Virginia Browning: Long time KPFA activist: KPFA election committees; miscellaneous community activism, former radio programmer.
I stand for:
– a realistic/responsible financial plan
– improved web presence
– expanded listener input
– improved dialog and governance
– a reactivated Program Council to improve programming
KPFA- Pacifica is on its last legs without decisive action.
Bylaws-writers purposely made the dividing of Pacifica difficult, to create a strong network independent of any compromised party or sectarian interest. It makes sense for programmers to work to save their jobs. But I believe mutual respect, dialog, and even one of the two bylaws-authorized town-hall meetings could help us learn to work together– listeners, staff, (both paid and unpaid), apprentices, and volunteers. I believe there are creative solutions to the divisive battle at the station. I actually think two meetings are not nearly enough, but I believe it’s possible to create agreement.
I go through some details here to counter statements, misstatements as I know (please see candidate questionnaire answers below). I wish to pose an alternative perspective to the public relations magic I know many listeners have come to believe. It is understandable to believe that those we daily trust to give us radical news would not lie to us. In the service of a noble cause, it may sometimes be tempting to slant or misrepresent facts. I believe that some of those associated with SAVEKPFA know that some of the statements they have circulated are less than honest. I’ve had to ask myself whether I think it’s ok to just let this be – to say “well, jobs are sacred, mortgages are sacred, and this idealistic idea of a more inclusive station is just too airy- fairy to work.”
Potential on-air guests have told us they are afraid they will never be asked to be on shows run by those seeming to feel entitled to use our airwaves for their own agendas, carefully hidden among actual news items.
Though Pacifica’s finances improved in the last two years, the auditor’s designation of “not a going concern” is so potentially life-threatening to Pacifica, it is puzzling that during a fund drive, some board members would actively call to boycott a show. And if, as some SAVEKPFA members now openly say, dividing KPFA from the network is called for, should there not at least be one meeting called to discuss this?
Serving on three KPFA election committees, I saw close-up obstruction of the democratic process, so maligned as inefficient by those who have worked long to make sure it didn’t work. I can’t imagine how this station will continue as a “voice for the voiceless” without an elected board. But all ideas should be discussed openly, facilitated by other than only those with strong self-interest in the outcome.
Please find out more about our inclusive electoral system. Very readable instructions are found at Pacifica.org and at http://www.kpfa.org/faq-about-single-transferable-vote-stv
Contact me at callresponse.radio[at]yahoo.com
Please see my online questionnaire below and vote for THE WHOLE United for Community Radio group www.VoteCommunityRadio.org
Pacifica Candidate Q and A
1. What’s good about KPFA?
For almost 2 years, a brave group of programmers, paid and unpaid, stepped in to create a new morning show. They’ve done this despite phone-calls to potential interview guests saying not to appear, guests presented with one-sided stories, and despite refusals by some paid staff to help train staff and support the new show. I applaud those experienced KPFA-loving programmers who’ve enthusiastically worked to help less-experienced, more diverse voices improve this show. Pacifica’s (and now California’s) proportional-representational voting system, old yet revolutionary, for electing candidates to oversee the network, still holds the promise to bring new media and listeners to Pacifica. Let obstruction of this cease and a sincere attempt to understand it begin. A media network NOT beholden to one sect, corporate interest, or party: So much promise!
2. What’s not so good:
One extremely well-known author recently asked to run on for the board said, “Even my pale opposition to Tracy’s absurd recall has drawn the ire of people I thought were my friends… anyone I know [who] might run for the board would have to have a hide much tougher than mine.” Guests presented with disinformation and threatened with lack of access for appearing on some shows…? Is this what we want for KPFA?
3. What experiences do I bring to help?
When younger, I worked in public radio, board-operator at an NPR station and my own show at a grassroots station. Loving radio and specifically KPFA’s power to include so many people otherwise marginalized whose voices I know have immense power, I have flyered at many events and engaged in many conversations with listeners.
I’ve attended numerous LSB meetings, heard budgets discussed, watched my allies and Pacifica management attempt to squeeze blood from the onion presented to them in the shell-game budgets the so-called SAVEKPFAers continue to tout to listeners who did not see the obstructions; budgets presented as if there were any substance to them, undoubtedly to avoid those layoffs. I have worked in the past four KPFA elections and have seen crafty presentations of these significant elections as inefficient, sadly watched obstructions of them by those who’ve long opposed elections at KPFA.
I’ve worked in healthcare research for over 25 years (now mostly retired). I’ve worked in many political battles, from political parties to the heart-uplifting Occupy Movement.
Please see more about our original, opposite in many ways of the current — “SAVEKPFA” at www.danielborgstrom.com
4. What ideas to I have to improve the station –especially financially?
KPFA is currently kept on-air by 100-200 staff members. To pay each of these at the current rate would cost listeners somewhere between 8-12 million dollars a year in salaries and benefits, as listeners pay each half-time paid union member full benefits. Paid staff must find a way to see part of their job as assisting in training and support of the many unpaid staff required to keep KPFA going. A workers’ cooperative should be an excellent thing in any organization, but one in which employees are happy but surrounding air-quality is polluted is missing a component. Listeners of our radical media must have a say in how our station works. Paid programmers, however excellent they may be, are not without self-interest in matters of governance. An independent elected board is the only fair way I can see to work for this. I hope listeners will realize that taking the word of only one side is not what KPFA should have been teaching us. Vote United for Community Radio!