In the recently completed station elections, Justice & Unity won 62% of the listener vote, which resulted in a 50-50 tie on the Board between J&U and the Indy-ACE people.

Some folks are so accustomed to calling the shots that a tied board and the possibility of having to spend a minute in the minority have caused them significant distress. They’re acting as if they’ve lost their minds.

Last Thursday evening, the 2016 Pacifica National Board held its first meeting - or  tried to. It was disrupted by WBAI local board members pretending they’d been elected to the national board, and by WBAI’s 2015 national board members. After much shouting, name-calling, cussing, playing music to drown out the voices of others, etc., the PNB meeting was adjourned.

That teleconference took place via a toll-free service for which we listeners pay.

And listeners pay in other ways.

  • We pay for board elections. Our elections are costly, and while no one has ever been completely happy with the process, absent fraud folks should live with the results and work to improve the next cycle.
  • The bylaws are flawed, but when the language is clear, folks should read, not spin. There is an underutilized mechanism for amending them, BUT THERE IS A PROCESS.
  • When the work of a governing board is prevented, the function of the entire institution is impaired. Our station and network face numerous, significant challenges. We don’t need more internal blockage.

See Read More below for:


  • Pacifica Governance Structure
  • Term Inheritance
  • The Bogus Delegates’ Meeting

When the PNB meets this evening, Thurs., Feb. 4, at 8:30 pm, it needs to be allowed to handle its business. And next Wed., Feb. 10, at 7pm, when the people you elected meet in NY, show up and demand that they handle ours.

Here’s how to listen:

Go to; click on “Listen” under this listing:

Pacifica National Board
Special Meeting
Thursday, February 4, 2016
8:30 PM ET
Posted Monday, January 25, 2016
Direct Link

If you cannot listen live, in a day or so, look for the meeting on the archive:

  • Pacifica’s Governance Structure

In elections that are staggered so that only half the 24 seats are open at any given time, listener-members elect 9 listener-members and staff-members elect 3 staff-members to sit on a 24-person* Local Station Board (LSB). Those same 24 persons are called delegates when they meet annually to elect members of the national board, and periodically to vote on proposed bylaw-amendments, and take certain other action.

As the LSB, the group’s responsibilities include annual evaluations of the General Manager and Program Director, creation of the candidate pool for Program Director and General Manager when either position is vacant, approval of the annual budget and quarterly review of the station’s finances, organizing a town hall meeting and a fundraiser each year (this used to be two town hall meetings), and ensuring that there are fair, collaborative, and respectful policies and procedures for programming decisions and program evaluation.

In January, each Pacifica station’s delegates meet to elect 4 people – 3 listeners and 1 staff – from among their members to serve on the Pacifica National Board (PNB). Those twenty people and two people elected from affiliate stations in December form the PNB.

  • Term Inheritance

The organization’s bylaws say that “IN NO EVENT” shall an individual remain on the board for more than six consecutive years and also say that vacancies are filled by the next available, qualified runner-up from the last election.

When Janet Coleman (who took over several program slots as Arts Director) reached her 6-year point on December 22, 2015, Vajra Kilgour (Housing Notebook) was automatically seated.

Indy-ACE is trying to convince somebody that “last election” means something other than “past election.” We’re not buying what they’re selling and neither did the national board when the matter was brought before them on January 21, 2016.

(And for all the drama, this is not the first time such an issue was brought to the PNB for decision. Indy-ACE took it to the PNB in 2009 when Grace Aaron was board chair. Aaron, who is back on the PNB, tried to sneak into our Empire State Building transmitter room to install remote controls for piping in programming.)

  • The Bogus Delegates’ Meeting

The same 24 people who serve as LSB members are called “Delegates” when they are performing particular tasks, such as electing directors to the national board and approving bylaw amendments. The 12 members of the Indy-ACE crew got together in the lower Eastside of Manhattan and held “elections” as Delegates on Jan. 26, the night before we were already scheduled to meet as the LSB.

This was unprincipled and nonsensical on several levels: It was an unnecessary waste of time, energy, and money to get the same group of people together on consecutive nights and, yes, they knew about the meeting for Jan. 27; they failed to notify Lynne Stewart and Ralph Poynter and deliberately created conflict for others who are entitled to vote; and, ignoring both the bylaws and the PNB, they counted runner-up Kathy Davis as a delegate.

We want to save and grow WBAI, not play games.

Disruption = Selfishness

There’s no high principle at stake here: this isn’t national stepping on locals.

The bylaws are clear about who’s on the board: Vajra Kilgour is; Kathy Davis is not.

Basic parliamentary rules say that quorum is half plus one: we need 13 people at any meeting. With J&U at 12 and the Indy-ACE at 12, neither side can act without some cooperation from the other.

This is a new condition for the slates and there’s only one course of action: show up, throw down your ideas, engage, listen, vote, work!

The people deserve / expect / demand nothing less.

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WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(212) 591-2111 
Inclusion on all sides of the microphone…