Why I’m Supporting SaveKPFA in KPFA’s Board Election

Written by Guest Contributor. Posted in Labor, Media, Opinion, Politics

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Published on November 19, 2012 with 72 Comments

By Brian Edwards-Tiekert, guest editorial

November 19, 2012

This month, KPFA is going through what will probably prove to be one of the most important elections of its 10-year experiment with democracy. I’m supporting the candidates listed at www.savekpfa.org, along with many other endorsers, because what’s at stake is the survival of KPFA as we know it.

Right now, KPFA is slowly recovering from a near-mortal blow. When Pacifica purged The Morning Show two years ago, it removed KPFA’s biggest fundraiser from the air. To compensate, the station had to increase the amount of days it spends in fund drives by 30%–a sure recipe for dropping listenership and diminishing pledge totals.

Then, Pacifica racked up hundreds of thousands in legal fees—some from the country’s most notoriously anti-union law firm, Jackson Lewis—and stuck KPFA with most of the bills.

Thanks to heroic fundraising efforts by KPFA’s staff, the generosity of KPFA listeners who kept donating, some of them under protest, and to a fortuitous bequest gift, we’ve made it this far—barely.

And, against the odds, we’ve started to re-build.

Thanks to our union, several of us won reinstatement after Pacifica’s purge. With support from local management, we launched UpFront—KPFA’s new 7:AM program. Since day one, we’ve been the station’s top fundraiser—and thanks to the boost in morning fundraising, KPFA’s fund drives are now raising more money per day, and ending sooner. Meanwhile:

  • ·A SaveKPFA campaign forced Pacifica to ditch Jackson Lewis—which should prevent further inflated legal bills.
  • ·Another SaveKPFA campaign fended off a move by Pacifica management to impose another disastrous round of cuts on KPFA.
  • ·Now, the Pacifica National Board has apparently seen the light—they decided to let go of the two executives who carried out the Morning Show purge in the first place.

KPFA is still extremely fragile, but we are headed in the right direction. And that is largely thanks to the fact that we’ve had SaveKPFA boardmembers supporting us every step of the way.

The dividing line on KPFA’s board is this: austerity vs. growth.

On the growth side: SaveKPFA thinks the way to build KPFA is by building great programs that attract large audiences so there are more people to give come pledge drive. We already know what success looks like: KPFA’s two newest daily programs, Letters and Politics and UpFront, are also its two largest fundraisers, bringing in far more than they cost to produce. Together, those two hours account for over a third of KPFA’s fundraising. Building on those successes with more cutting-edge programming is the key to strengthening KPFA.

As for austerity: this year, its champions are calling themselves “United for Community Radio.” Of course, they never use the word “austerity” – but rest assured, when you hear them call for “financial responsibility” and “supporting unpaid staff”, it translates to firing KPFA’s unionized programmers and parceling out the airtime to their allies. Some of them are philosophically opposed to paying people to produce daily shows–they’d rather KPFA sound like a volunteer-run local-access cable station. Others have axes to grind with specific programmers on KPFA’s payroll, and use the station’s finances as a pretext – which is how The Morning Show got targeted, despite the fact that it was the station’s biggest fundraiser.

Their incumbents have had two years to prove exactly what they stand for. When our union protested impending cuts, they came to counter-protest. When Pacifica fired the entire staff of The Morning Show, they supported it (at least one of them, it turned out, had been pushing behind closed doors to have Pacifica cut us).  When Pacifica hired the nation’s most notorious union-busting law firm to fight us, they publicly defended it. When KPFA’s local management proposed a balanced, no-cuts budget, they boycotted a meeting to block its passage – even though KPFA was running a surplus.

Does that mean everyone running on their ticket supports more of the same? Not necessarily. There are a lot of new faces in the election this year, and they don’t all necessarily understand what they’ve signed up for. But the first thing they’ll do once they’re on KPFA’s Local Board is vote to send their slate-mates to the Pacifica National Board, where the real power lies. And those slate-mates will make their worst decisions behind closed doors in Executive Session meetings, where there’s very little accountability.

Again, the record speaks for itself: For four years, the “United for Community Radio” (UCR, ICR) precursor slates have been in a majority coalition on the Pacifica National Board. They, and the executives they’ve installed, have left Pacifica a hollowed-out wreck: with millions in unpaid bills, corporate law firms baying at the door, a finance office now incapable of handling even simple payroll transactions, workers’ own contributions to their retirement accounts undeposited (for several months now), donor checks meant for KPFA intercepted and kept away from the station for months.

Now is the chance to turn things around: Next year’s boards will choose a new manager and program director for KPFA, as well as a new Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer for Pacifica. It’s a chance to put the entire Pacifica network on the right track – if SaveKPFA scores a solid win.

KPFA elections have low turnout, and tend to be decided by relatively small margins, which means every vote counts a lot. Please spread the word to KPFA members to vote for the candidates listed at savekpfa.org. And if you’re a voter yourself, return your ballot now so you don’t forget.

For the first election ever, Pacifica is not allowing any in-person ballot drop-offs—you have to mail your ballot.  That ballot has to arrive at the ballot-counting location in New York by December 11. It will be competing with holiday mail traffic to get there, so send it now.

Brian Edwards-Tiekert is co-host of KPFA’s UpFront, which airs weekday mornings at 7:AM. He’s served two terms as a worker-elected representative on the KPFA Local Station Board.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

    Those of you who know me and respect my assessments, be
    advised that this article is full of deceptions and outright lies. I have
    followed this KPFA controversy for many years and can tell you with certainty
    that it is the United for Community Radio (UCR) slate of candidates in this
    KPFA election that is the group truly working to save and democratize KPFA in
    order to protect it from deceptive, selfish, bad actors like Brian
    Edwards-Tiekert (who authored the editorial above).

     

    Edwards-Tiekert and a small paid staff cabal, are seeking to
    hijack the station to the control of their small faction of paid programmers,
    and cut the listeners and non-paid workers (who make up 80% of the work force
    at KPFA) out of decision making and labor protections at the station. (Note
    that Mr. Tiekert recently enlisted high powered Republican strategist, lawyer,
    and Sarah Palin supporter Harmeet Dhillon to attack the Pacifica (the parent
    foundation of KPFA) and thereby weaken both the foundation and KPFA itself.

     

    To become familiar with the UCR candidates, and learn the
    real story about KPFA’s struggles, go to:

     

    http://www.votecommunityradio.org/

     

    and

     

    http://danielborgstrom.blogspot.com/2011/05/kpfas-republican-activist.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

      Brian and I cordially share a work environment, but I up’ed your post because I agree with you that there are many misstatements here, intentional or no.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

        I don’t care how cordial he is, Brian Edwards-Tiekert is a toxic manipulator, purposely attempting to undermine and destroy KPFA through his conniving maneuvers to get the so called ‘SaveKPFA’ slate in power.

        Let’s remember as I noted above, that he brought in Harmeet Dhillon to attack the network.

  • h. brown

    Wow,

       I respect around 95% of your assessments Eric.   I’m certain Luke will run a response from the UCR slate you’re backing.

    h. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

      Thanks, h.  I support the UCR slate, though Brian and I are cordial, and I was writing a “response” before I came across this and realized it was going to be a response.  I was actually trying to explain the Single Transferable Voting (STV) system used in the station board elections, across the network.  Despite sounding like venereal disease, STV is actually designed to ensure proportional representation in situations like this where voters are asked to elect more than one candidate.  

      This involves ranked choices, but it’s different from Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), which is designed to give the greatest number of voters some say over the selection of a single candidate.  I intended this as a follow-up to my piece on RCV in San Francisco elections published here earlier:  http://www.fogcityjournal.com/wordpress/5273/race-and-ranked-choice-voting-in-san-francisco/.  And I don’t think I want to be tasked with writing the response.  I’ll probably just try to finish that and hope that someone else will be given a chance to respond to Brian point-by-point here in FCJ.

  • Kate Gowen

    Speaking as one who ‘knows’ you by your FaceBook vitriol, Eric– I by no means respect your assessments, as they are  “full of deceptions and outright lies,” even when stated in apparently reasonable words. SaveKPFA [with which coalition I am proud to say I am running] is accurately described as a broadly-based group of paid and unpaid programmers and other staff and LISTENERS like myself, who have supported the station– in many cases for decades. UCR/ICR has proved itself adept at both manipulating old resentments and ignoring the results of their policy of telling such listeners, in effect, “There are other, more worthy audiences out there– so who cares what you want to hear? We’re gonna purge our enemies, even if it means the station loses support.”

  • UCR Supporter All The Way

    Those pictures should tell you all you need to know. With all due respect to Jose Luis Fuentes, who is an employee of Dan Siegel at Siegel and Yee and presumably has been ordered to run by his boss, it’s quite a display of grim-looking, scary old white folks. There’s plenty of factual stuff to refute and I’m sure that will be done, but really this is not the way to a diverse community-based station that appeals to people under 60, has a modern technological footprint, and is fun to listen to. Edwards-Tiekert is a staff member and works tirelessly to stack the board with people that will promote his own position.  He should stick to campaigning in the staff election. The listener seats are not decided by the station’s staff members. They have their own representation on the board. Yikes. Please vote United for Community Radio. http://www.votecommunityradio.org. More women, more youth, more people of color, more energy, more community ties, more smarts

  • AmyGrateno

    No, Mr. Brooks, SaveKPFA is not a “small paid staff cabal” — whatever
    that is. The group has hundreds of listener, community and staff
    endorsers (including many unpaid staff), which you can find listed at
    http://www.savekpfa.org/.  Here’s just the big names; there are also a
    couple hundred “ordinary” listeners who are supporters of SaveKPFA.

    KPFA Workers

    Mitch Jeserich, Letters & Politics, Producer & Host
    Brian Edwards-Tiekert, KPFA’s UpFront, co-host
    Aileen Alfandary, Co-Director, KPFA News
    Bonnie Simmons, Host, The Bonnie Simmons Show, former KPFA LSB,
    Pacifica National Board
    Sasha Lilley, Against the Grain, Producer & Host
    Jim Bennett, former KPFA interim general manager & operations
    director, former Pacifica National Board member
    Miguel Guerrero, Web Producer & Producer, Rock and Rebellion
    Philip Maldari, Sunday Show, Producer & Host
    Kris Welch, Living Room & Saturday Morning Talkies, Producer
    & Host
    Mark Mericle, Co-Director, KPFA News
    Jan Etre, Crafts Fair Coordinator
    Laura Prives, Letters & Politics, Executive Producer
    Max Pringle, News Reporter
    Diana Martinez, Letters & Politics
    Larry Kelp, KPFA producer and host, Sing Out!
    John Hamilton, News Producer & Anchor
    Rose Ketabchi, Free Speech Radio News, Technical Producer, KPFA News
    Co-Anchor
    Derk Richardson, Host of the Hear and Now
    Vanessa Tait, labor journalist, KPFA News unpaid staff,
    FSRN co-founder
    Lewis Sawyer, producer Early Morning Music , former KPFA Receptionist
    David Gans, Host of Dead To The World
    David Bacon, Labor Correspondent, UpFront
    Tina Bachemin, News reporter
    Bob Baldock, KPFA Events Coordinator
    Scott Pham, Free Speech Radio News, Technical Producer
    Eddie Yuen, Against the Grain, co-editor of Confronting Capitalism
    Sally Phillips, KPFA Producer, Host, Engineer
    Richard Wolinsky, Bookwaves on Cover to Cover, Producer
    and Host
    Eddy Pay, Early Morning Music
    Layna Berman, co-host, Your Own
    Health and Fitness
    Tim Lynch, KPFA music producer & host
    Judith Scherr, KPFA News
    Mary Tilson, host, America’s Back 40
    Vic Bedoian, KPFA News reporter, former KFCF General Manager
    Esther Manilla, former Morning Show and Fund Drive
    producer
    Glenn Reeder, KPFA News Anchor
    Ramsey Kanaan, founder, AK Press; co-founder/publisher,
    PM Press; KPFA unpaid staff
    Joanna Manqueros, Music of the World, unpaid staff
    Serge Morel, reporter, KPFA News
    Jonas Hansen, former KPFA intern 

    Artists, Journalists, Academics

    Larry Bensky, Pacifica National Affairs Correspondent (1987-2007)
    Raj Patel, author of “The Value of Nothing” and “Stuffed and
    Starved”
    Mattie Harper, Democracy Now former producer
    Jello Biafra, artist/musician/entrepreneur
    Rychard Withers, Executive
    Director, Fresno Free College Foundation, General Manager, KFCF (Fresno)
    Jackson Allers, Editor, World Hip Hop Market; KPFT news dept.
    co-founder; FSRN correspondent
    Ignacio Chapela, Professor, Director of Laboratory of
    Microbial Ecology, UCB
    Conn Hallinan, foreign policy analyst, Foreign Policy In Focus,
    Institute for Policy Study, columnist, LSB member
    George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics, UC Berkeley
    Al Young, music historian, novelist, poet, former Calif. State Poet
    Laureate
    David McNally, author, Global
    Slump: the economics and politics of crisis and resistance
    Barbara Epstein, Professor, Dept. of History of
    Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz
    Karen Paget, author
    Aaron Glantz, Free Speech Radio News, co-founder, “Winter Soldier”
    broadcasts 
    Rick Flores, Host of “Wasteland Of The Free” on KFCF
    Andrea Turner, cultural and community activist, LSB member
    Susan Stone, former KPFA Drama and Literature Director
    Dana Frank, Professor of History, UCSC
    Frank Delgado,”Frank D”, KFCF, Creative Director
    Bernard Gilbert, Freedom Song Network
    Charlotte Saenz, community artist and
    educator
    Jon Fromer, singer/songwriter, NABET/CWA local 51 shop
    steward
    Pat Wynne, Dir. Bay Area Rockin’ Solidarity Labor Chorus
    Peter Najarian, Artist, Writer, “The Great American Loneliness”
    Andrej Grubacic, radical historian and sociologist
    Summer Brenner, author of Richmond Tales and community activist
    Pratap Chatterjee, CorpWatch investigative journalist, author of
    Halliburton’s Army
    Suzanne Gordon, journalist and author, NWU/UAW
    David Martinez, radical filmmaker
    Sheila Tully, Faculty CSUSF
    Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Ethnic Studies,
    UC Berkeley
    Kay Trimberger, Professor Emerita, Sonoma State University and
    author
    Johanna Poethig, Professor, CSU, Monterey Bay, Public & Community
    Artist
    Lynne Hollander Savio, Chair., Mario Savio Memorial Lecture &
    Young Activist Award
    Beth Lisick, author/poet/performer
    David Blume, author, Alcohol Can Be a Gas; founder, International
    Institute for Ecological Agriculture
    Debbie Speer, Journalist, former KFCF Director, former LSB
    member
    Dr. Carla J. Fehr, Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies, Iowa
    State University
    Scoop Nisker, radio commentator and author
    Donald Goldmacher, Co-Producer/Co-Director, Heist 
    Marty Price, educator, youth worker
    Kathleen Weaver, author of Peruvian Rebel
    AnnaMarie Smith, Professor, Government Department Cornell University
    Susan Moon, listener, writer, teacher
    John Whiting, KPFA Production Director and Program Producer,
    1960-1965; London Correspondent, Pacifica Radio, 1966-1972
    Juan Pedro Gaffney Rivera, Founding Director, Coro Hispano de San Francisco; composer
    Stephanie Luce, Associate Professor, Murphy Institute/CUNY
    Adrienne Carey Hurley, Professor of East Asian Studies, McGill
    University
    Lynn Feinerman, founding producer, Women Rising (National Radio
    Project)
    Molly Holm, Vocalist/Composer
    Maya Manza, Dept of Geography, McGill University
    Teresa McFarland, Dept of Linguistics, UC Berkeley

    Community Activists

    Rashidah Grinage, founder, People United for a Better Life in Oakland (PUEBLO)
    Dr. Raye Richardson, founder & owner, Marcus Books
    Blanche Richardson, proprietor, Marcus Books
    Cecilia E.”Ces”Rosales, Alameda Cnty. D.C.C., Ntl. Cntr. for Lesbian
    Rights, E. Bay No on Prop 8 Campaign
    Ford Greene, San Anselmo town counselor
    Sally Hindman, Executive Director-Youth Spirit Artworks
    Marty Bennett, Co-Chair of the Sonoma County Living Wage Coalition
    Max Anderson, Berkeley City Council Member
    Sherry Gendelman, attorney; former chair, Pacifica National
    Board
    Lani Ka’ahumanu, author of Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual
    People Speak Out 
    Dr. Jeff Ritterman, Vice Mayor of the City of Richmond
    Giuliana Milanese, Jobs with Justice-SF
    Laura Livoti, founder, Justice in Nigeria Now!
    John Iversen, Act Up, East Bay
    Mal Warwick, consultant, author, and public speaker
    Tom Bates, Mayor, City of Berkeley
    Cindy Cohn, Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
    Loni Hancock, State Senator, District 9, East Bay
    Barbara Whipperman, Treasurer, KPFA Local Station Board
    Anna Rabkin, former City of Berkeley Auditor
    Bob Meyer, President, Progressive Perspectives
    Giuliana M. Sorro, SF Community Activist
    Mike Rotkin, Mayor of Santa Cruz, California
    Margy Wilkinson, Chair, KPFA Local Station Board
    Jack Kurzweil, Listener rep, KPFA board
    Ying Lee, Berkeley community activist
    Linda Olivenbaum, Director, Early Childhood Program Administration
    Mal Burnstein, KPFA board member, retired civil rights
    lawyer
    Kathy Lipscomb, Senior Action Network, S.F. Executive Board
    Fran Taylor, SF Community Activist
    Craig Alderson, secretary, KPFA Local Station Board
    Anne Weills, Civil rights lawyer and community organizer
    Nick Jones, Atchison Village Co-op, former UFWA Boycott Director
    Tanya Russell, member, Chair, KPFA Local Station Board
    Nicky Yuen, Peralta Community Colleges trustee
    Sandy Spiker, East Bay community activist
    Richard Walker, professor, UC Berkeley
    Nancy Friedman, MFT, Oakland
    Jack Radey, historian, game designer, Eugene, OR
    Matthew Hallinan, Listener rep, KPFA board
    Pamela Drake, Oakland activist
    Igor Tregub, Commissioner, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
    John Van Eyck, former listener rep, KPFA Local
    Station Board 
    Sasha Futran, member, KPFA local station board

    Labor Leaders

    Dan Siegel, civil rights and labor attorney, former Pacifica General Counsel
    Sal Rosselli, president, National Union of Healthcare Workers
    Glenn Goldstein, National Organizing Director, NUHW
    Lisa Kermish, Vice President, UPTE-CWA Local 9119
    Shelley Kessler, Sec. Treas., San Mateo Labor Council
    Steve Early, labor journalist
    Michael Eisenscher, Coordinator, Bay Area Labor
    Committee for Peace and Justice
    Betty Olson-Jones, President, Oakland Education Association
    Warren Mar, labor & community activist
    Joan Lichterman, Communications Workers of America
    Peter Olney, International Organizing Director, ILWU
    Chris Kavanagh, former Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
    Commissioner; former member, Green Party of Alameda County Central/County
    Council
    Roger Scott, Executive Board AFT 2121, CCSF
    Susan McDonough, labor activist,  LSB member
    Catherine Powell, California Faculty Association
    Larry Hendel, No. Ca. Organizing Director, California Faculty Assn.
    Sheila Jordan, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools
    Tho Thi Do, International General Vice President, HERE
    Bill Harvey, Retired CWA 9415, Retired President
    Alameda County Labor Council AFL-CIO
    Ana Turetsky, President, American Federation of Teachers, Local 771
    Sandy Kaplan, Co-President, Shoreline Educators Association/CTA
    Maria Guillan, SEIU Local 1021 activist
    Mary Fromer, Organizing Director SEIU Local 707, Sonoma County
    (retired)
    Susan Sachen, Campaign Director, California Labor
    Federation
    Libby Sayre, CWA District 9
    Tonette Garcia, Worksite Organizer, SEIU Local 1021

    Paul Kaplan, Executive Board Member, North Bay Labor Council
    Jelger Kalmijn, President, University Professional
    & Technical Employees/CWA
    Francesca Rosa, member-delegate San Francisco
    Labor Council, SEIU 1021

    • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

      Ms Grateno, you need to re-read what I wrote. I said that a small cabal of paid programmers is attempting to hijack the station to their own control. A cabal which has indeed duped a few hundred listeners to support their insidious attempt to dominate the LSB. By comparison the -real- Save KPFA founded in the 90s (which that cabal cynically recently stole the name of in its little shell game) mobilized 10,000 KPFA listeners to -actually- save the station from a -real- takeover by the federal government.

      • AmyGrateno

        On the contrary, Mr Brooks, the people you support are hijacking the station by doing things like installing their friends in on-air positions, supporting union-busting attorneys hired by Pacifica (and charged to KPFA) to the tune of over $100,000, and blocking the local board from its bylaws-required tasks of budgeting and hiring management.

        They are also driving the network into bankruptcy. See these independent audits: http://www.savekpfa.org/pacificas-long-awaited-audit-shows-where-the-money-goes

        • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

          Nonsense. What you fail to realize Ms Grateno is that regular readers of Fog City Journal know me well and know that I do not make statements without having carefully studied and backed my statements up with comprehensive, solid facts.

          To begin learning those facts, readers should see:

          http://www.votecommunityradio.org

          and

          http://danielborgstrom.blogspot.com/2011/05/kpfas-republican-activist.html

          • vote for change

            So, your sources are people on the other side who have hired the union busting corporate law firm.  hmm, sounds balanced…

            All i need to know is that one side has been in power for +2 years and they have done what was documented in the article.  I strongly disagree with what was done.  If you agree that a democratic organization should hire a law firm that specializes in union busting instead of say a law firm that uses mediation, then vote for more of the same.  

            I’d also point out that austerity will not work for an organization that needs to reach out to the community, if only 2 producers create content that brings in a third of the money this tells me that money invested in these producers will lead to more money (though there will be a point where the gains will balance out, and should stop there and continue to develop both professional and volunteer content).  I’d also like to see weekly content, not just daily.  

            My final point is that the paid staff has never abused their position the way the volunteer staff has in the past 2 to 4 years.  

            • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

              You are simply parroting deceptions in the editorial which have no basis in reality. If you follow the links I provided and read about the hiring of the so called ‘union busting law firm’ you will find that the law firm was not hired for that purpose, and more importantly that members and supporters of the so called ‘SaveKPFA’ slate were also involved in hiring the -very- same law firm for the same purposes in the past.

              The truly telling attorney story here is Edwards-Tiekert’s outrageous enlisting of a high powered Republican lawyer and operative to attack Pacifica and KPFA.

  • AmyGrateno

    What an incredibly racist and age-ist posting by “UCR supporter all the way” below. It reveals deep ignorance about the backgrounds of several of the people on the SaveKPFA slate. It insults Mr. Fuentes directly. On top of that, from the picture you posted, it does not appear that the “united for community radio” slate is itself tremendously diverse. So what is the point? Just to call names and pollute the discussion of KPFA’s future? Pathetic. If this is the way UCR is going to run its campaign, KPFA’s listeners are going to send you packing big time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

    I support the United for Community Radio slate of KPFA Local Station Board candidates and even recruited two of them myself:  San Francisco SEIU 1021 Local Organizing Committee Chair Ramsés Téon Nichols, http://www.votecommunityradio.org/?p=934,and Oakland Green Party and Occupy Activist Samsarah Morgan, http://www.votecommunityradio.org/?p=1313.  

    I recruited both because I know them to be highly intelligent, rooted and engaged in their local communities and beyond.  When they agreed, I urged them to study the Pacifica by-laws and t mission statement and make sure they understand what kind of authority the Local Station Boards and the Pacifica National Boards have.  Though I’ve resolved to maintain a cordial relationship with Brian Edwards-Tiekert, I am going to say that I resent the condescending statement that “There are a lot of new faces in the election this year, and they don’t all necessarily understand what they’ve signed up for.”  

    I’ve met all the UCR candidates and they are all very intelligent people.  I’m amazed and gratified that such a stellar group of scholars, journalists, and activists have been willing to run on our slate, to do a largely thankless, behind the scenes, unpaid job.  They certainly do understand what they’re getting into and why.  They know the by-laws.  They know how Pacifica works.  

    And one of Pacifica’s main goals is to be inclusive and diverse, not exclusive and exclusively controlled by a small group of people who claim to understand the network far better than the rest of us could ever hope to, despite years as both listener activists and programmers.  

    If it succeeds, Pacifica expands the circle of people who not only listen but also engage with this experiment in media democracy.

    Willie and Mary Ratcliff, Publisher and Editor of the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper, are among the endorsers of the United fo Community Radio (UCR) slate because they feel it is most open to the voices of people of color, including UCR endorsers Davey D Cook, J.R. Valrey, Frank Sterling, Joy Moore, Andrés Soto, and more.  Here’s a piece they published by hardworking Station Board member Akio Tanaka, whose term is about to expire:  http://sfbayview.com/2012/vote-united-for-community-radio-for-the-kpfa-local-station-board/

  • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

    Many people are going to respond to this based on how they feel about what they hear on the air, so, since Amy has posted a list of Save KPFA’s staff endorsers, here’s a list of staff endorsers of United for Community Radio:  

    Adrienne Lauby
    Host/Producer, Pushing Limits,  Guest Host/Producer Morning Mix

    Andres Soto
    Host/Producer Morning Mix

    Ann Garrison
    Reporter, News Department KPFA,  Host/producer Afro Beat Radio WBAI

    Anthony Fest
    Current staff representative KPFA Local Station Board, Host/Producer, Weekend News, producer Morning Mix

    Ali Lexa
    Web Director, KPFK

    Bonnie Faulkner
    Host/Producer Guns and Butter, KPFA in Berkeley and WBAI in NYC

    Davey D.
    Host/Producer Hard Knock Radio, Tuesday Morning Mix

    Dennis Bernstein
    Host/Producer Flashpoints

    Emiliano Echeverria
    Host/producer Radio Cuba Canta, unpaid staff since 1968

    J.R. Valrey
    Executive Producer of Block Report Radio, Host/Producer of The Wednesday Morning Mix

    Khalil Bendib 
    Host/Producer Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, artist, sculptor, cartoonist

    Kate Raphael
    Host/Producer Women’s Magazine

    Mary Berg
    Host/Producer A Musical Offering, member Coalition for a democratic Pacifica (CdP)

    Mickey Huff
    Co-Host/Producer Project Censored Show, Morning Mix on KPFA

    Miguel Molina
    Host/producer Flashpoints en Español, roving producer Flashpoints, host/producer La Onda Bajita  “Myself and my crew support the United for Community Radio slate.”

    Nick Alexander
    Reporter, Producer KPFA Asian Pacific Islander (API) Radio Specials

    Peter Phillips
    Co-Host/Producer Project Censored Show, Morning Mix on KPFA

    Robbie Osman
    Host/Producer Across the Great Divide

    Robert Knight
    Anchor Five O’Clock Shadow, WBAI’s Senior National Correspondent

    Ruthanne Shpiner
    KPFA news reporter and member, former Pushing Limits collective, producer at large

    Tara DorabjiHost/producer La Onda Bajita, Host/producer Apex Express, roving guest host.

    Shahram Aghamir
    Current staff representative KPFA Local Station Board, Host/Producer Voices of the Middle East & North Africa  

  • Demogreen

    Luke, you should re-title this piece.  Even though it shows the correct author at the bottom (a useless hack whose only role at KPFA should have been to get Aimee Allison her coffee), the byline at the top says “written by FCJ Editor.”  I hope that doesn’t imply that you’re supporting this bunch of crazy old white folks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

      Yes, Luke, please do make that edit.  When I first saw “written by FCJ Editor” at the top of this I did a real double take, because I hadn’t known you to be a SAVE KPFA endorser. 

    • http://www.fogcityjournal.com/ fogcityjournal

       Your point taken.  Author now shows ‘Guest Contributor.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

    Note that Brian is not only supporting SAVE KPFA.  He is also a SAVE KPFA candidate for one of the three staff seats to be filled on the Local Station Board.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ITKNTK5JJALABB6DPXOQ7IEKWM Dennis

    Given the number of bizaare personal attacks launched in these comments against the author, Brian Edwards-Tiekert, I would conclude that he is speaking the truth. And no wonder SaveKPFA has such a long list of endorsers.
    With this kind of discourse around KPFA, you wonder why anyone except the exceedingly brave and committed would run for its board.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

      Dennis’ comments above represent another tactic that the so called ‘SavKPFA’ slate uses extensively on blogs to try to manipulate and cloud these debates about the survival of KPFA. This is the accusation-of-personal-attacks ploy. If you read the remarks below you will find almost no personal attacks whatsoever. The most aggressive comment I myself made was referring to Brian Edwards-Tiekert as a ‘toxic manipulator’ in relation to his actions to undermine democratic process at KPFA. Decrying a person’s behavior as toxic when it is harmful to others, or to a crucial institution like KPFA, is of course, though strong, not a personal attack at all.

  • h. brown

    Luke,

        Thanks for this forum.   I’ve been a smart-ass, know-it-all for years and have only read small portions of this decade plus long debate.    Nice to see the innards opened to the sunlight as it were.  Tell me more please.

    And …

    You go, Eric, you go …

    Nothing more important than the character of those who control a media outlet  …

    Particularly in SF …

    Bronstein took over the Bay Citizen

    Darius Anderson and Steven Falk grabbed the Santa Rosa flagship

    T’wer it not for the internet and Fog City we’d be back to passing notes in the schoolyard.

    Sunny in Fresno and I’m doing 200 push-ups and 200 sit-ups and 100 sit-ups daily.

    In my dog/cat/fish-sit 17 days into which I’ve folded my Fresno/Abs/Spa experience.

    Y’all should live so well.

    Progressives have lost almost all print media influence.

    Online blogs from Pat Murphy’s Sentinel on down to the Bay Citizen have been co-opted.

    Beyond Chron is a political arm of whomever is the Mayor.

    Niners played their best game in a decade yesterday.

    Execution wise both ways.

    As I said before, it’s sunny in Fresno …

    h.

     

    • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

      Great stuff, h.  Especially re BeyondChron, “political arm of whomever is the Mayor.”  Here’s something Randy Shaw wrote right after the hearing that reinstated Ross: 
      “One supervisor favoring reinstatement even suggested that the problem was that Mirkarimi did not have the chance to enter a pre-trial diversion program. This would have given him an alternative option to pleading guilty to a lesser offense. But recall that O.J. Simpson had access to such a program before later killing his wife . . . ”  

      I mean really.  BeyondChron is more like the mayor’s anus than his political arm.. http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/The_Mirkarimi_Vote_10592.html   

      BeyondChron also publishes a lot of editorials in support of SAVE KPFA. http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/KPFA_Election_Will_Decide_Progressive_Network_s_Future_8492.html

  • Oakland listener

    So while our beloved KPFA wrestles with an out-of-control Pacifica bureacracy that’s sucking the life out of it and spending huge amounts of money on union-busters (see, for instance, http://www.kpfaworker.org/2012/04/11/join-us-for-a-picket-against-pacificas-use-of-jackson-lewis), people like Eric Brooks and others launch race-baiting attacks on some of the brave listeners and staff who’ve stepped up to dig it out of the morass.  Geez, some people have no shame.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

      Readers should note that playing the race card when there is absolutely no evidence for it whatsoever, is another standard blog tactic cynically deployed by posters for the so called ‘SaveKPFA’ slate.

      Perhaps Oakland listener you could copy and paste any remark I have made that was even remotely race related. You of course cannot, because there are no such remarks.

      This false accusation of race baiting is also a tactic that infiltrators of Occupy frequently use to divide Occupiers against eachother.

  • h. brown

    Luke, time to ‘sack up’,

        Don’t publish anyone on this link who doesn’t ID themselves.   Otherwise, you’re gonna get a long stream of people who double or triple post under different ID’s but whom all work for one side or the other.  

    You have a great thread going here.

    Don’t give it over to anonymous paid trolls …

    h. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

      h.: I’m not sure what this issue is, because there are a number of people posting here, as usual, with aliases:  UCR Supporter All The Way, Oakland listener, and someone else identifying only as “Dennis,” as well as “reposting.” 

      You’re right about the Guardian and it got pretty ugly here on FCJ during the Ethics Commission hearings on Ross, but I don’t know if there’s any way to be sure someone’s using a real name, eve if it looks like a real name.  I appreciate those, including you, Eric, and Kate, who do use their own names.

    • http://www.facebook.com/annie.garrison Ann Garrison

      h.:  Speaking of i.d., this editorial signed by Brian Edwards-Tiekert is almost identical word for word to an editorial signed by SAVE KPFA Local Station Board member Margy Wilkinson in the Berkeley Daily Planet on November 9th, http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2012-11-09/article/40501?headline=KPFA-Local-Station-Board-Election—-Please-vote-for-SaveKPFA–By-Margy-Wilkinson-Chair-KPFA-Local-Station-Board

  • Reposting

    http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2012-10-12/article/40342?headline=KPFA-and-the-Blame-Game–By-Tracy-Rosenberg

    KPFA and the Blame GameBy Tracy RosenbergSunday October 14, 2012 – 11:30:00 AMKPFA Radio, the first listener-sponsored radio station and progressive media outlet, is having board elections in November. Many of you will say “again?” – having recently received postcards and ballots for a recall election just a few months ago. This time, however, your vote will count, and there are some important decisions to be made. This article is intended to help you decide how to vote if you are a KPFA member – and encourage you to do so. It’s not as hard as it may feel to decipher all the rhetoric! Basically, there are two slates of candidates–United for Community Radio (UCR) and Save KPFA –and you will make a choice to largely support one or the other. Details on the candidates running and their statements can be found on the web as each slate has a website: UCR at votecommunityradio.org and Save KPFA at savekpfa.org. But let’s cut to the chase and answer the question: what is the fighting all about? It all began five or six years ago. KPFA started to show declining membership numbers in 2006 and hit a deep crevice when the economy collapsed. The decline was up to 30% by the spring of 2009. At a non-profit where 85% of all income derives from listener-member donations, that is a big crisis. When then-board treasurer (and Save KPFA poster boy) Brian Edwards-Tiekert presented the draft budget to the board on July 11, 2009, here is what he said: “The bottom line–with all the caveats about rough numbers that I spelled out above–is a minimul (sic) operating surplus before capital expenses, and a minimal cash deficit afterwards. But getting to that break-even point requires cutting around $430,000 in salaries and benefits, and eliminating most consultant spending” A year before, in May of 2008, Edwards-Tiekert had addressed the national board of directors and said: We have spent, and budgeted, as if a one-time spike in listenership and listener support was long term growth, which it was not. … We have a lot more people on payroll; and it hurts to cut jobs … it hurts us as social-justice people. …And you get pushed back, you get politicking, you get coalitions to block any kind of job cut, so the path of least resistance is to first spend down your savings, as long as you got money to pay the bills, and then go, ‘Oh my god, we’re headed over a cliff now,’ which is where we are now.” In fact, neither the final 2008 nor the 2009 budgets contained the cuts necessary to get to the break-even point, and just as Edwards-Tiekert anticipated, the station went right over the cliff., losing $575,000 in the year ending September 30, 2009 and another $585,000 in the year ending September 30, 2010. The tragic thing for KPFA, besides the fiscal crisis itself, was that the scenario Edwards-Tiekert laid out went down exactly as predicted: There was push back, there was politicking, there was a coalition to block any kind of job cut. Ironically, it was Edwards-Tiekert himself who led the charge, along with his comrades in Save KPFA. They inundated KPFA members with accusatory and angry emails, filed (and lost) five different complaints with the National Labor Relations Board, filed (and lost) a union arbitration, filed bogus lawsuits and a recall election, ran competing private fund drives and basically did everything they could to make people (and KPFA itself) “pay” for getting back to the breakeven point from the bottom of the cliff where they never should have gone in the first place. There’s a fundamental dishonesty to that. So here we are in 2012. The last two years have been filled with charges and denunciations. Recall elections have been launched. Another executive director has bitten the dust. Yet KPFA’s website is technologically backward, no Internet channels have been launched, KPFA hasn’t gotten a grant in years, and the current fund drive is struggling. What have we gotten from this Save KPFA coalition to block any kind of job cut, this politicking, this push back? Obstruction, anger, declarations of revenge. Making people pay. I don’t want it to seem as if this article is an attack on Brian Edwards-Tiekert. It’s not. I would fight to save my job if it was in danger and everyone’s job is in danger when their employer experiences huge losses and a fiscal crisis. Nowadays, everyone’s job is in danger all the time because the 1% has looted this country and brought it to the brink of catastrophe. Which is why we have to stop messing around with one of the few progressive media outlets we have and hold Save KPFA accountable for their destructive and fear-based campaign. They aren’t helping KPFA. In the year since the recall campaign was launched last fall, KPFA slipped from 21,455 members to 19,800 in July of 2012. That’s the wrong direction. It’s not working. So to you 19,800 remaining members and anyone reading this who isn’t a member and should be, we don’t have to keep falling over the cliff again and again. $3.4 million dollars (KPFA’s current annual budget) is a lot of money. Stations all over the country demonstrate every day that you can have a vital, healthy, radical voice for change for a lot less than that. You just can’t piddle it all away in a pitched battle about who is to blame for financial stresses everyone understands and no one likes. Join Larry Shoup, Karen Pickett, Ramses Teon Nichols, Samsarah Morgan, Andrea Prichett, Dave Welsh, Oriana Saportas, Beth Seligman, and Kate Tanaka and vote United for Community Radio (votecommunityradio.org) for a vision for KPFA’s survival a little deeper than the blame game.   (Tracy Rosenberg is the executive director of Media Alliance, and a local and national board member for KPFA. She knows a little bit about the blame game).   

    • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

      ‘Reposting’ can you edit this to put some paragraph separations in it? In its current single block form it is practically unreadable. ~ thanks

    • Reposting

      It was posted with paragraph breaks and the program collapsed it. Tell me how to edit and I will. Here’s the link to the published article: http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2012-10-12/article/40342?headline=KPFA-and-the-Blame-Game–By-Tracy-Rosenberg

      • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

        You can edit it here on Fog City. At the top right of these comments (below the article) you will see the link ‘Login’. Click on it and then log in the same way (with the same identity) that you did to post the article. Then page down to your article, and below it you will see the link ‘Edit’. Click that link and you will be given your post in an edit box, in which you can make corrections, add line breaks, etc.

  • h. brown

    Luke, stop this now cause you can,

       ‘Reposting’ is not someone’s name.   Don’t publish unattributed work.   Down that road lies the Bay Guardian who, if you follow their online posts, are controlled entirely by anonymous posters.

    Make everyone ID themselves or you’ll get paid posters in various forms taking control of the content of responses to your honest columnists.

    Look at the Bay Guardian.

    They put up a piece and then allow unidentified posters to publish lots more copy attacking their work.   Down that road lies identity suicide and the dimunition of your power.

    Outside my windows in Fresno the gardeners are hacking away while Lukey II, my 175 lb granddog lies quietly and watches and the twice monthly cleaners and cat and gold fish watch me write to you in curiosity.,

    Cut off the anonymous posters.

    They’ll write more copy then you do.

    Then, who runs the site?

    go Niners!

    h.

  • Kate Gowen

    h. brown– we substantially disagree; except on anonymous posts. ‘reposting’ has the additional defect of being un-readable.

  • Adrienne Lauby

    Why I Support United For Community Radio (UCR) in KPFA’s Board Election

    1) United for Community Radio supports and is supported by most of the unpaid staff at KPFA.
    (I am unpaid staff.  We are between 70-85% of the work force and do between 70-85% of the programs.)

    2) It’s tough to be neutral and work as a team in KPFA’s highly factional climate, but the UCR folks are generally more open to compromise
    and working together.

    3)  UCR candidates are both grassroots organizers and people who can work inside an institution.  This is a rare mix of qualities for the folks who come
    to help KPFA.  They deserve to be given a chance.

    4)  The Save KPFA majority let a million dollar reserve fund go into unsustainable salaries and then complained to high heaven when Pacifica (its parent foundation) stepped in to keep the station solvent by laying off folks.  The lay offs were according to seniority and would not have ended the Morning Show if Save KPFA, through union & peer pressure, had not kept other paid staff from taking on the program.

  • Adrienne Lauby

    Why I Support United For Community Radio (UCR) in KPFA’s Board Election

    1) United for Community Radio supports and is supported by most of the unpaid staff at KPFA.
    (I am unpaid staff.  We are between 70-85% of the work force and do between 70-85% of the programs.)

    2) It’s tough to be neutral and work as a team in KPFA’s highly
    factional climate, but the UCR folks are generally more open to
    compromise and working together.

    3)  UCR candidates are both grassroots organizers and people who can
    work inside an institution.  This is a rare mix of qualities for the
    folks who come to help KPFA.  They deserve to be given a chance.

    4) 
    The Save KPFA majority let a million dollar reserve fund go into
    unsustainable salaries and then complained to high heaven when Pacifica
    (its parent foundation) stepped in to keep the station solvent by laying
    off folks.  The lay offs were according to seniority and would not have
    ended the Morning Show if Save KPFA, through union & peer pressure,
    had not kept other paid staff from taking on the program.
     

  • Reposting

    When then-board treasurer (and writer above) Brian Edwards-Tiekert presented the draft KPFA budget to the board on July 11, 2009, here is what he said: 
    “The bottom line–with all the caveats about rough numbers that I spelled out above–is a minimul (sic) operating surplus before capital expenses, and a minimal cash deficit afterwards. But getting to that break-even point requires cutting around $430,000 in salaries and benefits, and eliminating most consultant spending” 
    He was right. He just forgot. And Save KPFA forgot. So instead they pretended they would get half a million dollars more in donations they never got. And they lost $585,00 they didn’t have.  Talk about a mortal blow. Delivered from Save KPFA to you.