After an extensive investigation, the majority of the KPFA Local Station Board announce their endorsement of the proposed Pacifica Bylaws Amendment. We urge all KPFA listener and staff members to vote YES on the amendment: Christina Huggins, Carol Wolfley, Sharon Adams, Susan da Silva, Andrea Turner, Aki Tanaka, Philip Maldari, Tim Lynch, Darlene Pagano, Shirah Dedman, Don Goldmacher, Ahmad Anderson, and Mark Van Landuyt
We are concerned that the Pacifica network and KPFA are threatened by mismanagement by the Pacifica National Board, which is controlled by multi-millionaires and their allies who undermine democratic processes to maintain control. The network governance system is way too large with the majority of directors and board members having little experience in broadcasting, media, or finances, and with most PNB directors coming from small stations with lower listenership.
Those who control Pacifica’s decision-making have recently authorized the PNB to have direct access to KPFA’s bank accounts. It seems likely that the PNB will use this access in ways that are detrimental to KPFA, and to pay off WBAI’s debts. KPFA’s internationally recognized staff face lay-offs once KPFA’s accounts are depleted.
PNB dysfunction put KPFA’s building at risk for auction for unpaid taxes because Pacifica officers failed to take action to clean up the paperwork to protect KPFA’s charitable trust tax exemption after two corporate name changes. Now finally the network appears to be taking action to resolve that problem with the help of KPFA management.
KPFA has the only fully functioning news department in the network and is the most technologically advanced station with the highest membership and listener support. PNB allies publicly attack KPFA’s diverse award winning management, staff, and quality programming addressing accelerating political chaos, environmental emergency, and social justice issues. A handful of PNB directors and self serving producers from Pacifica stations WBAI and KPFK want to shift broadcasting away from Pacifica’s historic progressive mission to become a high priced vitamin and beauty product shopping premium network as has been done at their own financially unstable stations. There are also efforts that threaten the network’s non-commercial status with proposals for broadcasting professional football and commercial underwriting.
When WBAI failed to pay its transmitter rental fees resulting in a judgment against them, PNB directors orchestrated two loans borrowing $3.7 million without a workable repayment plan. They are using KPFA’s, KPFK’s and KPFT’s buildings as collateral for the loan. They fired Executive Director John Vernile who was in the process of addressing urgently needed programming changes and accounting irregularities at WBAI, and was attempting to stop the on-going $30,000/month operating deficit at WBAI. Vernile was also working on national news and climate emergency coverage for all Pacifica stations.
After a careful review of recent court and financial documents and actions of the Pacifica National Board, the majority of KPFA LSB members are mobilizing to support KPFA’s amazing management and staff. We want to let the listeners know about the urgently needed bylaws amendment that will create a smaller functional Board of Directors with progressive at-large directors and representatives from each station. Local station board members will transition to Community Advisory Boards working on outreach efforts across the signal range and there is a proposal for staff to be represented by a national programming director.
Information about the bylaws amendment is available at rethinkingpacifica.org
Here are some recent articles on the current challenges facing Pacifica and KPFA:
Berkeley-based KPFA radio station building scheduled for auction because of unpaid taxes (Daily Cal)
Crisis at Pacifica, KPFK (Los Angeles Times)
KPFA’s building set to be auctioned off for non-payment of taxes (Berkeleyside)
Can KPFK find its way? (Spark News)
Please look for your ballot from the Pacifica Foundation sent February 18 and vote YES in support of the Pacifica Bylaws Amendments.
The “ballots” for the bylaws amendment petition were sent to most Pacifica’s members on Feb 18, 2020. Ballots must be received before 11:59PM EST on March 19th in order to be counted. All members who donated a minimum of $25 or who volunteered a minimum of 3 hours between Jan. 03, 2019 and Jan. 02, 2020 are eligible to vote.
If you did not receive a ballot, you can fill out a request form at this link:
Please make sure to check your SPAM folder and safe-list firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
If you need more help you are welcome to write to PacificaRestructuring@gmail.com