Category Archives: Pacifica in Exile Newsletters

Bad Bylaws Take 2

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What The 2nd Version of New Bad Bylaws Would Do

Berkeley – We promised you an analysis of what the latest set of bad replacement bylaws would change – and here it is. Rather than doing away with democratic representation altogether, this revised proposal from the same group of people merely suspends democracy for 3 years and then reinstates it with majority rule requirements that completely shut out minority groups and interests from any representation in Pacifica governance. 

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There They Go Again

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Aren’t You Dying To Vote on Another Set of Bad Replacement Bylaws?

Berkeley – With so much of importance going on in the world right now, about the last thing in the world we want to do is trouble you with Pacifica’s internal shenanigans. And we understand that you reallydon’t want to focus on this right nowAnd you shouldn’t have to. Pacifica and its board members should be lasar-focused on providing you the alternative information you want to help make sense of the world. Sadly, some of them aren’t. They are focused on themselves and their power dynamics. 

But here’s the good news. You don’t have to focus on it. This is literally an email requesting you to do absolutely nothing. All you have to do is not sign a new bylaws petition asking you to force yet another bylaws election. Corrections made after the last disaster that was rejected overwhelmingly have raised the threshold for a bylaws petition from 1% to 5% of the members. You can literally save Pacifica $100,000 dollars and save yourself from poring over 58 pages of new bylaws. Yes, hard as it may be to believe, these new proposed bylaws are even longer than the existing ones.

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KPFA GM and Business Manager Funded WBAI Shutdown

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Berkeley – Law firm Foster Garvey has revealed that $80,000 was secretly wired from Berkeley radio station KPFA’s operating account in October of 2019 to the law firm that was defending the failed WBAI shutdown. The amount represents approximately one out of every five dollars donated in KPFA’s September/October fall fund drive. 

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After The Bylaws

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Berkeley – As the world faces a global pandemic on a scale that hasn’t been seen since 1918, Pacifica also faces recovering from a divisive bylaws battle that ended with an overwhelming 2-1 victory for the democratic reforms implemented in 2002. 

With a severe economic depression looming, it is important that all sides come together after the listeners and workers had their say at the ballot box. A start on that was made with the seating of the 2020 Pacifica National Board, which occurred on Thursday night. And pandemic stimulus relief may be available to aid Pacifica through the significant financial challenges to come. 

The costs of the special election demanded by the Pacifica Restructuring Project could not have come at a worse time. $100,000 will have to be yanked out of the operating costs of the 5 stations to pay for the election contractors, secure voting vendors, and the legal costs of responding to 4 different court actions in Alameda Superior Court. We hope the 1,000 people who signed the replacement bylaws petition will take seriously the $100.00 bill that each of them created, and to the extent possible, make an attempt to pay for it. Donations can be submitted here. 

Continue reading After The Bylaws
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Pacifica Members Vociferously Reject Anti-Democratic Bylaws Proposal

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Berkeley – Voting closed in Pacifica Radio’s bylaws referendum on March 19, 2020, after a month-long balloting period. When the results were released on the afternoon of Monday March 23, 22% of listener-members and 50% of staff had voted, which is approximately twice the number of voters in delegate elections. They voted overwhelmingly by a 2-1 margin to reject the bylaws proposal. 

Here are the numbers released by election staff. 

Listener Members

9,713 voters. 6,340 voted no. 3,273 voted yes. 101 abstained (sent in a blank ballot).  66% – 34%

Staff Members

512 voters. 331 voted no. 177 voted yes. 4 abstained (sent in a blank ballot)  65% – 35%

Continue reading Pacifica Members Vociferously Reject Anti-Democratic Bylaws Proposal
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Why We Call Them The Break Up Bylaws

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Berkeley – The election to remove the 2002 reforms to the Pacifica Foundation Bylaws and return the foundation to the pre-1999 governance model has been underway since February 18th and will run to March 18th. It is safe to say that many Pacifica members are confused about how to vote. Part of the reason they are confused is that the people they are being asked to install as a permanently self-selecting board majority are silent. The 5 or 6 potential directors remaining (3 or 4 have already withdrawn their names), have refused to utter a public word about how they intend to proceed, what actions they would be considering, and what their beliefs are about how the organization should move forward.

However, there is considerable evidence for what the majority of the members of the Pacifica Restructuring Project would do. This is the small largely Berkeley-based group that wrote these replacement bylaws and hand-picked the silent candidates for new directors. They told us what they wanted to do, years ago.

Continue reading Why We Call Them The Break Up Bylaws
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Danny Glover: Do Not Change The Pacifica Bylaws

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Berkeley – Award-winning actor, director/producer, activist and long-time Pacifica Radio supporter Danny Glover has issued an appeal to Pacifica members to vote no on the replacement bylaws. Glover’s video can be seen here. Glover has made substantial contributions to Pacifica Radio over the past four decades. 

Another of the group  who would be appointed as a permanent unelected majority on the Pacifica board has made noises about withdrawal. Judy Graboyes, an associate director at the Bay Area’s East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, announced her withdrawal on February 13 in a private email and then withdrew her withdrawal a week later, making her status unclear. Graboyes would be the fourth proposed member of the group to withdraw since the proposal was floated to Pacifica members 5 months ago. Her withdrawal would leave only five pre-selected individuals to fill the six seats, after the previous withdrawals of Barbara Ransby, Heidi Boghosian, and Mustafaa Carroll. 

Graboyes stated in a February 13 email sent at 5:27pm

“Can I consider this my formal notice that I am withdrawing, or should I talk to Don?” 

“Don” is 2019 KPFA director Donald Goldmacher, who apparently recruited Graboyes. Graboyes then stated she was not withdrawing a week later, but the back and forth points to a high chaos level within the Pacifica Restrucuring Project. A messiah approach to solving problems usually fails, and as it is becoming more clear to the appointed what will be expected of them if they are narrowly crowbarred onto the board, they are growing less enthused. As former appointee Carroll put it:

I didn’t want to come into an organization under a cloud. 

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation is the nonprofit partner in Oakland’s controversial East 12th luxury housing development by developer Urban Core. The project has been fought for years by community groups and played a large role in the defeat of then Oakland District 2 council member Abel Guillen by Nikki Fortunato Bas in 2018

Pacifica members who signed the September 2019 membership petition for a vote on the replacement bylaws have been crying foul on being listed as “endorsers” of the proposal on the Pacifica Restructuring Project website, when that is not necessarily the case. One WPFW member has stated that what he endorsed was only that there should be a membership vote, not that he supported the replacement bylaws proposal itself or was endorsing a yes vote.

He pointed to the language on the petition site which said: “We, the undersigned Pacifica members, petition the Pacifica National Board of Directors to hold a membership vote to approve new Bylaws for the Pacifica Foundation.” and further down in the petition form, he said yes to a box labeled: You may use my name publicly as an endorser of this effort. 

The WPFW member had not known he was listed on the site as a supporter and had not been contacted to ascertain if he was, in fact, a supporter of the proposal itself. 

For more on what the replacement bylaws change, please see our article 31 Things About The New Bylaws Proposal.

One thing we want to emphasize is that bylaws are only bylaws. They are not solutions to every problem under the sun.

In the 1999-2002 period, Pacifica suffered from a self-appointed board with a vision for the organization that was very different from what the majority of the people who made up that organization wanted. That conflict ended when it hit the streets and new bylaws were created to prevent a self-appointed board from taking the organization in a direction it didn’t want to go. Boards can only do so much. Deeply-rooted conflicts about how to deliver on Pacifica’s mission in the 21st century will not get solved by bylaws. We are wary of claims that the organizational culture will be changed by a self-appointed board. It sure didn’t work the last time it was tried. 

If you value being kept up to speed on Pacifica Radio news via this newsletter, you can make a little contribution to keep Pacifica in Exile publishing . Donations are secure, but not tax-deductible.

To subscribe to this newsletter, please visit our website at www.pacificainexile.org

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Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica’s storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases including the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin’s incendiary performances on WBAI. The Pacifica Foundation operates noncommercial radio stations in New York, Washington, Houston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and syndicates content to over 180 affiliates. It invented listener-sponsored radio.

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No Property Tax and Blank General Ledgers

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Berkeley-At Tuesday’s national finance committee me, board treasurer Chris Cory, a member of the UIR/Save KPFA group  and Anita Simms from NETA, the consulting firm with a $27,000/mo contract for outsourced accounting services, announced that they do not have current income totals for the October to December of 2019 period because KPFA has not provided revenue numbers. You can listen to a brief clip from the meeting audio here.  

In it, national treasurer Cory states: “There’s a few little discrepancies but the major thing that needs to be added to them is that we still don’t have the listener support numbers out of KPFA. So obviously that renders the statement pretty useless. I mean, I could throw the number in. I have a set of internal books that I’m working with. I’ve thrown that number in there just to see what it makes KPFA look like at the end of the year”. 

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KPFA Unpaid Property Tax Bill Hits $486,000; Alameda Tax Collector Schedules Public Auction

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Berkeley – KPFA-FM has not paid property taxes to Alameda County for the last six years for the station’s studio at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way in Berkeley. At six years of consecutive unpaid property taxes, the County Tax Collector may seize the property for public auction and the tax collector has announced their intention to do so.

Here is a copy of the property tax statement for 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way on file at the Alameda County Assessor’s Office. 

Here is a copy of the January 13 notice of an upcoming public auction of the 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way property for unpaid property taxes. 

Continue reading KPFA Unpaid Property Tax Bill Hits $486,000; Alameda Tax Collector Schedules Public Auction
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It’s Up To You Now

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Berkeley – On January 23, an Alameda County, California courtroom decided to allow 600 members to force their late-submitted anti-democratic bylaws proposal to a referendum vote immediately at the expense of Pacifica’s membership. The January 23 decision pauses the results of the last delegate election, which 6,085 members participated in. It delays the seating of national board reps selected by newly-elected delegates and keeps the outgoing national board unwillingly frozen into place for another seven weeks. Each Pacifica member faces a bill of approximately $1.50 each for what will be the third nationwide election in little more than a year. Ballots are expected to go out in mid-February. 

This publication had previously suggested that Pacifica members would be well-advised to simply ignore these bylaws ballots should they receive them. But we are now changing that advice. On further review of this ill-advised proposal, we strongly recommend a loud and decisive “NO” vote. We will talk a bit about why below. 

Continue reading It’s Up To You Now
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