WBAI STRUGGLE – April 2016 Supplemental

From the WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign

, www.justiceunity.org

1. Local Station Board Update & Next Meeting: Wed., Apr. 13

2. Station Updates


1.  Local Station Board (LSB) Update & Next Meeting

If you’ve been following the developments surrounding the station and waiting for a really important issue to come up, we’re here! WBAI’s income is still not covering the cost of our operation. This cannot be sustained and what can/should be done about that is of pressing urgency. We need a functional board to work outside the system to broaden our footprint and reconnect to area communities and to advocate within the system. We need to survive until we again thrive.

Almost 2 years ago, working with staff, listeners, media experts, and fundraising professionals, J&U authored a plan “Toward a Vibrant, Sustainable WBAI”.  Please read it: http://wbai.org/dldetail.php?doc=172

From refusing to accept the responsibility of bylaw-required voting on several previous annual station budgets to now refusing to even show up at meetings since the new 12-12 tie with Justice & Unity does not guarantee their dominance, the Indy Caucus-ACE board members are revealing their disinclination to really engage the issues and do real work. (You can remind them of their duty here: https://www.change.org/p/wbai-indy-ace-board-members-end-phony-boycott-step-up-or-step-aside)

Instead, they’ve launched another round of lawsuits. Pacifica is drowning in payments for the debts, suits, and settlements generated by their and their allies’ actions in the 5 years from 2009 to the national board majority changeover in 2014:

  • Poison e-pen writer, sanctioned junk-mail master, former local and national board member Steve Brown is suing for money he secretly loaned to accomplish a particular hire. Both the lack of disclosure to the local and national board of the proposed loan and manipulating the hire of a specific individual are considered unethical.    
  • After waging a public decade-long war of disparagement against former Program Director Bernard White in language so racially inflammatory that the local board disassociated itself (http://www.justiceunity.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=69:-wbai-lsb-disassociates-itself-from-public-comments-of-lsb-member-steve-brown&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=56) and a recall campaign (https://whoisstevebrown.wordpress.com/who-is-steve-brown/recall-petition-for-steve-brown/ ) was mounted but  stalled by his friends who then held the majority on the national board, Brown wants the foundation to use your listener dollars to pay his private attorney fees incurred after Bernard White sued. Racist diatribes aren’t part of board duty, so why should Pacifica cover that conduct? More on Brown: https://whoisstevebrown.wordpress.com/
  • Listener LSB member Bob Young, of Long Island, who missed at least ¼ of the scheduled meetings while he was board chair, has joined Brown in an effort to undo the effect of the organization’s recently completed $150,000 local board elections. Specifically, they seek to:
  • remove all local board members whose terms were properly extended one year by the Pacifica National Board in order to maintain the "staggering" of elections designed the reduce the chances of a hostile takeover by having only half the seats up for election in any one election;
  • remove a Justice & Unity ally (producer Vajra Kilgour) who was properly seated in December to fill a vacancy and replace her with Indy Caucus member & producer, Kathy Davis;
  • stop the Pacifica National Board from doing any business until this dispute is resolved.
  • On the west coast, their allies have brought a similar suit that further demands the removal of Affiliate Directors from 2 movement stations in the South. And the attorney representing them sits on the Pacifica National Board.

Brown and other of his allies have long called for breaking up Pacifica. (See here: http://www.justiceunity.com/joomla34/index.php/96-news/latest-news/390-indy-caucus-figures-advocate-selling-swapping-wbai-s-license). Now between disrupting national board meetings, boycotting local board meetings, and their recent lawsuits, they are driving our already cash-strapped organization toward dissolution.

Come out to Wednesday's board meeting, become informed, and share your ideas and perspectives.

Wed., Apr. 13 at 7 PM
ARC Senior Center
120 W. 140th Street btw. Malcolm X Blvd. & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.
Harlem, 10030

The station’s General Manager, Interim Development Director, Interim Operations Director, and Interim Program Director will lay out their plans and challenges.

Public Comment is essential.

2.  Station Updates: Please spread the word!

  • Spanish-language Programming Opportunities: WBAI and the other 4 Pacifica stations (in Berkeley, CA; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; and Wash. D.C.) will each be adding 5 weekly hours of programming in Spanish. If you’re interested in producing a program, send an email to progamacion-espanol at pacifica.org. Please share the news with friends and colleagues.

Program Director Needed: In the business of radio, Programming is the product. There are lots of opinions about what constitutes “good programming”. We seek a well-rounded, realistically visionary leader who can flow across cultural borders: http://www.wbai.org/employment.php