vajra.wbai (at) gmail.com

I’m a longtime housing activist and the associate producer of Housing Notebook. After serving in the 2000’s, I’ve been back on the Local Station Board since December, when another staff member was term-limited. The bylaws mandate the use of the runner-up list from the last election to fill vacancies. The group that had been in power for the previous seven-plus years, and has led the station to near-collapse, could apparently not countenance having to share power when my addition to the board - followed by the 2015 election results - created an even split. So they have chosen to boycott all 2016 LSB meetings to prevent a quorum and jam up station business.

The boycotters include staff representatives Reggie Johnson, R. Paul Martin, and Shawn Rhodes. In addition, some members of this group have brought a spurious, contradictory, time- and money-wasting lawsuit against the PNB’s agreement on compliance with the bylaws on term inheritance, and also against other decisions the plaintiffs originally supported or benefited from.

The boycott has certainly prevented some business from being done, and has caused a drastic reduction in WBAI’s representation on the Pacifica National Board at a time when WBAI’s future - which is becoming ever more precarious - is being debated there. Nevertheless, with a harmonious and hardworking group at meetings, and availing ourselves of a provision in Robert’s Rules of Order that permits a board to conduct business where there is an emergency, several initiatives that the former board majority had stymied for years - particularly the implementation of a far-reaching fundraising plan they had refused even to submit to the PNB as required - are starting to move forward.

I have been serving as board secretary and have been faithfully keeping the minutes up-to-date.

Bickering over controlling the direction of the station must cease, and we must all pull together to reverse WBAI’s dire financial situation - or we may soon have nothing left to fight over. We must also be vigilant about preventing anyone from attempting to sell or swap our signal, and be very wary of people who mis-attribute their own suggestions to do so.

And to be clear, while selling a signal requires a membership vote, that vote is not local. It would be a network-wide vote where multi-year internet-based and on-air targeting of management has created so negative an atmosphere that there are people willing to shut down our station.

Producers deserve support, training, opportunities to collaborate, and processes for preemptions and program changes and cancellations. A constructive LSB can use the bylaws to require accountability. Choose representatives for whom posturing and puffery are not more important than productivity.

John Riley, of "Out-FM," is also running as a staff candidate. John has been dedicated and tireless in his service - especially in bringing a long-overdue evaluation of the General Manager to a conclusion and is deeply knowledgeable about radio in general and WBAI in particular. Please rank us high on your ballot!