Who’s voting YES on the critical Pacifica bylaws change, and why

voteyes

Vote YES on new Pacifica bylaws to save our stations!

If you did not receive a ballot, you have until Thursday, March 19 to request a replacement here. Have you learned more and want to change your vote? You can have your ballot “reset” (once only) until March 19 for e-ballots. Fill out this form and explain in the last box that you want to change your vote. DEADLINE for receipt of all ballots (paper and email) is Thursday, March 19

LISTEN to this KPFA News story about the bylaws vote

 

Join these endorsers to vote YES for Pacifica’s future

Over a thousand listeners and staff are urging a YES vote on the Pacifica bylaws change, including Brian Edwards-Tiekert & Cat Brooks, co-hosts of KPFA’s Upfront | William (Bill) Fletcher, Jr., host of WBAI’s Arise! | Larry Bensky, former national Pacifica correspondent | Mitch Jeserich & Diana Martinez, KPFA’s Letters & Politics | Kris Welch, host of KPFA’s Living Room | Sonali Kolhatkhar, KPFK’s Rising Up with Sonali | Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, activist/author | Ian Masters, KPFK’s Background Briefing | Mimi Kennedy, actress/activist | Matthew Lasar, Pacifica historian, author of Pacifica Radio: The Rise of an Alternative Network | Sasha Lilley, KPFA’s Against the Grain | Roy Tuckman, host of KPFK’s Something’s Happening | Aileen Alfandary, KPFA News co-director | Peter Franck, past president, Pacifica Foundation (1980-1984) | Corinne Smith, KPFA’s Upfront | James & Coleen Nagel, KPFT’s Howlin the Blues | Philip Maldari, KPFA’s Sunday Show | Bonnie Simmons, KPFA music programmer | Mark Maxwell, host of KPFK’s RISE | Nuri Nuri, host of KPFT’s Blues Brunch | Carol Spooner, former PNB member (2002-2004) | Reyna Cowen, KPFA film interviewer | Richard Wolinsky, KPFA’s Bookwaves | Dwayne Bradley, KPFT staff | Don Goldmacher, film producer | Bob Baldock, KPFA staff, and many others | SEE ALL ENDORSERS and add your own name

The future of Pacifica depends on you

Pacifica’s five stations – KPFA, KPFK, WPFW, KPFT and WBAI – are a critical resource for progressives, but its dysfunctional national governance has brought the network close to financial collapse. The Pacifica National Board has mortgaged the buildings of KPFA, KPFK, KPFT and the historically significant Pacifica National Archives as loan collateral for $3.25 million in debts accrued by WBAI. The board does not have a plan to pay this loan off, which comes due in 2021. READ MORE on what the problems are and why we need new bylaws from Rethinking Pacifica.

Why should you vote YES on the bylaws change?

Brian Edwards-Tiekert, co-host of KPFA’s Upfront: “I served 10 years as a worker representative on boards for KPFA and Pacifica, and am 100% certain about one thing: the current byzantine, factionalized board structure is killing this organization. A YES vote represents a chance to pull Pacifica our of its nosedive.” READ BRIAN’s OPEN LETTER

William (Bill) Fletcher, Jr., writer/activist, host of WBAI’s Arise!: Pacifica is in a terminal crisis. Let’s face it truthfully and without the rhetoric…Pacifica needs a new business model if it is to survive and play its crucial role.”

Fourteen members of KPFA’s Local Station Board write open letter urging a YES vote VOTE YES: “We are concerned that the Pacifica network and KPFA are threatened by mismanagement by the Pacifica National Board” write 14 members of the local board. “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” after two corporate name changes.” It is time for change: READ THEIR OPEN LETTER

We, the members, are the guardians of KPFA and all Pacifica stations
“Our stations could be powerful and influential at a critical time,” writes RethinkingPacifica.org, the group of members who are proposing the changes, but “Pacifica is too dysfunctional to rise to the challenge.” A new board and bylaws can get the network back to health and back on track for the progressive community. Be aware there have been many false allegations from opponents (more here). VOTE YES!

YOUR BALLOT must be received by March 19 at 11:59 p.m. EST. If you didn’t get a ballot or misplaced it, request another ballot here. You can also change your vote by filling out the same form and noting that you want to change it in the form’s last field — your ballot can be “reset” only once. VOTE YES!

Please circulate and share this message broadly with your friends in all the listening areas: San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, DC and New York City. This is a nationwide-effort to get out the vote.

QUESTIONS? email us at votesavekpfa@gmail.com | visit us at savekpfa.org | join us at Facebook.com/SaveKPFA

KPFA’s Brian Edwards-Tiekert urges a YES vote on Pacifica bylaws

Hello friends who are KPFA / Pacifica members:

You should have just received ballots on a bylaws reform. I’m recommending a “YES” vote. [if you need a replacement ballot, request it here].

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO ME
I spent a total of 10 grueling years serving as an elected worker-representative on KPFA’s and Pacifica’s boards. Those years convinced me that any chance to change our governance structure is a chance we have to take.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE STATUS QUO
Pacifica’s current governance system was set up with the best of intentions. But it has proven a byzantine, institutionally-paralyzing mess:
-It bifurcates authority between two tiers of boards (five local boards with at least 24 members each, and one national board with at least 22 members).
-The boards are too large for collaborative decision-making, and usually devolve into factions and infighting
-National board members in particular stand for re-election every year, and never have enough downtime between elections to build the mutual trust required to tackle hard decisions.

THE RESULTS OF THE STATUS QUO:
-constant churn in upper management (Pacifica’s averaging more than one Executive Director per year)
-institutional paralysis (our managers and board members have all learned that the safest course of action, under the current system, is to avoid any difficult decisions and just let circumstances make the decisions for us).
-steady financial decline

Now, we’ve reached the limits of deferring hard choices: to forestall asset seizure over unpaid rent in New York last year, Pacifica had to mortgage all its real estate, including KPFA’s studios, and has a large balloon payment coming due next year that will make us homeless if we don’t commit to a plan of action.

WHAT THE PROPOSED CHANGES DO
The proposed bylaw changes would:
-Shrink us from six feuding boards to one
-Cut the size of that national board in half, to 11 people
-Make board elections less frequent (and less expensive and destabilizing)
-Give Pacifica members a direct say in choosing our national board (currently, Pacifica’s national board is chosen indirectly, by the members of local boards)

Hopefully, the changes deliver a competent board that can weigh hard choices, then act decisively, with unity, and — lord willing — raise some money to help smooth transitions. Of course, they may not. But our current system spells certain doom, so it seems worth giving the only alternative on the table a try.

In solidarity,

Brian Edwards-Tiekert
co-host of KPFA’s Upfront and former worker representative on the KPFA and Pacifica boards

KPFA Local Station Board majority endorse the Pacifica bylaws amendment

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)

Voting information

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 vote@simplyvoting.com and nes@pacifica.org.

If you need more help you are welcome to write to PacificaRestructuring@gmail.com