Berkeley- Iraq war vet and Occupy Oakland survivor Scott Olsen is running for an open seat on the KPFA Local Station Board with 8 other candidates affiliated with United for Community Radio (UCR).
Olsen, who survived a police shotgun-fired head injury at the Occupy Oakland encampment said: “I urge KPFA listeners to vote for the full slate of United for Community Radio candidates committed to rescuing KPFA from all attempts by the current board majority to break up or privatize the network”.
Olsen added: “It appears there is a group within KPFA who have acted improperly to break KPFA away from the Pacifica Radio Network without notifying the network’s 55,000 listener-member owners”.
Specifically, an improper filing of a 501c3 non profit incorporation using KPFA’s call letters has been uncovered threatening to break up the network without notifying the governance bodies of WBAI (NY), WPFW (DC), KPFT (Houston), KPFK (LA) and the nations first listener-owned and operated station KPFA (Berkeley).
United for Community Radio Candidates running for open seats on the KPFA Local Station Board in 2015
Scott Olsen’s Candidate Statement
My name is Scott Olsen. You might remember me as the Iraq War veteran who was shot by the Oakland Police during Occupy. KPFA was a vital news source for me then and my radio dial was stuck at 94.1FM. KPFA supported me, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and our comrades. allowing us to tell our story – uncut. And now as I no longer live in California, I listen to KPFA over the internet. Nowhere else do I find its diversity of voices, music, and perspectives and I enter this candidacy in my desire to help protect KPFA as a crucial independent media source.
I currently serve on the board of directors for Iraq Veterans Against the War and I’m familiar with non-profit governance processes. I’ve worked in communications for over ten years– addressing both organizational and technical challenges, In the military I worked with radio. I’m a licensed amateur radio operator – finding creative solutions for connection. I believe these skills can help me to contribute to the KPFA Local Station Board.
Through my experiences with individuals, organizations, the armed services, and communities, I deeply value the wide range of ways that people contribute to community media. I support:
· the right of KPFA unpaid staff to unionize
· creation of new internships
· development of a network for sharing of community audio and video recordings and interviews about local events.
· developing a more easeful system for people to communicate with KPFA staff and programmers
· station wide/community advanced planning for events of political, economic, environmental or social significance with possible pre-and-post event interviews, real time audio video live streaming and posting of videos on kpfa.org
I also want to help the station to establish powerful links with listeners and organizations through an active Program Council to give input about new and existing programs based on community needs and interests.
Another goal is to see KPFA embrace and expand its internet listenership beyond the signal range. This might include a transition including electronic communication at meetings to allow for wider geographical representation. Also I would like to help build more connection with KPFA’s sister stations and affiliates where we work together to build a strong national Pacifica network to create new possibilities for programming.
Now more than ever, it’s time for media truth telling: about what’s happening with the economy and environment, about what happens when the United States goes to war, about what is happening when people protest, and about how people of color are profiled and killed and African American churches burned. I appreciate those who are addressing these issues, the KPFA programmers who cover them and my United for Community Radio colleagues– working to insure that these stories are heard. I ask for your vote for me and the UCR team.
Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report
Barbara Lubin, Middle East Childrens Alliance
Michael Parenti, Author
Veterans for Peace, East Bay Chapter 162
Ed Holmes, San Francisco Mime Troupe
Cynthia Johnson, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
The KPFA Local Station Board (LSB) is a 24 member body democratically elected by listeners and staff operating under by laws approved in 2003 following a protracted struggle to rescue KPFA and its five sister stations from attempts to sell individual stations and to begin accepting corporate underwriting and advertising.
Photo from Occupy Oakland by Daniel Arauz.