Sadly, the anti-democratic brigade was not dissuaded by their crushing defeat earlier this year and they have forced another bylaws referendum. The new proposal which goes by the name “New Day” is no better than the first and returns Pacifica to the same self-appointed model that caused all the problems in 1999, with a few distracting flourishes, including toothless local station boards and pro forma elections for powerless station representatives. Don’t be fooled.
Watch this space for more information about how you can defeat this latest attempt – and in order to do vote No this June, you must have become a member of KPFA between April 8 of 2020 and of 11:59 pm April 7 2021, by donating $25 or volunteering for at least 3 hours. (Membership must be renewed yearly.)
You will be emailed a ballot to vote Yes or No on this referendum if you were a contributing member to KPFA in the year preceding April 8 2021. That ballot will arrive after June 6th 2021
Another Power Grab By Pacifica Corporatizers
From Alex Steinberg, Chair Of The Pacifica National Board
Anti-Democratic Bylaws – AGAIN.
This is the second attempt forcing PACIFICA to hold yet another referendum after the first just last year that cost us $150 thousand.
It is being sponsored mostly by the same cast of characters who sponsored the last referendum. That one was defeated by a 2-1 margin.
Although some of the details are different this bylaws proposal is another assault on democratic governance like the last one.
It would centralize Pacifica governance structure and remove any oversight functions from Local Station Boards.
It would introduce a winner takes all voting method thus leaving no room for minority voices as our current proportional representation system does.
Representatives from each of the stations on the Pacifica National Board would be a minority (5 out of 15) on the Board.
It favors paid staff over unpaid staff while simultaneously reducing the percentage of overall staff representation on the PNB.
It reduces the percentage of affiliate representation on the on the PNB.
The 4 Officers who will be on the PNB will be voted on separately in a Pacifica wide election. They will represent whatever faction has the ability to get out the most votes in a winner take all election. There is no room for minority representation, even if the minority gets 49% of the vote. It’s the same story for representatives in the station Director elections, staff representatives elections, etc.
The 3 At large Directors will be selected by the Board itself, thus guaranteeing whatever faction gets a majority on the Board a practically unassailable super majority.
In sum these amendments are proposing a return to a centralized, self selecting Board structure with no room for local oversight by the listener or staff of the stations and no room for any minority representation. It’s exactly what the March bylaws referendum attempted to do and it’s another attempt to return to the anti-democratic structure PACIFICA used to have before 2002.
Finally, the rationale for why these bylaws amendments are needed are based on the same lies that were behind the last one- namely that PACIFICA faces an existential crisis and that the PNB and LSB’s are “dysfunctional” and incapable of dealing with this crisis and that unless the amendments are adopted immediately the sky will fall in.
It’s the same attempt to panic members into choosing an authoritarian solution that Naomi Klein talks about in her book The Shock Doctrine. While it is true that PACIFICA faces a serious financial crisis, it is false to say that the PNB is “dysfunctional”
There is also no basis at all for believing that the hand-picked transitional Board the new bylaws want to put in place would be any better at dealing with the financial crisis than the current PNB. On the contrary given their track record of supporting the shut down of WBAI, of supporting bankruptcy as a “solution” to Pacifica’s problems, there is plenty of evidence that the Transitional Board lacks the competence or wisdom to solve Pacifica’s problems.
The idea that Pacifica’s problems can be solved by getting rid of our democratic governance system is just a case of magical thinking.
To be more informed, also see
– scroll down to the 2nd and 3d articles
Also check out “Some Good News from Pacifica!” at that site.
KPFA TOWN HALL
Rescue Pacifica-affiliated local board members called a meeting for April 30, 2020 since the full board was out of compliance with the bylaws, not having met since January 11, 2020. The bylaws require local boards to meet every 60 days.
15 of the 16 UIR-affiliated reps boycotted the meeting, but 35 members showed up and a town hall discussion was held. The audio recording is below. Vice-Chair Marilyn Langlois presided in the absence of the board chair.
Anti-Democratic Bylaws Proposal Defeated Last Year 66% – 34%
Pacifica members and workers rejected an anti-democratic bylaws revision that would have ended the reforms adopted in 2002, after KPFA was raided and forcibly shut down by a self-appointed board of directors in the summer of 1999.
After voting closed on March 19, certified results were released on the afternoon of March 23, showing that both listener members and workers were issuing a thumbs down on the proposal by an almost identical 2-1 margin in parallel elections.
Certified results can be viewed here.
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