A Letter from Bernard White and Lynne Stewart

Dear WBAI family member,

The board elections now underway will be critical in determining WBAI's future as the unmuzzled voice of truth-telling. As the board goes, so goes the station. Your support is crucial if WBAI is to be heard over the din of bigotry dominating media.

Without revenue from advertising or underwriters, WBAI must work hard to meet its expenses. Likewise, without personal wealth and in the face of others’ unfair advantages, Justice & Unity must work harder to reach members. Your generosity enables us to reach WBAI voters with the unexpurgated truth.

In the last WBAI election, Justice & Unity won over 60% of the vote, bringing us to a 12-12 tie in board representation. No sooner were the votes counted than the Indy Caucus (formerly ACE) began boycotting required meetings -- thus preventing the quorum of 13 people required to take vitally-needed action -- as well as suing to undo the effects of the elections, draining resources and distracting from the work of WBAI. Indy Caucus has abdicated their most fundamental duty, and shown themselves willing to imperil the station's existence rather than engage in civil discussion and joint decision-making.

This boycott follows nearly a decade during which they, as the board majority, supervised the station's downward slide. Their failure to do annual manager evaluations, engage a permanent program director, or develop a fundraising plan led directly to the worst financial crisis WBAI has experienced. When we most need to work together to craft creative solutions, the architects of the crisis offer abandonment and paralysis.

Meanwhile, Justice & Unity has continued working to revive the station:

  •     We worked with listeners, staff, and media and fundraising experts to forge a robust sustainability plan, featuring creative off-air fundraising methods and maximizing widespread distribution of WBAI programs via digital technology;
  •     Our persistent advocacy for returning local voices into the morning and afternoon lineup was responded to during the short tenure of interim program director Mario Murillo.
  •     We are now working with station management to do urgent direct-mail appeals to current and former donors, and with national management to expand our listenership to area residents who currently utilize other progressive media outlets.

Our opponents have inundated voters with the demonstrably false claim that Justice & Unity is plotting to sell the station. Although Indy Caucus leadership has called for such things, no Justice & Unity member has ever advocated selling, swapping to a lower frequency, or breaking up our radio network.

Justice & Unity has a stellar slate of eight board candidates rich in political experience and practical expertise. We are committed to implementation of the proposed sustainability plan; appointment of a knowledgeable, progressive Program Director; regular evaluations of station management; rectifying the backlog of premiums; and developing meaningful, ongoing contact with the station’s members.

Ballots will be mailed out and available online within days, on August 15, 2016. With the integrity of WBAI at stake, we require your support to direct mail our message to the 8,500 listener voters.

Help us with printing and postage, so we can remind members of our positions and accomplishments.

Any donation, whether $10, $25, $50, $100, or $500, will be greatly appreciated and well spent.

To contribute, either:

    Donate HERE using a debit/credit card or PayPal.

OR

    Send a check made out to “Justice & Unity Campaign” to:

       Justice & Unity Campaign, P.O. Box 2690, Manhattanville Station, New York, NY 10027-2690

Downward trends in support, growing debt, and intense organizational strife are existential threats to WBAI. With your support now and in the board elections, Justice and Unity can work to responsibly shepherd WBAI through the crisis.

For more information on our slate and campaign, visit www.justiceunity.org or call 212-591-2111.

Thanks for all you do. We are buoyed by your generosity.

Always yours in love and struggle,

Bernard White & Lynne Stewart