Send a Strong Message to Pacifica: Vote YES on Recall

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in Labor, Media, Opinion

Tagged: , , , , ,

Published on July 12, 2012 with 19 Comments

By Aileen Alfandary, guest commentary

Editor’s Note: This is a counterpoint to a recently published op-ed calling for a ‘No’ vote on the recall election.

July 12, 2012

I am asking for your YES vote to recall KPFA board member Tracy Rosenberg. During her time as a KPFA Local Station Board member (she also serves on the Pacifica National Board), Rosenberg has supported Pacifica as it conducted a war on KPFA’s staff and listeners by:

  • purging KPFA’s biggest fundraiser and most listened-­?to local program (The Morning Show), causing morning pledges to drop by more than half and putting the station’s fragile finances at risk
  • conducting illegal, retaliatory layoffs
  • wasting more than $100,000 of listener money on an anti-­?union law firm
  • diverting workers’ retirement contributions for other purposes
  • slapping gag rules on KPFA’s staff
  • illegally barring KPFA’s elected representatives from taking their seats on Pacifica’s Board.

Tracy Rosenberg claims that she helped save KPFA from bankruptcy. A close examination of that claim shows it doesn’t hold water. Virtually the entire reduction in staffing in 2010 was from union members who took voluntary layoffs. When the dust settled, and Pacifica was forced to rehire Brian Edwards-Tiekert, the only involuntary layoff that occurred in 2010 was that of the other Morning Show co-­host who had been paid for a grand total of 27 hours a week. It’s absurd to claim that this small salary saved KPFA from bankruptcy. It’s quite the contrary. The reduction in fundraising from purging the Morning Show cost us dearly and drove listeners away from KPFA.

As many of you know, I’ve worked at KPFA for more than 30 years and love and cherish this free speech institution. Tracy Rosenberg has inflicted severe damage and can be expected to lend full backing to Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt’s plan to carry out more unnecessary layoffs that will cause further damage to a KPFA. We need to send them a strong message that enough is enough!

This recall ballot should have gone out a full six months ago, but Pacifica stalled and then stalled some more. Now it has gone out in the midst of summer, when many KPFA subscribers will be out of town. Every vote will make a difference. Please mark your ballot YES and drop it in the mail today.

Bay Area native Aileen Alfandary is the long-time News Co-Director of KPFA. This open letter expresses her individual beliefs and convictions.