WBAI in Dire Straits - latest updates & events

WBAI Struggle - May 2016

From the WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign, www.justiceunity.org

  1. WBAI in Dire Straits - Pacifica National Board motion on WBAI financial options
  2. Urgent Appeal to Donate Generously to WBAI
  3. Local Station Board meeting - Thurs., May 19
  4. Come to Ct, Fri., May 20 - 9:30 AM - Indy/ACE suit to subvert election results

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1.   WBAI in Dire Straits - Pacifica National Board motion on WBAI financial options

WBAI's financial situation is extremely dire – the day-to-day existence of the station is in jeopardy. As this crisis persists -- exacerbated by the enormous rental costs of the antenna on the Empire State Building -- and as several other Pacifica units are also struggling to meet their monthly expenses, members of the Pacifica National Board and national management have expressed strong concern about the station's continuing inability to operate in the black and the toll that our indebtedness is having on the network's overall financial viability. As a result, the National Board adopted the following motion on April 21:

The PNB directs the iED [interim Executive Director] and CFO [Chief Financial Officer] to each produce a list of options within 60 days for restructuring WBAI in a manner that would stabilize the station's finances and help stabilize the network's finances. The list shall include an assessment of each option's costs, benefits, risks, implementation time, and impact on the network's overall finances.

The PNB directs the iED to instruct WBAI's management to submit within 21 days an implementation schedule for the 90-day "Proposed Immediate Fundraising Plan for WBAI: Pay As You Go," contained in the document titled "Toward a Vibrant, Sustainable WBAI."

Pay-as-you-go is part of the sustainability plan developed by some of us on the WBAI board, working along with other staff and listeners, and in consultation with experts. It calls for planned off-air fundraising to occur in several phases, with each section of the plan generating money to be used for the next steps in the process. (Details can be found at: http://www.wbai.org/dldetail.php?doc=172 ). A copy of 90-day plan can be found at: http://justiceunity.com/joomla34/index.php/platform/402-immediate-fundraising-plan-for-wbai-pay-as-you-go .

WBAI is not the only "problem" Pacifica has and we reject any framing of the issues that suggests such. We believe that the "every-man-for-himself" perspective

is not one that will serve the station or Pacifica well. We oppose the break-up of the network even in an "amicable divorce" into stand-alone stations. We will also strongly oppose any sale or signal swap of WBAI.

We will work with local management to help implement the 90-day plan that was offered in 2014 and rejected by the then-LSB majority, made up of Indy Caucus/ACE members and their supporters. We welcome your suggestions and offers to help on fundraising; please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2. Urgent Appeal to Donate Generously to WBAI

As explained above, WBAI is in an extremely serious crisis. While it will require significant changes to have a BAI that is again vibrant and useful, right now in order to last long enough to implement those changes, we need your help.

The station is in the midst of the Spring Pledge Drive. There are many compelling, educational premiums on important political, historical, and health issues. Please donate as generously as you can, and become a BAI Buddy (monthly sustainer) if you can afford to do so. Those who donate $25 or more become a member entitled to vote in the upcoming elections. You can call 516-620-3602 or go to give2wbai.org.

3. Local Station Board meeting - Thurs., May 19

This month's LSB meeting will be a crucial opportunity to discuss concrete steps to immediately raise funds to deal with the station's financial crisis. Come and bring your input and ways you can help.

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Public Meeting - 7:00-8:30 PM
Theater for the New City - 1st floor, back lobby
155 First Avenue bet. E, 9th and 10th Sts.

(Note: An executive session, closed to the public, will start at 8:30 PM to discuss a confidential personnel matter.)

Take the N or R train to Broadway and 8th Street or the Lexington Avenue #6 train to Astor Place. Walk East to First Avenue on 8th Street/St. Mark's and then uptown a block and a half to Theater for the New City.  For more detailed directions, you may want to visit: http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net/directions.htm

The station's dire situation is the worst possible time for 12 members of the Local Station Board to be refusing to attend board meetings -- as the Indy Caucus/ACE folks have now done for four months straight, thus denying the board a quorum to do business. To sign a petition urging them to do their jobs and attend meetings and participate in the rebuilding effort, go to https://www.change.org/p/wbai-indy-ace-board-members-end-phony-boycott-step-up-or-step-aside.
 

4. Come to Court, Fri., May 20 - 9:30 AM - Indy/ACE suit to subvert election results

At this hearing in NYS Supreme Court in Brooklyn, the lawyer for Steve Brown and Bob Young will try to convince a judge to issue a restraining order against Pacifica, forcing it to seat Kathy Davis instead of Vajra Kilgour on the LSB and install their 4 members who were "elected" in a phony January election onto the PNB. Unhappy that they've lost the majority locally and that they and their allies have been unable to regain a majority nationally, the Indy/ACE folks are upending the network with declarations to courts here and in California of outraged urgency over situations they helped create or have known about for months or years.

Pacifica's lawyer will be there to respond to their unfounded case.

The more of our supporters who can attend, the better.

Details:
Fri., May 20 - 9:30 AM
NYS Supreme Court in Brooklyn
360 Adams Street
Courtroom of Judge Knipel (ask in lobby what floor to go to).
(There will be a security scan of bodies and bags, so travel as light as possible.)

Subway: R to Court St.; 2, 3, 4, 5 to Boro Hall; A, C, F to Jay St./Boro Hall;
Bus: Numerous buses stop in the vicinity of the courts. For the number of the bus and the location of the bus stop nearest the building you wish to reach, call the MTA at 718-330-1234.

For background on the case, see:
http://justiceunity.com/joomla34/index.php/96-news/latest-news/400-wbai-struggle-april-2016-supplemental
 

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WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign
www.justiceunity.org
Twitter: @justiceandunity
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(212) 591-2111
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