNB@pacifica.org and cc: email@example.com.
II. Support KPFK with contributions: https://kpfk.wedid.it
III. Insist that your station’s Delegates / LSB obey the bylaws.
CC your email to Pacifica Fight Back: PacificaFightBack@gmail.com /
Join us at our VIRTUAL NATIONAL TOWN HALL:
What Next, Pacifica?
Sat. June 17, 3pm PT / 5pm CT / 6pm ET.
After you register you will receive a link by email.
RUN for LSB:
If you want to run to become a Delegate at your station, or work on a campaign for delegates committed to reviving a free-speech, mission-driven, democratic, transparent and accountable Pacifica, get in touch with us now at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Create or renew your membership at your local station (minimum $25 annually), and if possible, show KPFK some extra love. Let’s keep the biggest signal west of the Mississippi speaking out for peace and social and economic justice!
This article and website do not speak for and are not the product of or affiliated with Pacifica Foundation Inc or any of its radio stations or governance or advisory bodies, and express the opinions only of its authors.
WHY ACT NOW?
Who Watches the PNB?
What’s at Stake: Protectors, Safety Net, New Day (or KPFA’s hidden role)
Why is the PNB deciding to go up against KPFK?
WHY ACT NOW?
Pacifica’s mission and programming:
Pacifica’s Mission and presence are embedded in the fabric of the political, cultural, and social movements that have emerged in the US and in the world, and Pacifica has been central to the radical voices, cultural expressions, and awakening of each generation.
Pacifica programming has always been at the forefront, and the Pacifica Radio Archives is proof of confronting the mainstream narrative with hard-hitting investigative journalism, defying the censors, defending free speech, and elevating the voices of the most vulnerable in the everyday struggle for justice, freedom, and dignity. While the mainstream media was still denying climate change, Pacifica was and is on the frontlines covering climate change, the displacement of black and brown communities by disaster capitalism and the corporate takeover of indigenous land.
Most Pacifica programmers are unpaid staff. Many of its journalists in fact raise their own funds to travel to cover important issues.
Where else in the US media can we find reports about USA political prisoners such as Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal, or coverage about Presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis’ involvement in the torture of Guantanamo detainees?
Where else can listeners hear about the emerging union movement, systemic racism or about the struggle of Palestinians against USA-funded Israeli apartheid?
Where else can we learn about Julian Assange and Wikileaks and USA covert and overt surveillance of activists? Or about the US attack against the environmental justice movement or the privatization of the most essential of resources, water?
Where else can listeners feel included in the struggle for universal health care, get alternative perspectives regarding pandemics, know about the U.S. war, torture and theft of industry in other countries, be alerted to the dangers of GMO food and the pharmaceutical and hospital industry?
Unfortunately, there are too many examples of troubling developments in the programming as well as governance that seem to skirt or openly contradict Pacifica’s educational mission. (4)
The PNB has given carte-blanche to changes in programming by using for-profit radio market-driven standards instead of one more aligned with Pacifica’s mission: a listener activist and volunteer driven model.
The reinvigorated KPFK, on the other hand, is following Pacifica’s mission by actively engaging its listenership and providing more locally driven programming and highlighting voices that are normally silenced. (5)
Pacifica is the only US-based non-commercial terrestrial radio network free from corporate control after the passage of Bill Clinton’s Telecommunications Act of 1996 furthered the concentration of media ownership into the hands of media conglomerates.
We need to defend and enforce Pacifica’s Bylaws, which include respectful and collaborative processes for program evaluations and changes.
Democracy matters on all sides of the microphone for listeners and staff, and we will not return to a self-perpetuating Pacifica National Board.
Please speak up and contact the PNB and your Local Station Boards and CC PacificaFightBack@gmail.com
Who Watches the PNB?
This 6-year limit is meant to keep people from becoming perpetual incumbents and encourages good leadership skills by stepping back and maintaining institutional knowledge at the same time. It has been in place since the adoption of the democratic bylaws, and was strengthened in an amendment adopted a few years ago. The limit is expressly on individuals, no matter when or how they joined a Local Station Board, even if they change status from listener to staff membership, or change what station they are affiliated with, and which LSB they serve on.
Pacifica’s democratic governance structure via its present Bylaws has been upheld in the last two Bylaws amendment referendum votes.
The Single Transferable Vote (STV) system under which elections in Pacifica are held has a ready list of runners-ups to fill those vacated seats. (See How Pacifica’s Elections Work and History and State of the Elections here. (6,7,8)
The Single Transferable Vote allows people who are not in the majority to have proportional representation. The 6-year term-limit allows for all of the voices of the membership to be heard and to participate in the governance of Pacifica.
See the Appendix for the list of termed out delegates. (9) (* some of the termed-out delegates are willing to leave voluntarily but only when all the other termed-out delegates from their LSB also leave.)
Pacifica can only survive if it stays independent and it maintains its democratic governance structure.
What’s at Stake: Protectors, Safety Net, New Day
(or KPFA’s hidden role)
Entities calling themselves variously “New Day”/”Pacifica Safety Net”/”KPFA Protectors” have tried to amend the bylaws to impose self designated and perpetual boards on Pacifica but lost twice in two referendums and more than four times in the courts. They are instigating a serious governance crisis at Pacifica by attempting to set a dangerous precedent: pushing the PNB to do an end run around the by-laws. (10, 11)
Those Bylaws amendments that were voted down would have reduced the representation of both listeners and staff significantly and the last version would’ve created a new third class of members, the unpaid staff, thereby privileging a few paid staff, mainly at KPFA over the hundreds of unpaid programmers and producers who provide most of the content at most stations. (12)
The PNB which voted to extend their own terms also committed a serious conflict of interest violation.
When has it become acceptable for members of the PNB to present, motivate and vote for motions that would extend their own terms? To disregard the runners-up that were duly voted on by the listeners/staff at the last election in 2021? To then vote to suspend members of KPFK who decided to follow the bylaws? And to disenfranchise KPFK LSB and listeners during a time when the building that houses KPFK and Pacifica Radio Archives is earmarked to be sold?
New Day campaigned for these self-perpetuating boards launching disinformation campaigns erroneously claiming that they had won.
In fact, Pacifica Safety Net has been hounding Pacifica with lawsuit after lawsuit (to force those Bylaw’s amendments through) and has been petitioning the courts to force Pacifica into receivership. Even though most of these lawsuits have been dismissed, the legal costs drain Pacifica’s resources and threaten Pacifica with bankruptcy. This becomes even more harmful when the money used to defend itself from these lawsuits could have been used for elections in the first place.
Whether called New Day Pacifica, Pacifica Safety Net, or the KPFA Protectors, these entities have members who are delegates in LSBs, some paid program hosts on the radio and have mounted well-funded disinformation campaigns. They have sent letters to listeners and staff; have broadcast misinformation via on-air Pacifica bashing and written articles in social media red-baiting their opposition with terminology and tactics reminiscent of the Joseph McCarthy era. They have even censured LSB members for writing articles to respond to these attacks (13, 14)
They have been actively trying to expel or censure members of the boards via sham trials while cynically claiming victimhood and creating distrust among the listenership towards Pacifica. These entities have been able to bully the PNB with threats of lawsuits and have claimed super majorities in some of the radio station Local Station Boards (LSBs), such as in KPFA and KPFT (Houston).
Pacifica’s five-station network is in serious financial difficulties due to many overlapping factors but New Day Pacifica/Pacifica Safety Net and KPFA Protectors claimed that a sister station, WBAI, was a “drain” on Pacifica. This led to an illegal shut down of WBAI in October 2019 without PNB approval, by the then newly hired interim Executive Director, John Vernile. He was subsequently removed and replaced. The station was reopened one month later via judicial injunction. (15)
What is KPFA’s role in all of this?
KPFA’s role in effectively trying to break apart a 70+ year old independent and progressive media institution is not well known:
The staff at WBAI was illegally fired and locked out. KPFA essentially became a scab station, airing non-local and irrelevant content into WBAI.
KPFA sent $80,000 of donor funds to pay the legal fees for those who illegally shut down WBAI. John Vernile later sued for defamation for on-air statements made by WBAI program hosts.
Then, New Day/KPFA Protectors such as previous LSB member, Sabrina Jacobs, current KPFA LSB Treasurer Sharon Adams and previous GM, testified voluntarily against Pacifica. The lawsuit resulted in a $305,000 judgment against Pacifica, which ultimately came out of funds held at KPFA. Now these same members are cynically denouncing Pacifica for taking away “their” money.
In the meantime, KPFA LSB member and President of Pacifica Safety Net, Sherry Gendelman, had filed a Petition to the Federal Communications Commission to deny WBAI its broadcast license, which could result in over $20 million loss of a Pacifica asset and a major loss to the New York City working class and communities of color that it serves.
The current Secretary of the KPFA LSB, Carole Wolfley even sent a letter to the FCC supporting that petition.
The KPFA LSB “Protector” super majority passed a resolution supporting this Petition to deny. (16, 17, 18,19)
The KPFA Local Station Board, its officers and supermajority “Protectors” have been openly ignoring PNB decisions and the Bylaws for a while now. Their “governance” has meant censure, expulsion, exclusion and muting of LSB members who don’t agree with their actions; excluding PNB directors from executive sessions; refusing to evaluate the GM for 7 years, rubberstamping management decisions to cut valuable programs like the First Voice Apprenticeship program and not fulfilling the oversight role of a Local Station Board to ensure that the station is aligned with the Pacifica Mission. Many of its main players have been actively campaigning to break apart Pacifica as in its most recent “KPFA Management Team” letter sent to the listeners on January 6th which escalated its disinformation campaign. Here’s the letter, full of falsehoods. Pacifica is not the “fiscal sponsor” of KPFA. Pacifica is the FCC license holder, and KPFA, like all the stations, is simply a “DBA” (Doing Business As) name for the Pacifica Foundation Inc., the 501c3 non-profit that holds all the licenses and owns all the property:
From: KPFA Radio <email@example.com>
Date: January 6, 2023
Subject: An Important Message from KPFA Management
Reply-To: KPFA Radio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|Update about Pacifica’s Seizure of KPFA Funds. |
On November 23rd, 2022, Federal Marshals seized $305,000 from KPFA’s bank accounts as restitution for a defamation lawsuit awarded against the Pacifica Foundation – a comprehensive article on the trial and its judgment is available HERE. Because the Pacifica Foundation did not have the funds available to pay the fine, these funds were levied from KPFA’s accounts, depleting the station’s reserves and operating account.
During KPFA’s Holiday Fund Drive in December, many concerned listeners, donors and members of KPFA Radio reached out to KPFA to express their concern with this situation and to see if there was any possible recompense. Two specific questions were ever-present: Is there any way for KPFA to protect its bank accounts from the Pacifica Foundation and is there a manner by which KPFA can achieve independence from the Pacifica Foundation?
KPFA and Pacifica
The Pacifica Foundation is KPFA’s fiscal sponsor and is the holder of the tax identification number. Along with four other stations, KPFA is part of the Pacifica Network and as such, is held as one branch of its tree. To use another metaphor, it’s as if Pacifica were a large corporation – let’s say Microsoft or Patagonia – and KPFA was its marketing department. Patagonia has 100% operational control of its various departments, including the allocation of funds, and all aspects of departmental management are within its purview. If Patagonia chooses to make changes to staff or to reallocate funding to other departments, the marketing department would have no legal standing to fight those decisions. KPFA has no true autonomy from the Pacifica Foundation under the current bylaws and Articles of incorporation and as such, Pacifica has control over KPFA funds; KPFA is, for all intents and purposes, the Pacifica Foundation.
Donations made to KPFA Radio are essentially donations given to the Pacifica Foundation, doing business as KPFA Radio or to the Pacifica Foundation for the benefit of KPFA Radio. – There is no way to effectively restrict KPFA funds from the grasp of Pacifica because of the way the governance system is structured.
Currently each of the stations has equal representation on the national board regardless of revenue or membership. At this time, the Pacifica Executive Director, CFO, General Counsel and Pacifica National Board make major decisions about how KPFA funds and assets are used. For KPFA to become separate from Pacifica within the network there would need to be changes in the Pacifica Bylaws (viewable HERE), The bylaws were voted on by the members, and the members would have to agree to financial and/or governance autonomy for KPFA.You do have a voice!
As a member of KPFA (having made at least $25 in donations during a calendar year or by volunteering 3 hours or more) we encourage you to share your concerns and proposals about the station and network’s finances, governance and programming. You can write to the Chair of the KPFA Local Station Board, Christina Huggins HERE. You can attend Local Station Board zoom meetings and sign up to make a public comment to the whole board. You are welcome to sign up to make a public comment at 1:55 PM. at the upcoming KPFA Local Station Board Zoom meeting on January 21, 2023. For information and the link for the meeting, please contact the KPFA LSB Secretary, Carol Wolfley HERE. Please know that staff and management at KPFA Radio are doing everything within our power to continue going forward in a positive direction, to uphold our mission and to remain vigilant as always! Your support is paramount in this endeavor. We respect and appreciate your feedback and concerns greatly and we thank you from the bottom of our collective heart for your generous support and care during this challenging time.
Thank you ~
The KPFA Management TeamCopyright © 2023 KPFA Radio, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.
Our mailing address is:
KPFA Radio, 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-1037
Why is the PNB deciding to come down hard on KPFK?
Pacifica is in a dire financial situation and listenership is down in most terrestrial media markets with the advent of podcasts and streaming technology. Throughout its 70-year history, different stations have been able to fundraise more at different times. The stations were able to survive because they were not alone, they are part of the larger Pacifica network. Two decades ago, WBAI got strapped with a very unfavorable loan to be able to keep transmitting. This loan was so burdensome that even all five of the stations combined would not have been able to pay its monthly obligations.
KPFA is holding the purse strings currently.
Instead of supporting sister stations, KPFA Protectors and New Day have been attacking them and trying to shut them down. KPFA LSB keeps attacking Pacifica for its “fiscal irresponsibility” and has been touting its own exceptional ability to raise funds in the Silicon Valley and Democratic Party controlled Bay Area. Donors are anonymous and KPFA Protectors and New Day candidates for LSB have had access to member email lists and apparently deep pockets to send out email after email to disparage Pacifica Foundation at every opportunity and at KPFA LSB meetings; all the while cynically KPFA claims itself to be a “progressive” station that represents the interests of the communities that it serves.
KPFA’s non-profit status belongs to Pacifica Foundation, not KPFA and any talk of “autonomy” by Protectors is tantamount to stealing from a nationwide radio network on which millions of working class and communities of color rely.
The threats of continuous lawsuits by New Day/Pacifica Safety Net/KPFA Protectors have weakened the PNB into making decisions that have allowed stations to reduce or eliminate programming that address racism in black and brown communities as well as labor programming during the most dangerous global pandemic for working people.
Pacifica is warning that the financial crisis will mean laying off a significant number of employees. While layoffs are indeed troubling, Pacifica’s “business” model cannot be driven by “market forces”. It should keep listeners and staff at its center with a democratic governance that assures broad and transparent participation from the communities it serves. Listener sponsored means true accountability to the working class, grassroots and frontline communities.
https://www.kpftx.org/archives/pnb/221020/221020_8138_minutes.pdf 10/20/22 PNB motion that passed.
In the event that Bylaws mandated 2022 Delegate Elections do not occur, ensure that as Local Station Board Delegates end their terms in December of 2022, vacant Delegate seats will be extended for those terming out and will not be filled by those runners-up in a past election. And further ensure that the 2023 Local Station Boards will elect PNB Directors in January of 2023 and these new Directors will be on the boards for part or all of the year 2023 depending on when new elections are held.
(hear the vote on KPFTX.org)
(2) Art. Four, Delegates, Sec. 8: Terms of Office; Term Limits. The By-laws rule regarding 6 year term limits.
(3)Member rights re sale of assets: https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art3sec5.html
(4) Case in point: The (paid) KPFA News department has become more like National Public Radio and some program hosts bring in guests with pro-war stances or that repeat narratives from the USA “intelligence community”. The same “intelligence community” that has carried out overt/covert interventions throughout the world and Cointel-Pro attacks against activists and leaders of our movements and kept so many of them imprisoned to this day.
Spanish language programming and programming that addresses systemic racism has all but been eliminated from KPFT (Houston). https://blackagendareport.com/we-love-cia-or-how-left-lost-its-mind
(6) Present By Laws (hyperlinked) https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/index.html
(7) Single Transferable Vote—How it works
How Pacifica’s Elections Work
A Delegate is elected for a 3-year period. Listeners and Staff are in different member classes and vote separately for representatives and on any ballot measure where they are affected differently.
The position is unpaid and voluntary. Elections are staggered so that all terms do not expire at once. A board term is distinct from a personal term limit which requires a break of 12 months after 6 years.
People leave the boards due to personal term limits, resignation, death, or removal.
The use of Single Transferable Voting (STV), a form of Ranked Choice Voting, creates a list that is used to fill seats each December with top vote-getters and to serve as a runner-ups list between elections.
The History and State of the Elections
The elections in late 2021 were for seats running from December 2021 to December 2024. The other half of the board seats would’ve been filled in December 2022, except that the 2022 elections were postponed because of a lack of funds. When elections are held in 2023, delegates will have 2-year terms, instead of regular 3-year terms so that the regular election cycle can be resumed.
Twice since these Bylaws were adopted in 2003, network-wide elections have been delayed for fiscal reasons and delegates have “stayed-over” on their local boards. A few times at various stations, as provided for in the Bylaws, when lack of quorum (voter participation) meant an election could not be certified, LSB members were allowed to remain in place until the following election as long as their individual board time did not exceed 6 continuous years.
How vacancies are filled: https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art4sec10.html
LSB Size is 24:
I. TERMED-OFF PERSONS
Pacifica Foundation Network Wide Delegates Termed out 12-31-22, after serving the 6 years (2 term, each 3 Yrs).
Delegates can serve up to 6 years consecutively. Total 16 Delegates network wide expiration :
KPFT Staff Wally James-Staff
KPFT Vaniecia Williams-Listener
KPFT Staff Mike Lewis Expired 2 years ago. Seated March 11, 2015, 1st as Listener and later as Staff, expired Feb 2021.
WBAI-New York City :
WBAI Sharonne Salaam-Listener
WBAI James Sagurton-Listener
WPFW Julie Hewitt- Listener (present Chair of the PNB)
WPFW Eileen Rosin-Listener, Expired May 2022
KPFA Christina Huggins
KPFA Akio Tanaka (PNB Director)
KPFA Andrea Turner
KPFA Carol Wolfley
KPFA Staff Chris Cory,
KPFA Tom Voorhees* (He is willing to voluntarily leave as soon as the other termed out members on the same LSB leave).
KPFK Staff Ali Lexa
KPFK Barbara Marbach
KPFK Sandy Childs
(11) Pacifica Safety Net Lawsuit Dismissed
(12) 31 Things About the New Bylaws Proposal | Pacifica In Exile
(13) paid on-air host Ian Masters misinformation: https://pacificainexile.org/archives/9946#more-9946
(17) (17) https://pacificainexile.org/?s=WBAI