PAST: United For Community Radio Postcard 2015

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United for Community Radio Candidates.

 

Make Your Voice Heard

Vote in the KPFA Local Station Board election!!!

 

Paper ballots have been mailed, so if you haven’t received one, please contact the KPFA election supervisor,  kpfa-les (at) pacifica.org

 

 

 

Some of the many endorsers of UCR Candidates:  postcard2

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On-Air Candidate Forums

https://www.flickr.com/photos/audiolucistore/11046790073

From Flickr, license below.

One-Hour Live
Listener Candidate Forums

KPFA Performance Studio
19 Candidates, 4 Forums

(Click on the dates, to listen)

Sharon Adams
Brian Oakchunas
Scott Olsen
 
Don Macleay
Barbara Whipperman
T.M. Scruggs
Margy Wilkinson
Marilla Arguelles

 

Yuri Gottesman
Janet Kobren
William Campisi
Mario Fernandez 
Jeremy Miller

 

Tom Voorhees
David Lynch
Virginia Browning
Sasha Futran

 

Moderator/Host:

Nelsy Batista, Local Election Supervisor
Substitute Moderator, Leon from Youth Radio/Bay Area MC

 Three or four of the questions asked came from the studio audience.  The names of those asking the question were pulled from a hat.

————

These candidates were scheduled but did not appear:
Richard Hart
Leland Thompson

 

Graphic: license

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Democracy Now! on KPFA — UCR wanted Dem Now! aired at 7 a.m., when most people listen

 

By:  Mara Rivera DN
Save KPFA is apparently claiming that United for Community Radio (UCR) wanted to eliminate the show — this is UNTRUE. United for Community Radio has always wanted Democracy Now! to air at 7 a.m. on KPFA.

 

At the time in 2011 (and as it is now) KPFA airs Democracy Now two times each morning, at 6 a.m. and again at 9 a.m.  UCR wanted Democracy Now to be on the airwaves one time in the morning, at 7 a.m.  As Richard Phelps says, you put your most listened to program at the most listened to time. Therefore, UCR wanted Democracy Now to have one slot in the program line-up, at 7 a.m.  This would open the 9 a.m. slot for additional local programming.

 

The Save KPFA forces wanted to keep drive time for the paid staff, apparently so that paid staff can claim that their programs are the biggest fundraisers for the station. More information can be found here, in an article written at the time these events were happening.

 

The article, written in 2011 by Marc Sapir states:

[T]he governments of Tunisia and Egypt have fallen and massive non-violent uprisings are occurring throughout North Africa and the Arabian peninsula, all this widely covered daily on KPFA which recently became the only national network carrying Al Jazeera-English. In addition, the staff of the program Voices of Middle East and North Africa put together extended shows that aired in prime time with fantastic commentary from experts and activists rarely heard anywhere in U.S. media. At the same time Amy Goodman’s Senior Producer, SA Kouddous, an Egyptian-American, traveled to Egypt where he was on the scene daily reporting from Tahrir square as well. Through the good sense of Pacifica ED, Arlene Engelhardt, Goodman’s show, Democracy Now (KPFA’s most listened to program) is now running in the 7 a.m. drive time slot, complemented by a diverse and local Morning Mix show at 8-9 a.m. which has also brought to KPFA airwaves many new voices and perspectives.

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Save KPFA Candidate said Palestinian Children’s Art “Not Appropriate”

(Since this information emerged, Hilmon Sorey was quietly dropped from the Save KPFA website and the official website says “candidacy withdrawn”)

In 2011, Oakland’s Museum of Children’s Art abruptly cancelled a planned exhibition of art created by children in the Palestinian occupied territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  At the time, Museum board chair (current Save KPFA candidate) Hilmon Sorey stated that the art was “not appropriate” for the Museum.

UCR says: “This kind of candidate is NOT APPROPRIATE for the KPFA Local Station Board.”

The following open letter was sent by Barbara Lubin, executive director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance.

imageedit_7_6209691148

From: Barbara Lubin
Date: Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 11:22 AM
Subject: Hilmon Sorey

I received a letter today asking me to vote for the new KPFA Board of Directors and I was shocked to see Mr. Hilmon Sorey’s picture and name on it.

I don’t know if you remember when MECA brought the Children’s Art Exhibit to the U.S. from Gaza.

We spent 6 months working with the staff of The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland.

They had agreed to let us hang the exhibit at the museum for 2 months during which time we would have many small events with children and teachers.

We were all very excited but that changed after a visit from Hilmon Sorey who was chair of the Museum’s Board.

He came to MECA’S office 2 weeks before the exhibit was to open and informed us that the Museum had changed their mind and we would have to look elsewhere for a place to hang the pictures.

The rest of this story is in the book we had published and I will get to you.

I have been thinking about all of this and all the pain that we here at MECA went through and I asked myself this question “with all the problems that KPFA has do we really need a person like Mr. Sorey on our Board?”

He is not to be trusted and when push comes to shove he will do what the Zionist community tells him to do.

We received hundreds of letters from all over the world condemning him for his lack of leadership but mostly for insulting the Palestinian children who drew these pictures.

Barbara Lubin
Middle East Children’s Alliance
Web: www.mecaforpeace.org

Maia Project: Bringing clean water to children in Palestine
www.mecaforpeace.org/project/maia-project

Press coverage of the incident:

San Francisco Chronicle

Daily Kos

Huffington Post

VOTE!!! 

UNITED FOR COMMUNITY RADIO CANDIDATES

KPFA LOCAL STATION BOARD ELECTION

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UCR Candidates In The News

 

Podcasts

Jeremy Miller spoke against  Urban Shield at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, and is also one of the hosts of Heterotopia music program on Mutiny Radio, located at 87.9 FM in San Francisco.

 

Sharon Adams at Berkeley City Council

Sharon Adams at Berkeley City Council

 

Sharon Adams spoke against Urban Shield at the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center, and spoke at the Berkeley City Council in support of Berkeley’s status as a Sanctuary City, and in opposition to proposed federal legislation attacking Sanctuary Cities across the United States.

 

 

 

Tom Vohrees is active in a community radio start up coalition, Radio for People (R4P). Tom has been seen putting up radio transmitters for low-power radio stations all over the West, from Moscow Idaho, to helping get KFFR on air in Colorado.

Don Macleay

Don Macleay

 

Don Macleay is writing a memoir of his work in Nicauagua during the 80s, which is taking some time away from writing on his blog.   He continues his work with as a Green Party activist, and  his decades-long commitment to supporting and volunteering in the local community.  He recently volunteered at the East Bay Innovation Academy on the Thurgood Marshall campus in Oakland, giving a class in  bike maintenance.

 

Mario Fernandez is active in many campaigns, currently phone banking with the San Mateo Labor Council, and active in the Bernie Sanders campaign. He is also involved in Occupy Oakland and BlackLivesMatters movements.

 

Virginia Browning is currently serving on the KPFA Local Station Board and on several national committees of the Pacifica Foundation. To learn more about Virginia’s life-long love of radio, click here.

 

Janet Kobren, one of the founding members of the Northern California 9-11 Truth Alliance, plugged the importance of KPFA, her UCR LSB candidacy (and the UCR 9) when she introduced one of the videos during the 9-hour 9-11 Truth Film Festival held on September 10 at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.  Janet Kobren is currently serving on the KPFA Local Station Board, and also on the Pacifica National Board, representing UCR interests as an officer on the Pacifica Foundation.

so2tweets

 

Scott Olsen continues his work with Iraq Veterans Against the WarIraq Veterans Against the War, and tweets about militarization of the police and in support of strong communities.

 

T.M Scruggs is an anthromusicologist and musician.  His primary research focus is on the use of music to construct social identity in the Americas, with a geographical specialty in Latin America and the Caribbean.   He collaborated with Project Censored to share some of the best-known labor and revolutionary ballads on May Day 2015.

 

Marilla Arguelles recently attended a Single-Payer Health Care conference.

 

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Virginia Browning’s Life-Long Love of Radio — Part I

By: Virginia Browning

Note: fellow candidate Sharon Adams has asked candidates to write something short to give voters a better idea who we are. I think this is a great idea, but must say “I would have made it shorter, but I didn’t have time.” She brilliantly turned my less-whittled draft into this article. I’ll try to improve this when I have time, but here are some elements from my life and experience, mostly concentrating on political parts (some but not all of these, and versus for example my struggling against my “by ear” tendency to learn music theory – over and over and over….”)at 22 or 23 or 24

As a teenager, I participated in anti-war marches and groups and actively campaigned for Democratic Party politicians.  Later I attended caucus meetings to elect delegates the year Fred Harris ran for president.  It was fairly easy to support someone to the left of the lesser evil in those days, because the Republicans were sure to win the state of Utah anyway.  Why not vote your conscience?  In environmental groups such as The Utah Wilderness Association I worked hard against the building of several massive power plants, and against destruction of much public land in Utah, often successfully. When community radio KRCL, a welcome burst of beauty blooming in Salt Lake City was launched, I got the required license, learned to use the board, mics, and other equipment, and did field and studio recordings, news editing, interviewing, and other broadcasting. I produced a weekly environmental show for a time with interviews and segments from hearings I had recorded.

I joined a few activists and became Volunteer Coordinator in The MX Information Center in opposing the basing of nuclear MX missiles in Utah and Nevada.  This became a very successful organization.  I met with Downwinders in that group, former conservative Utahns, many of them, who, having been basically bombed and maimed, or as survivors of family members murdered by the U.S. government in the above-ground and underground but leaking nuclear explosions drifting across the state (and country and world), were not quite as willing to allow these nuclear missiles into their midst as the government had counted on their being.  I realized that the mountains around Salt Lake City had retained some of the highest levels of pollution from these tests.  Members of my own family became ill or died, possibly from exposure they received as children to these high levels of radiation.  But the line “we are all downwinders” in this corporate plutocracy organized for profit at the expense of health, is a line I find to be important and true.

7I met Utah Phillips when I was 15 and immediately fell madly in love with him.  He taught me something of the value of a trusted adult not taking advantage of such a crush, but was always so wonderful with young people in my presence.  All his life he was very important to me.

After Fred Harris lost, I quit working for the Democrats but worked for Barry Commoner and whoever came after that, always exercising my right to vote (why not? don’t NOT vote – vote for SOMEONE.  In this I disagreed with dear eloquent enchanting Utah Phillips…)

I joined Marxist study groups; I saw up close the discipline of members of leftist parties who joined trade unions in order to have conversations and move things to the left. Unfortunately, too often the Democratic Party ended up moving each of these to the right instead. And some of those dedicated members were treated badly when they failed to go along with every single precept or notion. I saw dedicated activists treated very hurtfully, some who had traveled across the country, changed their lives to create change. I saw that actual democracy is not easy, and that the temptation to grab power is ever-present in all organizations. Difficult as it is though, it is important to persist and try to achieve understanding.

When I moved to Berkeley/Oakland/Berkeley, I became aware of KPFA. I had adored working at radio (and listening to it), and considered applying for a job as there were some openings listed shortly after I moved. But I needed the security of a steady paycheck, and I thought – how can a community station guarantee living wages and benefits for so many paid radio people? KPFA always seemed to be struggling. I had not had the most stable upbringing and needed a sense of stability. Furthermore, I had seen how much good came from volunteer reporters and broadcasters at the radio station in Salt Lake City. The picture of becoming a paid employee requiring a steady paycheck and benefits year after year didn’t fit with my notion of a community radio station free to report on even unpopular subjects. Who would pay if the subject was not quite sexy yet? I had seen how many years it took, for example, for the MX Information Center to grow from a group of 6 or 8 to a mailing list of several thousand. And then it had only one paid employee, and I knew that sustaining more than that would have been very hard.

In Oakland and Berkeley, I have worked on various projects, including as past co-chair and member of STANDStanding Together for Accountable Neighborhood Development — an alliance of community groups, residents and merchants that formed in response to the surge of high-density condo development proposals for Temescal, Rockridge, and other North Oakland neighborhoods.

A student welds a bike path sculpture in a STAND affiliated project.

A student welds a bike path sculpture in a STAND affiliated project.

While STAND supports new development and recognizes the benefits of sustainable, equitable, and responsible growth, its mission is to provide a voice for the thousands of citizens alarmed by the number, size, density, and impacts of these projects and to hold the City of Oakland accountable in identifying the full range of project impacts.   With that group I worked painstakingly reviewing zoning proposed for the city and helping to develop a set of recommendations.

A KPFA-related note here: as with the local Berkeley groups currently working on concerns similar to STAND’s, (and as with honest reports about Africa or Syria for that matter not framed by corporate newswires), the KPFA news reported little to nothing about the many community meetings STAND and other groups held, despite their almost always being of great interest to community members. They were usually well-attended, but through no help from the KPFA news department, access to which remains opaque to most listeners still.  UCR, United for Community Radio, is working to improve this type of coverage.

There was a wonderful flowering of hope at the beginning of the Ron Dellums mayorship in Oakland during which hundreds of dedicated citizens participated in task forces on housing, transportation, economics, etc. etc. Creative solutions were developed and presented, and some even used. I was on several of those task forces.

Virginia Browning

Virginia Browning

In recent years most of my activism has centered around KPFA radio. In the 90s many listeners became alarmed at what seemed to be a winnowing out of radical voices, and a kind of “progressive” but not too progressive aura. There has continuously been tension between those who literally have no wide-signal megaphone such as KPFA available anywhere else, including many homeless and poor folks, and those who want to sort of titrate in a few radical views at a time but basically appeal to comfortable ex-leftists who now support the rather significant paid staff financially. You can read more about the so-called “Healthy Stations Project” which I and many others credit with having helped to kill much of the radical nature in stations across the country.

I’ll try to write more about this period when I have more time.

In October 2011, my heart was lifted by the activism of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland. I joined with others in general assemblies and events, and haven’t given up on the idea that an even better version of this can re-emerge. Some of the conversations encouraged in the “G.A.’s” (general assemblies) were very wonderful, very touching. Activists I met then have continued to open public conversations and to work for a better world, including in Oakland’s versions of “Black Lives Matter”.

Before my own candidacy for the KPFA board, I worked hard for fair elections at KPFA (there actually have not been any fair enough yet) and to help set up forums for listeners to know who they would be voting for in the KPFA elections.

While of course I strongly urge you to vote for UCR (United for Community Radio) members only, I feel now that no election alone will likely protect Pacifica. The current situation is so life-threatening to the whole topple-ready network that some from historically opposed factions at KPFA, while retaining importantly different visions, have joined a project to keep parts of the network from being swallowed by the six owners of 90% of U.S. media. I and some from diverse factions network-wide have begun to explore new bylaws and new culture.

There’s more to say, and no time now to say it. But for now I’ll say this: Beware of this platitude that does NOT apply: “the museum of ancient hurts,” which I have heard used by our opposition in this election. It is a distraction from learning from history. * As Utah Phillips said – history is still here, it didn’t go anywhere. People often need to process betrayals and damage before moving on. We must start with being honest about who we are historically and what we have stood for, and try to show respect for each other’s history and values, express clear agreements and disagreements which can only become clear when we are open about how we do disagree. Then we may begin to learn how to work together in ways necessary to Pacifica’s survival.

*The very name of our opposition in this election is a name I and many others of us used together in the 90s. Now this narrow group has grabbed a good name and confuses listeners into thinking the banner they post on their website is their banner and stands for their values. In fact, many in the original group who carried that banner have and had values diametrically opposite theirs. When someone recommends against learning history, raise a little red flag or two…and do your best to learn some. It may be important.

Thanks for reading this. I know it’s hard to know who to vote for. All you can do is do your best. Pacifica is still a treasure.

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