Category Archives: Commentary

We the Pacifica Majority Seek Democracy and the Survival of Our Network

We are EXTREMELY CONCERNED about the attacks and actions promulgated by Pacifica’s current leadership and attorneys, and we think you will be, too, once you know more about them.

Click here to join the over 500 concerned Pacifica supporters of New Day Pacifica in reading and signing this letter.

We write as part of the majority of the Pacifica Foundation members who voted 6640 to 5216 (55% to 45%) to install new leadership and a workable set of new by-laws, but are being prevented from implementing those much needed changes by legal actions taken by current Pacifica leadership, based on their very dubious interpretations of applicable California law.

Since the close of voting on the New Day Pacifica bylaws, the current entrenched management has continued to show that it cannot competently manage the network, and that it is willing to cynically mis-use Pacifica’s resources to pursue its legal actions against Pacifica members who want reform. They clearly have no plans to reverse our dwindling listenership, membership, and finances, and are unable or unwilling to save our stations’ buildings from being foreclosed on and sold off to pay the $3+ million mortgage whose due date rapidly approaches.

Click to read more details about restoring democracy and fairness to Pacifica.

UPDATE:

Hear the legendary Ian Masters, host of Background Briefing, and also hear an attorney for New Day Pacifica and others reveal the current status of the law suit to declare the winner of the Bylaws/Officers referendum wherein there was a solid 55% Yes vote (Hint: it’s far from over). and how the sweep in the LSB elections shows continuing New Day strength.

Watch the Pacifica Majority Zoom presentation about seeking democracy and Pacifica’s survival, to hear the need for transparent democracy and popular support at America’s most critical progressive radio network. Amidst a devastating fiscal crisis, we seek answers for a truly responsive governance. Moderated by Pacifica’s Harvey Wasserman and Evelia Jones. Tentative plans are for there to be additional Zoom presentations going into related topics every two weeks, so check back at newdaypacifica.org for more information.

The Pacifica Majority presentations will discuss the need for transparent democracy and popular support at America’s most critical progressive radio network.  Amidst a devastating fiscal crisis, we seek answers for a truly responsive governance.

About the moderators:

Harvey Wasserman is a journalist, author, election protection and democracy anti-nuclear activist, and co-host of Solartopia. He is an advocate for renewable energy, and has been a strategist and organizer in the anti-nuclear movement in the United States for over 30 years, as well as being an investigative reporter and senior editor.

Evelia Jones is a retired public school itinerant visual arts instructor who gave that service to LAUSD for 25 years in Los Angeles. She has also been an accounts rep for two companies, and was the Drive Time Announcer and Traffic Coordinator for WJDX-WZZQ radio for four years in Jackson, MS. She is a descendant of Sally Hemings and was active in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement-1970s and a production coordinator for The Mississippi State Film Commission during that time.

This network was established 75 years ago by pacifists who forged it into a progressive force built on competent management and fierce beliefs in democracy and fairness. The dysfunctional governing structure and current leadership have not only failed to live up to these standards and ideals, but have put the very survival of our stations at risk.

To remedy this dire situation, we the Pacifica Majority urge the following in the strongest way possible – Click on any of these for more details:

1. RESPECT THE MAJORITY VOTE of the PACIFICA MEMBERSHIP
2. IMMEDIATELY DISCLOSE THE TRUE VOTE COUNT IN THE KPFK BOARD ELECTION and INSTALL THE TRUE WINNERS
3. INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE VOTING IRREGULARITIES, FRAUD and/or MANIPULATION AT WBAI
4. STOP PACIFICA MANAGEMENT’S MISTREATMENT OF ITS WORK FORCE
5. FIRE THE PACIFICA LEGAL TEAM
6. INSTALL COMPETENT MANAGEMENT & LET THEM MANAGE

Please click here to add your name as a co-signer of this letter.

Please click here to donate to support the legal effort to have the New Day Referendum enacted.

1. RESPECT THE MAJORITY VOTE of the PACIFICA MEMBERSHIP

In the New Day referendum election the majority voted (6640 to 5216 – 55% to 45%) to change the leadership and bylaws to a more workable, democratic form of governance. Pacifica management and its legal team have refused to abide by the majority vote –recognized by both California Law and Pacifica’s own bylaws as defining who won the election, except in very special cases, which New Day strongly asserts are not applicable here. Pacifica’s refusal to respect the majority must end now.

Pacifica’s attorneys claim that the NDP Bylaws would somehow infringe on the rights of staff members as compared to listener members and so the staff must separately approve the new Bylaws. The NDP Bylaws would reduce the numbers of both staff and listener members on the Pacifica National Board (PNB). However, listener representatives’ numbers would actually be reduced slightly more than staff representatives, so it’s false to claim that staff members’ rights are negatively affected compared to those of listeners. More significant, for the first time, the NDP Bylaws would give both paid and volunteer/unpaid staff something new and very important – the democratic right to elect Directors of their own choosing to the PNB. This is a right they do not have now and would clearly be a very significant enhancement with the NDP Bylaws.

We the majority further believe and urge that all legal actions currently being pursued by current Pacifica management against New Day be halted and that the new bylaws be implemented and the new officers be recognized.

For more details on how the legal team has undermined the results of the NDP Bylaws election, see this analysis of how they are claiming a dubious victory.

2. IMMEDIATELY DISCLOSE THE TRUE VOTE COUNT IN THE KPFK BOARD ELECTION and INSTALL THE TRUE WINNERS

In recent elections for the KPFK Delegates/Local Station Board, four New Day-endorsed candidates were illegitimately disappeared by the National Election Supervisor (NES). When the vote tally was published, those candidates’ names (and their votes) were disappeared off of the tally sheet, as if they never ran. Only upon questioning did the NES say that they had been disqualified, after all the votes were in and the votes were being tabulated. But Pacifica’s Bylaws make clear that the NES only has power to disqualify candidates who have violated the fair campaign provisions and these folks weren’t even accused of that! In addition, the candidates weren’t “disqualified” until ”after the tabulating of the votes had begun” but in those minutes “before the tabulation was finished”, according to the National Election Supervisor and Pacifica’s General Counsel Schwartz. At any rate the disqualification occurred after voting had finished, with no prior notice to the electorate. It is clear from the round by round Single Transferable Vote tabulations that if votes for those “disqualified” candidates were counted, at least three of them would in fact be elected as KPFK Delegates and LSB members. This would have major implications for the balance of power, both on the KPFK LSB and on the Pacifica National Board (PNB).

Those of us who voted for or support those candidates urge that our votes be counted, with full disclosure of the entire vote count (with certification by the vote tabulation vendor), and that the true winners be installed in the offices to which they were elected.

Please donate to support NDP’s legal efforts for your rights

3. INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE VOTING IRREGULARITIES, FRAUD and/or MANIPULATION AT WBAI

There were myriad violations of Pacifica’s Fair Campaign Provisions (FCP) by bylaws reform opponents during the bylaws campaign period, with repeated false and overwhelmingly one-sided dis-information and mis-information about the New Day Bylaws and Officers to sway the vote of WBAI staff and listener members, to thwart the Pacifica majority and to stop reform of the Bylaws.

Among other things, the rapid growth in the number of WBAI’s “qualified staff” prior to the election is very unusual to say the least. Even more questionable and suspicious is the alleged 99% NO vote among these staff. These increased but dubious numbers of staff during a pandemic and their highly disproportionate NO votes caused the overall staff vote among all stations to be against the new bylaws, even though the majority of total staff voting at other stations voted YES. Any open election involving a 99+% outcome is subject to dismissal and derision amidst the Election Protection community.

Widespread allegations of intimidation, fraud, coercion, and violations of FCP provisions must be investigated.

4. STOP PACIFICA MANAGEMENT’S MISTREATMENT OF ITS WORK FORCE

Pacifica Management is using membership money to pay a notorious anti-union law firm to resist what New Day Pacifica believes are reasonable demands from Pacifica staff. NDP also has serious concerns about what current management wants to do with the pension funds of loyal, long-standing Pacifica workers. This contradicts everything Pacifica was founded to pursue in terms of democracy and social justice.

Management has been paying its legal team undisclosed sums of money (but at least tens of thousands of dollars) from listeners whose majority interests they have gone to court to destroy. The team’s anti-democratic strategies, along with false rhetoric are antithetical to everything Pacifica was founded to stand for.

We demand a full financial accounting of the legal team’s fees, and its immediate dismissal in favor of a legal team without conflicts of interest, that will support and defend the democratic and competent interests of the Pacifica majority, and which will honestly inform the Pacifica board and members about legal issues.

Shockingly, Pacifica’s attorneys have become proficient at weaponizing anti-free-speech legal actions (like SLAPP lawsuits) against its own membership, beyond any boundaries of decency for a network of Pacifica’s origins. This should alone be grounds for dismissal of the Pacifica legal team and its band of bullies.

Pacifica filed legal actions against the proposed Four New Day Pacifica Transition Officers and all eight KPFK LSB Candidates endorsed by NDP in its Anti-New Day fervor. New Day Pacifica had to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to get the suit dropped against the four proposed Officers, while the 3 remaining “disappeared” candidates are not only not installed as LSB members but also continue to be defendants in the law suit filed by Pacifica against them and New Day — “civilian casualties”, so to speak.

We demand that the legal team and the rest of Pacifica management cease filing anti-democracy and anti-free speech and association lawsuits aimed at intimidating individuals and organizations from speaking out against network management’s own anti-democratic activities.

6. INSTALL COMPETENT MANAGEMENT & LET THEM MANAGE

By assaulting democracy and common decency, and by denying the majority of Pacifica membership the bylaws change and LSB elections that are the basis of its democracy, Pacifica’s deeply unpopular management, which was put in place by the Pacifica National Board (PNB) majority trying to hold onto power, is driving the network toward insolvency and oblivion.

Along with driving out most of the popular KPFK program hosts who raised so much of the station’s revenue, and replacing them with programs that attract few listeners or donors, an illegal firing resulted in KPFK going dark, threatening its invaluable, irreplaceable license due to an instance of personal vindictiveness from Pacifica management.

We have been told that the PNB has just hired a new Executive Director and we certainly hope that this person will be fair and competent. But we also demand that the PNB majority not just allow, but require, that the new ED drop all legal action against New Day Pacifica and that its victorious by-laws be accepted. The Pacifica legal team must be fired and replaced with a legal team that respects the clearly stated wishes of the majority of the Pacifica membership as well as the basic principles of law, democracy, and common decency on which the Network was founded. Further, the new ED must work to help, rather than destroy, Pacifica stations like KPFK, and the PNB must stop interfering in management issues where they have no expertise.

Urgent Action Needed to Save Pacifica

It is urgent that these actions be taken if we are to preserve any chance of the Pacifica Network surviving as the competent, democratic, solvent progressive force it was meant to be when founded 75 years ago, and that is now so crucial to the survival of a nation’s democratic processes currently under serious, ongoing, and fascist assault.

Please click here to add your name as a co-signer of the above letter.

Please donate to support the legal effort to have the New Day Referendum enacted.

Visit the New Day home page for more information and updates.

How Pacifica Claimed a Dubious Victory

In 2021, the members of Pacifica Radio voted on a member initiated Bylaws referendum, for the New Day Pacifica Bylaws and election of four officer Directors.

The members voted 6820 to 5471 to approve the new Bylaws and to elect the four officers.

Listeners members voted 6640 Yes and 5216 No. 

Staff members voted 180 Yes and 255 No. 

Pacifica Counsel ruled the referendum lost claiming that it required separate approval of staff and listeners.

Pacifica Counsel gave two arguments.

(1) A prior agreement stipulated separate approval of staff and listeners.

(2) The Bylaws requires separate approval of staff and listeners.

Neither argument is valid.

(1) A Prior Agreement Stipulated Separate Approval of Staff and Listeners.

Pacifica Counsel, Arthur Schwartz said:

Under [the December 4, 2020] agreement, the New Day Referendum would proceed by two parallel votes, one by listener members and one by staff, with approval being contingent on majority approval from each group. (Schwartz Decl. ¶ 12 (emphasis added).

The December 4 agreement said:

“10. The voting process, and the Fair Election Rules, will be identical to the process and the rules used in February 2020, as described in the NES Final Election Report of March 2020, …”

The 2020 Final Report said:

“The Pacifica Bylaws Referendum consisted of two parallel –  votes, one amongst eligible listener members and one amongst eligible staff (paid and unpaid) members at all five stations.

—-

The clause “approval being contingent on majority approval from each group” was not  in the signed agreement.

Pacifica Counsel’s argument that a prior agreement stipulated separate approval of staff and listeners is not valid.

The Bylaws and California law govern how the staff and listener votes are counted.

(2) The Bylaws Requires Separate Approval of Staff and Listeners.

The Bylaws say: “such adoption, amendment or repeal also requires approval by the members of a class if such action would materially and adversely affect the rights of that class as to voting or transfer in a manner different than such action affects another class.” (First Am. Compl. ¶ 14, Ex. A, Article XVII Section 1(B)(3).)

Bylaws recognize separate voting groups; however, having separate voting groups does not mean approval is contingent on the approval of each voting group.

In the 2020 referendum, the Bylaws did required separate approvals of staff and listeners members because the proposal eliminated staff representation. The staff was materially and adversely affected as to voting in a manner different from the listeners. 

In the 2021 referendum, the Bylaws did not require separate approvals of staff and listener members because the new Bylaws proposal did not materially and adversely affected one class as to voting in a manner different from another class. 

Pacifica Counsel argues that the 2021 referendum would materially and adversely affect the staff in a manner different from the listeners because:

(1) it would have split the “Staff Class” into “Paid Staff “ and “Unpaid Staff” and

(2) reduced the number of guaranteed seats that staff members would have the exclusive right to hold and to elect from 5 to two. Staff would have their guaranteed Board role reduced from 22.72 % to 13.3%.  (First Am. Compl. ¶ 18.)

Following are the effect of the proposed Bylaws on the staff.

(1) If the staff voted as one class, the Board can end up with all paid staff Directors or all unpaid staff Directors. To ensure that the staff have fair and democratic representation, there are one paid staff Director directly elected by the paid staff, and one unpaid staff Director directly elected by the unpaid staff. Splitting the staff into paid staff and unpaid staff is “material” and “different” from how listeners would be affected, but allowing paid and unpaid staff to elect their own representative actually enhances their voting rights and representation and thus does not affect them “adversely”.

(2) One of the goals of the New Bylaws was to reduce the size of the National Board. The number of guaranteed staff and listeners seats were both reduced by two-thirds, so listener seats was reduced from 15 to 5, and staff seats were reduced from 5 to 2. Reducing the number of guaranteed seats that staff members would have is both “adverse” and “material”, but it is not “different” from how listeners would be affected.

Pacifica Counsel’s argument, that the Bylaws require separate approval of both staff and listeners, is not valid.

Summary:

In the 2021 referendum, Pacifica members voted for the New Bylaws by a solid and democratic majority of 6820 to 5471 (55% to 45%). 

Pacifica Counsel overruled the democratic vote of the members based on two arguments that are not valid.

It is also concerning that the Pacifica Counsel was strongly opposed to the proposal. (See Note.)

Pacifica needs to recognize the combined vote of the listeners and staff, who clearly want Pacifica’s broken governance fixed. 

Note:

Arthur Schwartz falsely stated at the PNB Meeting Part 2 April 15, 2021 [46:55-47:40]

“What bothers me most about these bylaws is that, for—whether it’s 1-1/2 months or 3 month I’m not sure—there would be four people running Pacifica, no Board. They could do whatever they want, whatever they want.

And it somehow hits me in the gut that WBAI would be back off the air, if these four people just got to run it, without a Board, without representation from anybody else in the United States from any of the stations.

And that’s the biggest part of this. That there is a period of total dictatorship by a 4-person committee that could totally change Pacifica.”

NDP Update, Thanks, Critical Legal Hearing Dec 29

It’s been a wild ride this past two years trying to bring Pacifica back to democracy. To be the creative network of stations envisioned by Lou Hill. A network for progressive voices throughout the United States and the world. With the 2022 elections coming, we need Pacifica more than ever. For that reason, we need your continued support more than ever and we’ll return to that later, but first, here’s an update on what’s been happening.

For a year and a half, we struggled against the entrenched management and National Board. They exploited every technicality and trick to stop us.

They changed the number of signatures for the Bylaws referendum. From 400 to 2,000. We got 3,000 of you to sign, and more kept signing afterwards.

Then they mounted a campaign of disinformation, distortion, and half-truths against the New Day Bylaws. They hampered our email send-outs to members. They ran on-air programs featuring all the mentioned forms of disinformation without affording our representatives the required equal time on air to respond. All this continues to this day!

Despite all this, current management failed, and enough members were able to discern the facts, namely that Pacifica would disappear if we did not change. Thousands of members voted in the largest turnout ever for a Pacifica election. New Day won the overall vote with a 55% to 45% margin.

We thank you for your support – for the thousands of you who voted YES for bylaws and governance reform to save Pacifica, for the many who emailed and called your fellow members, and for the hundreds of you who donated to help pay expenses for New Day Pacifica (NDP). If you haven’t donated lately, this is a great time to do so.

Donate to New Day Pacifica

But the struggle goes on. The entrenched interests continue to have Pacifica in their grip, even though they’ve shown they have no solutions to Pacifica’s problems, that threaten our stations’ very survival.

Why NDP Needs Your Continued Support

Current management has interpreted the applicable California law to mean that a tiny number of staff, mostly at one station (WBAI) where the disinformation about New Day had been most prevalent, could override the vote of the majority of Listener-Members, because — according to them — staff members’ rights would be more negatively affected by the new bylaws than would Listener-Members’ rights. Since the much smaller staff group — if considered separately — voted no, current mamnagement declared that New Day lost the referendum. Suffice it say, we strongly disagree with their interpretation of the law.

Finally, Pacifica filed the present lawsuit against New Day. And against the NDP Transition Officers that you voted to put in place along with the NDP Bylaws. We had to hire lawyers to represent three of those officers to get Pacifica to drop the lawsuit against them.

Then, Pacifica filed a lawsuit against all of the candidates for the KPFK-LSB that New Nay endorsed.

An ongoing pattern of behavior indicates that this is what Pacifica’s current management does. They threaten, they file lawsuits, they use intimidation tactics to try to get their critics to quit, in apparent hopes that no one has the funds to go to court to challenge Pacifica in court.

However with your help, we’re doing just that.

There’s a chance that the end may be in sight.

Next Wednesday, Dec. 29, a judge will hear arguments on whose interpretation of the California law will prevail. We are hoping that the court makes a decisive ruling in New Day’s favor, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Pacifica recently filed yet more legal accusations against New Day. We must respond. The lawyers must be paid. And more costs will come.

We have come really far, but we’re not quite across the finish line yet. It would be a shame to come up short. Our legal team can’t wait and needs to be paid as they work. If you think our cause is worthy, please donate whatever you can, from $10 to $10,000. It all goes to the attorneys arguing our case, and working to protect YOUR rights as Pacifica members.

May 2022 be the year that peace settles in every corner of the earth that needs it the most — including Pacifica!

Donate to New Day Pacifica

For updates, see NewDayPacifica.org

Thank you again and we hope that you, Pacifica, and all of our stations have a great 2022!

PACIFICA OVERRULES THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE OF ITS MEMBERS

Both with the New Bylaws referendum and the KPFK Delegates election, Pacifica overruled the democratic vote of its members.

In 2021, Pacifica held two elections: A referendum on a New Bylaws, and a Delegates Election for the Local Station Boards.

In both elections, Pacifica overruled the vote of its members. 

Pacifica needs to recognize the democratic vote of its members.

PACIFICA RULES NEW BYLAWS LOST DESPITE THE 6820 TO 5471 VOTE

In 2021, the members of Pacifica Radio voted on a member initiated Bylaws referendum and election of officers.

Par agreement, the 2021 referendum used the voting process used in the prior 2020 referendum, which consisted of two parallel votes, one amongst listener members and one amongst staff members.

Listeners members voted 6640 Yes and 5216 No.

Staff members voted 180 Yes and 255 No.

The Bylaws govern how the listeners and staff votes are counted.

In the 2020 referendum, the Bylaws required separate approvals of staff and listeners members because the proposal eliminated staff representation. The staff was materially and adversely affected as to voting in a manner different from the listeners.

In the 2021 referendum, the Bylaws did not require separate approvals of staff and listener members because the new Bylaws proposal did not materially and adversely affected one class as to voting in a manner different from another class.

In the 2021 referendum, Pacifica members voted for the New Bylaws by a solid and democratic majority of 6820 to 5471 (55% to 45%).

Pacifica needs to recognize the vote of the members, who clearly want Pacifica’s broken governance fixed.

PACIFICA DISQUALIFIES 4 CANDIDATES ENDORSED BY NEW DAY PACIFICA

Soon after the Bylaws referendum election, Pacifica held the Delegates election for the Local Station Boards.

After the end of voting, Pacifica disqualified 4 listener Delegates candidates at KPFK. The 4 candidates were endorsed on a postcard that was sent out by New Day Pacifica. 

The ostensible reason for the disqualification was that the card also solicited funds to hire lawyers to represent the voters who voted Yes on the New Bylaws.

New Day Pacifica was soliciting funds to ensure that the vote for the New Bylaws proposal was counted in accordance with the Bylaws, after Pacifica filed a lawsuit to invalidate the members vote for the New Bylaws, using member donated funds.

In any case, the 4 disqualified candidates were not soliciting funds. They were merely endorsed by New Day Pacifica. They did not violate any law or Fair Campaign Provisions. (See quote from Nancy Pearlman)

“I was endorsed by probably dozens of organizations over the 20 years that I ran for the College Board. If I asked an organization to endorse me, or an organization asked me if I wanted to be endorsed, and I said “yes”, it would never occur to me that I had some kind of an obligation to review whatever else the endorsing organization sent out in the same mailer. Pacifica’s trashing of the votes of people who voted for me, because New Day asked for donations on the same postcard is truly bizarre. Especially since No one from Pacifica ever contacted me directly to discuss the matter, before simply blackballing me.”

–Nancy Pearlman, Director Emeritus of the Los Angeles Community College Board, and one of the KPFK candidates

Pacifica , however, did violate California Corporations Code 5513(d), because disqualifying the candidates after the end of voting effectively revoked members written ballots after they were cast. 

Pacifica needs to reinstate the 4 disqualified candidates and re-tabulate the  KPFK Delegates election results. 

Summary:

Both with the New Bylaws referendum and the KPFK Delegates election, Pacifica overruled the democratic vote of its members.

Time Is Running Out for Us on the Left

By Sharon Kyle, New Day candidate for Transition National Chair of Pacifica and Co-Founder of the Left Coast Forum and LA Progressive
Sharon Kyle
For over 50 years, the right has stomped all over the left in its unfettered domination of the media. A few decades ago, it would have been unthinkable to turn on televised news and hear some of the outlandish assertions made on Fox News today. What we now refer to as mainstream media showed itself to be in the pockets of the war profiteers after 9/11. One need only look at which outlets posed serious questions to George W. Bush as he marched us into Iraq and Afghanistan.
Authoritarian regimes are on the rise globally with half the population of the United States demonstrating a willingness to support authoritarianism by backing Trump in the last election. The right’s control of the narrative through its network of media outlets in both television and radio have helped to make this possible.
Time is running out for the left. We don’t have the luxury of stumbling on with barely funded media, internal squabbles, financial kerfuffles and radio programs no one listens to.
For 20 years, Pacifica has operated under a governance structure that has proven itself to be ineffective. The time for change has never been more urgent. Vote YES for New Day Pacifica.

West Coast vs. East Coast Stations?

Myth: The four Vote Yes-New Day officers from the West Coast and Texas will be able to do anything they want, including selling WBAI and WPFW.
Fact: The 4 officers along with 5 locally elected station directors (one each from each station, democratically elected by each Local Station Board within nine days of the election certification and one director elected by the affiliates take office together within 15 days of the election results. The national officers are always part of a larger national Board that will also include two national staff directors and three at-large “expert” directors.
Fact: Under our present system there are over 120 Local board members and 22 National Board Members many of whom try to micromanage the network and each station. With astonishing incompetence Pacifica’s national board has fired or forced out 17 executive directors in 18 years. That in a nutshell is why Pacifica is in a downward spiral: there has been no one steadily at the helm for almost 20 years. No one steadily in charge of station management, fundraising, outreach –or anything!
Pacifica’s audiences are minuscule compared to their potential listenership. Many of Pacifica’s once fiercely loyal long-term listenership is long gone. An active and enthusiastic fan base once embraced the network’s news reporting and commentary, music and culture and grassroots activism. Our job is to win them back and connect with thousands of others who will appreciate Pacifica’s progressive perspective.
For more than a half-century, Pacifica broadcast news, opinion and in-depth analysis that could not be aired anywhere else in America. Its broad, loyal, thoughtful listenership brought real clout to the political spectrum. The incredible range of progressive, cultural and spiritual voices it carried was a source of pride at a well-run network with powerful signals in major media markets. The Pacifica flagship stations and its many affiliates were proudly appreciated by serious seekers and activists everywhere. THIS is what New Day Pacifica is hoping to bring back to Pacifica.
In the alternative, are snake oil infomercials the way out of Pacifica’s problems?
Myth: Pacifica is in decent shape already, so no major changes are needed.
Fact: Three of the five stations are in financial crisis, which unless turned around will sink the network. The biggest threat to the network is not the New Day Bylaws—it is refusing to change the present ones which have led to this crises.
Myth: The New Day Leaders are corporatist “power grabbers” who don’t care about the individual stations.
Fact: The New Day Leaders are a multi-racial (Black, White, Asian & Jewish) group of progressive activists and fierce supporters of Pacifica who are committed to uniting and revitalizing all five stations. As a group, their “street cred” includes Anti War Activists fighting to end the Vietnam war, Iraq, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan wars and engagements; civil rights, civil liberties and Black Lives Matter activists.
Sharon Kyle: Co-Founder of the Left Coast Forum and LA Progressive, featuring such writers as Richard Wolfe, and Bill Fletcher, Jr. Candidate for the Pacifica Transition National Chair.
Jan Goodman: President of the National Lawyer’s Guild’s LA Chapter, Co-Founder of the Paul Robeson Community Center in South Central LA. Candidate for the Pacifica Transition National Co-chair.
Akio Tanaka: County Councilor and Treasurer–Green Party of Alameda County. Candidate for the Pacifica Transition National Secretary.
Lynden Foley: Involved in Texas protests including the encampment outside George W. Bush’s ranch and Indivisible Houston’s weekly protests outside Senator Cornyn’s office after Trump was elected. Candidate for Pacifica Transition National Treasurer.
Myth: Vote Yes-New Day have no plans to solve Pacifica’s financial and listenership problems.
Fact: Vote Yes-New Day Pacifica’s Ten Point Plan is an initial blueprint to addressing Pacifica’s financial, organizational and leadership problems. The cornerstone of the plan is to hire and support a media-experienced executive director dedicated to the Pacifica mission.

Tired of Snake Oil on WBAI? Vote YES on the Bylaws Proposals

Boku, Youthblast and Corrine’s Hot Plants.
WBAI has lots of unique amazing public affairs and cultural programs. But for three hours every day WBAI plays hour-long infomercials, preempting our favorite shows. These snake oil informercials drive WBAI’s loyal listenership away, resulting in a WBAI funding crisis that WBAI management has decided can only be addressed with more and more snake oil infomercials.

WBAI’s top fund-raising premiums are Boku, Youthblast and Hot Plants. The Boku premium is a one-month supply of superfood for $150. Youthblast is an anti-aging supplement and spray for $200. Hot Plants is a sex drive supplement for $80-150.

WBAI has a proud progressive history of supporting social justice movements and playing cutting edge music and cultural programs. Snake oil programming has no place on a Pacifica station.

Read former WBAI producer Doug Henwood’s story (Behind the News still airs on KPFA). He criticized the snake oil premiums years ago and WBAI management took his show off the air as a result.

Vote Yes on the bylaws to stop the infomercials and get WBAI back to its progressive roots and tradition.

Top 10 Reasons to Vote Yes

From NDP’s May 31, 2021 email:

Top 10 Reasons to Vote Yes

1. Pacifica staff you know and respect are voting Yes to change the Pacifica bylaws so we can save KPFA, KPFK, KPFT, WPFW, and WBAI.

Aileen Alfandary
Aileen Alfandary, KPFA News Director (also heard on KPFK): “The current bylaws structure has encouraged dismal mismanagement which threatens the continued existence of the nation’s only progressive radio network.”

Sonali Kolhatkar
Sonali Kolhatkar, Host of Rising Up with Sonali, heard on KPFK, KPFT, and KPFA: “I’ve been shocked year after year watching the local and national boards hamper the workings of stations, undermine worker rights, and generally stand in the way of the Pacifica network thriving.”

Egberto Willies
Egberto Willies, KPFT Host of Politics Done Right: “I am absolutely sure that everyone on both sides of the by-laws debate loves the Pacifica Network and what is best for it. I did not make up my mind to support the new by-laws until just recently, when I finally understood why the current dynamics were untenable. Insanity, doing the same thing and expecting a different result, will ensure Pacifica continues its death spiral. Direct democracy is an antidote to factions as we are learning now with our own national politics.”

Ian Masters
Ian Masters, KPFK Host of Background Briefing: “The Pacifica Foundation is run by a dysfunctional Board incapable of raising funds and in denial of its looming debt. Please do your part and sign the New Day Pacifica bylaws petition.”

2. Listeners want a solid professional radio network: well-run, without constant desperate fund drives and the fear of being shut down and sold off – with great progressive shows and music reflecting Pacifica’s diversity.

3. Current bylaws have led to organizational crisis and impending financial disaster.

4. New Day Transition Officers named in the new bylaws love and are devoted to saving Pacifica. They have stellar progressive activist bios and strong financial backgrounds. With a newly elected functional New Day Pacifica Board, Pacifica can finally hire a stable, long-term Executive Director with media management experience to return Pacifica to financial and organization health. They are neither corporatists, capitalists, dictators, or fascists as name-called in the Vote No literature.
5. Pacifica’s dysfunctional national board has burned through 17 Executive Directors in 18 years, leaving the Foundation essentially leadership for 18 years.

6. Vote Yes so we can save and strengthen all five stations, including WBAI and WPFW.

7. Pacifica has failed every financial audit since 2013. Independent auditors have encouraged Pacifica to consider bylaws revisions “to simplify and encourage more productive meetings… The Foundation and its several stations would benefit from changes designed to achieve a more productive governance process.”

8. Pacifica has forfeited over $7 million in federal grant money since 2013 due to organizational dysfunction. Pacifica was finally totally kicked out of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant program last year for not paying back a requested $137,000 overpayment that was 7 years overdue.

9. Pacifica does not have the reserves to pay the $3.2 million loan payment, now due October 2022. This tipping point for the financial cratering of the Foundation has luckily been put off 18 months, but without massive amounts of fundraising from progressive funders and celebrities and doubling our membership, Pacifica may not survive. The $2 million in Covid grant money went to payroll and other long-overdue debts, NOT toward the $3.2 million loan.

10. Reinvigorated, democratically elected Local Station Boards will actively support their stations with fundraising, community feedback on the station’s programming, and all-hands-on-deck efforts to help double the station’s membership. LSBs will “work with station management to ensure that station programming fulfills the purposes of the Foundation and its response to the diverse needs of the listeners (demographic) and communities (geographic) served by the station.” (NDP bylaws)

Questions about Pacifica losing federal funding, failing audits, having no reserves for upcoming $3.2M loan payment, Pacifica’s lack of stable staff leadership?

Pacifica is in trouble, and desperately needs your help. Dysfunctional bylaws have made it impossible for Pacifica’s National Board, though well-intentioned, to function. The network’s financial decline and debt burden have worsened to a crisis point over the last ten years. The board, tangled up in unworkable bylaws, is unable to stabilize the situation or turn things around. This puts the future of an invaluable, irreplaceable progressive asset in grave peril.

Pacifica has forfeited millions of dollars in federal funding since 2013.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting stopped funding Pacifica in 2012 after Pacifica refused to pay back a $137,000 overpayment uncovered by a regular CPB audit. Pacifica only paid back the $137,000 last year after CPB announced it was dropping Pacifica from its grant program. Pacifica was way too late to be reinstated to the grant program; Pacifica now has to start over from the beginning with a totally new application to re-enter the CPB grant program (and Pacifica does NOT currently meet CPB’s minimum qualifications). See CPB’s May 22, 2020 letter to Pacifica.

The Pacifica Board has forfeited over seven million dollars in CPB grant funding since 2012. This annual million dollars was divided among the five stations to help pay expenses and fund new programs.

Pacifica has failed every financial audit since 2015.

Auditors since 2015 have said they have “substantial doubt about the organization’s ability to continue as a going concern”. That’s the language Auditors use to say an organization is in extremely bad shape. Review Pacifica’s audits.

Pacifica has no reserves to pay a $3.2 million dollar loan payment. Despite the FJC lender’s written offer in October to extend the $3.2 million loan payoff one year, the National Board apparently still hasn’t nailed down a formal extension of the loan due April 2 2021. The National Board has known for at least two years that it would not be able to put aside $3.2 million, and that loan default meant losing station buildings at KPFA, KPFK and/or KPFT. While New Day Pacifica is very hopeful that Pacifica will be able to get an extension from the lender based on FJC’s October offer to Pacifica, the fact that the Pacifica Board still hasn’t nailed down the details reflects the profound dysfunction generated by Pacifica’s current governance structure and bylaws. (At their February 25 meeting the National Board was still discussing whether or not they should ask the lender for an extension. We understand that since that time the Board has decided to ask for a loan extension.)

Pacifica’s Executive Directors are constantly changing, with 17 EDs both permanent and interim in 18 years. This means there has been no stable leadership at Pacifica in 18 years.

One of the National Board’s central roles is to hire and support an Executive Director with media management experience to run the network, fundraise and supervise the stations. The National Board has chased out or fired every experienced ED they have hired during this time because the Board micromanages ED decisions. As a result, the ED position has largely been filled by current or former National Board members (sometimes paid, sometimes volunteer)in long-term “interim” positions. None of these Interim Executive Directors have had media management experience.

More on Differences between the PRP and NDP Bylaws Proposals

The New Day Pacifica (NDP) bylaws proposal is completely different than last year’s losing PRP proposal.

Differences include the role of the Local Station Boards, whether or not to have staff on the National Board, and whether or not the majority of the National Board would be elected listeners and staff (New Day) or appointed experts (PRP).

Role of the Local Station Board: Last year’s PRP Bylaws would have eliminated the Local Station Board structure. New Day Pacifica refocuses the duties of the LSBs on community outreach, fundraising and supporting the stations rather than counterproductive micromanagement.

Whether or not staff represented on the Pacifica National Board: PRP eliminated staff representation on the National Board. With New Day, staff for the first time will directly elect their National Board directors.

Composition of the majority of the new National Board: With PRP the majority of the National Board would be appointed experts, not elected listeners and staff. With New Day, the majority of the 15-member National Board will continue to be elected listeners and staff, with three appointed experts.)

For more information, see the Detailed Description of the NDP Bylaws.

Also see more about the relationship between the March 2020 (PRP) Bylaws and the New Day Pacifica version