(volunteer with IFCO/Pastors for Peace; member of NYC Labor Chorus; former co-producer of BAI’s Community Bulletin Board)

Eugene Hamond
 

eugene (at) justiceunity.org

I've been a WBAI listener and financial supporter for many years. At Wall Street, I spent hundreds of hours taking pledges, mailing your premiums, and doing the Community Bulletin Board (CBB).

In 2010, with Victor Takeall, Evelyn Andino-Rosa, and Vajra Kilgour, I resigned from the CBB when accomplices of management decided it was more important to block mention of chosen enemies than to keep listeners informed.

I'm active in the NYC Labor Chorus, the Beacon Sloop Club (part of Hudson River Clearwater), and IFCO/Pastors for Peace, which just sent another caravan to Cuba. My wife and I are working against the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline, which would bring oil fracked in the Dakotas from Albany to Linden, NJ.

I'm running for the Board with the Justice & Unity Campaign because WBAI must continue as a progressive voice addressing the needs and rights of all people in our area. This is especially important in this period of economic turmoil, war, and increasing right-wing and racist propaganda. But to keep the station alive, serious changes are needed.

The near-constant on-air fundraisers, often with a commercial tone, are not working well and turn listeners away. To better serve our neighbors who hustle from underpaid work to financially “underwater” houses or apartments on the edge of gentrification to care for their children who attend under-performing public schools while charter and private schools benefit from our tax dollars, the station's reach must be expanded and its income must increase. A full-time permanent Development Director to raise money off-air would help make this possible. The station could also reach out to progressive musicians to hold more fundraising concerts.

WBAI needs to redevelop a news department and have an increased presence at more events. Along with more local news coverage, I favor a project to train young people and other community members as reporters, writers, and producers. Before being fired and banned, the late Kamau Khalfani trained Schomburg Center students in the art of radio production; Deepa Fernandes did the same with Radio Rootz before she was forced out.

In an international city like New York, with immigrants from everywhere, the board needs to find a Program Director who will traverse the diverse communities and progressive movements throughout the signal area, seeking voices needing to be heard.

WBAI is 55 years old and its average member is 62. It’s past time to have a real plan for the future! Who will preserve the airways if we fail to train and incorporate the next generation of activists and broadcasters?

I urge you to vote for all the Justice & Unity candidates--endorsed by the International Action Center and the People's Organization for Progress--in the following 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

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