From the San Francisco Green Party to KPFA General Manager Quincy McCoy, KPFA Staff, and the KPFA Local Station Board:
June 29, 2014
Update: On Saturday, July 12th, the Alameda County Greens endorsed this statement as well.
The San Francisco Green Party joins the San Francisco Labor Council, Gray Panthers, ILWU Local 10, East Bay Veterans for Peace, Sonoma County Veterans for Peace, ILWU Local 10, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, Richmond Progressive Alliance, and the Golden Gate Letter Carriers in calling for restoration of the KPFA Morning Mix to its 8 am weekday hour.
“Think globally, act locally” is as relevant today as it was in 1915, when Scottish biologist, sociologist and town planner, Patrick Geddes, wrote Cities in Evolution. We need locally produced, locally relevant programming to help us make specific connections between our daily lives and politics and those of the international community and the planet.
We find it difficult to understand why you replaced The Morning Mix with syndicated programming produced in Los Angeles, because locally produced programming about politics, art, culture, and the environment in a station’s fm signal area is the heart of community radio. We need to understand the realpolitik immediately around us, in the San Francisco Bay Area, not just in Iraq, the Ukraine, Nigeria, Los Angeles or the distant chambers of Washington D.C. or the United Nations.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the movement towards community-based and/or regional renewable power infrastructure has reached a critical stage. We need to understand every step forward or backwards as this story unfolds on the ground, in our City Council and County Board of Supervisors offices, in public agencies and at public gatherings. San Franciscans need to know what is happening in the City of Richmond, in Marin, Sonoma and Napa Counties, and in East Bay and South Bay counties where citizens are attempting create renewable energy infrastructure.
Despite a California State mandate to produce at least 20% renewable power by 2010, PG&E is still producing only 19%, four years later, and doing whatever it can to stop Bay Area communities from creating clean energy buyers’ co-ops, or banding together as one and eliminating its dirty energy monopoly. PG&E strategists may have been most successful at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where they have used the San Francisco Mayor’s office – which they traditionally control – to block the implementation of our renewable power plan Clean EnergySF for two years, even after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimous vote for it.
PG&E has also been able to activate its union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1245, to oppose CleanPowerSF; this calls for the attention of a local labor reporter like Morning Mix host Steve Seltzer.
Uprising host Sonali Kolhatkar lives within Southern California Edison’s monopoly and cannot possibly cover this as our local hosts can. We need diverse voices of hosts and reporters in touch with those on the ground, not the lone voice of Brian Edwards-Tiekert and/or his pinch hitter, Marie Choi, much as we appreciate the addition of Marie’s voice to the morning hours.
This is not a “narrowly focused” local issue as KPFA Interim General Manager Richard Pirodsky suggested the Morning Mix hosts had typically covered. in his parting lecture to the KPFA Local Station Board. We’re thinking globally and acting locally for the survival of the planet and a sustainable peace rather than never-ending dirty energy wars. The same can be said of efforts to create municipal and regional mass transportation networks,local agriculture, just criminal justice, and other central elements of sustainable culture.
Every municipality in the Bay Area struggles with criminal justice issues including racial profiling, police brutality, police accountability, whether or not to arm police officers with tasers, whether to allow Stop ‘n’ Frisk, whether to allow police departments to report juveniles to immigration authorities, and police shootings of minority youth like Oscar Grant, Alan Blueford, Alex Nieto and Andy Lopez. These police issues are all part of a national discussion, but local decisions determining how they play out here are made at multiple local levels every day. .
What does an LA or New York broadcast host know about the San Francisco Re-entry Council, which created a model for re-integrating ex-offenders that is now studied nationally? What do they know about former San Francisco Sheriff Mike Hennessey, current Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, and Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s groundbreaking work in rehabilitation and re-entry?
How much can they know about Oakland’s infamous police corruption or the Oakland Domain Surveillance Center proposed barely a year after Occupy Oakland grabbed the national and international stage?
How much can they know about the Richmond Progressive Alliance and Contra Costa County’s struggles with the Chevron refinery, crude-by-rail shipments, and expanding oil infrastructure?
Citizens are working to stop potentially explosive crude-by-rail shipments from the Bakken Shale all over the U.S. and Canada, but shouldn’t we be specifically informed about the crude-by-rail shipments threatening our own communities here? If not for KPFA Morning Mix host Andrés Soto and the Richmond Progressive Alliance, many residents of the Bay Area might not even realize that crude-by-rail shipments now threaten their own communities, not just Contra Costa County’s.
This may not be of concern to KPFA’s wealthier subscribers who never have and never will have to live next to an oil refinery, a crude-by-rail transit line, an oil storage tank, or any of the radioactive and otherwise toxic sites that the U.S. Navy abandoned all around San Francisco Bay. They may never have to face any number of other injustices in their daily lives, but if KPFA is to foster real community within the fm signal area it claims to serve, in accordance with its mission, it must consider these injustices to some as injustices to all. It must not exclude them from the station’s early morning hours.
The KPFA Morning Mix and Hard Knock Radio were the only KPFA hours that reported any of the following issues that San Francisco Greens have worked on in any depth:
- Twitter tax break
- Proposed 16th Street and Mission luxury condo development
- Waterfront highrise condo development
- Toxic artificial turf soccer fields
- Saving San Francisco City College
- Advocacy for Chelsea Manning as Grand Marshal for LGBT PRIDE 2013
- The cost of high tech company shuttles and their effects on transit and gentrification
- Ellis Act reform
- Legality of AirBNB, Lyft and similar services
- Clean Power
- Homeless policy
Every city and county in the Bay Area is dealing with similar issues and we want to hear their news as well. We love Davey D and Anita Johnson’s Hard Knock Radio and would particularly like to thank Anita Johnson for bringing Andrés Soto in as a host, but Hard Knock also has a unique commitment to covering Hip Hop culture and the City of Oakland for a national audience. They can’t do it all.
The San Francisco Green Party voted to approve this statement at its June 25, 2014 monthly meeting.