King Downing

(lawyer, human rights advocate, & mediator; active with Ferguson Defense Committee and National Police Accountability Project; former WBAI host)

King Downing
king (at)

Today, the world faces its most serious economic and political crises. At home, communities of color feel the sting while organizing against the economic violence of predatory lending and gentrification and the physical violence of over-policing by those who view us as problems to be contained.

WBAI is where you can get the truth about these massive problems and the fightbacks. At the same time, WBAI is in its own economic and political crisis.

Together, we'll have to solve these challenges if we expect WBAI to be here to give us the word or give us a voice.

I'm running for the WBAI Local Station Board with the WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign (

I am an advocate, analyst, and educator. My adult life has been committed to human rights and justice: as a lawyer, Harlem resident, and member of several organizations, including the Ferguson Legal Defense Committee, National Police Accountability Project, NY Copwatch, the People's Survival Program, and the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow.

I've been a listener since the late 1980s. I've been on air as a guest, as a co-host of "Emanations" during the Samori Marksman era, and most recently, as a substitute host on "Where We Live."

WBAI has come a long way but we have much further to go. We're out of the high-rent district (albeit involuntarily) and into a Brooklyn neighborhood, but we need and I will push for a 3-year overall capital plan and a special campaign to build out the new studio.

You can't change what you can't manage. No more interim program directors. There must be a permanent PD. No station anywhere, even mindless music, runs without one, and it's the board's responsibility to do the search. Programs must reflect the new youth, people of color, and Spanish-language movements. No more interim Development Director. No major non-profit funds its needs without a permanent one.  

You can't manage what you don't measure. Management must be given regular performance evaluations. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed) objectives must be designed and applied to all WBAI functions. Management should create mechanisms to evaluate programs to see that they are setting and meeting appropriate goals. Management, programmers, the board, and its committees should solicit and utilize listener feedback through on-air call-ins, reinstated town hall meetings, and listener surveys.

I am a principled mediator and conciliator. I'm an active listener. I have the ability to step back and really hear what people are saying, even those "across the table."

I want to be your voice on the WBAI Local Station Board. I urge you to vote for all the Justice & Unity candidates--endorsed by Michael and Evelyn Warren, Father Lawrence Lucas, and CEMOTAP--in this rank order:

1. Lynne Stewart WRITE HER IN AS #1

2. King Downing

3. John Brinkley

4. Ralph Poynter

5. Pauline Park

6. Dacio Quintana

7. Eugene Hamond

For unknown reasons, Lynne Stewart's online membership didn't register. Please write in her name and rank her #1; her statement's at