Scott Olsen

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Scott Olsen

Scott Olsen


Board member, Iraq Veterans Against the War, survivor of police raid on Occupy.

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

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.

Micheal Moore quoteAnother 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. Help us expand KPFA and Pacifica and Liberate Media Together.

Endorsed by:
Veterans for Peace, East Bay Chapter 162
Barbara Lubin
Michael Parenti
Cynthia Johnson
Laura Wells
Scott Olsen best
Scott Olsen appearing on Democracy Now!  To hear the segment, click here:  Democracy Now!

Official Q & A


1.  In what ways are the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve?


I appreciate KPFA’s use of new technology. The new is livelier, more accessible and mobile friendly. KPFA is also exploring possibilities for podcasting and is using Twitter and Facebook for updates and announcements. I hope they will continue to work on creating an interactive community presence through KPFA social media and help keep growing and reaching out to youth through the global media revolution.I celebrate KPFA’s Spanish programs and those from Native American and Asian communities and the internationally recognized KPFA programmers reporting on Africa and the Middle East, as well as Democracy Now’s major contribution of world-wide event coverageThe KPFA speaker events with noted authors like Cornell West, Naomi Klein and Mario Martinez also help promote greater understanding and connection with the community.


2.  In what ways are the station moving in a negative direction, that you would want to stop or change? What changes would you work for?


I would like to see KPFA increase its partnership with the community.  KPFA programmers, interns and microphones need to be at events taking place all over the Bay Area– north, south, east, in SF, and beyond.  We want live broadcasts, real time audio video live streaming on the website and well labeled archive postings. People like seeing and being interviewed by KPFA and knowing that the KPFA live stream team values quality, safe and ethical coverage. This helps build strong relationships with individuals and organizations and increases memberships.

We also need to create a more organized process for inviting and supporting new volunteers to contribute their time to the station with fund raising, answering in the phone room, hosting and helping at KPFA events, sharing information about programming and the website and helping people interconnect with programming in myriads of ways. I want to help us to build a powerful KPFA free speech community.


3.  What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station’s mission?


My primary Marine Corps job was communications– radios, computers, and everything with more than three blinking lights. I’m a licensed amateur radio operator, and am familiar with FCC regs. I  am on the Iraq Veterans Against the War board of directors and know the challenges of board work and governing a non-profit organization. People tell me I have a dry sense of humor and I suspect that it might be a helpful trait with this eminent local station board.I’m serious, level-headed and responsible. I study information carefully, consider different points of view and work creatively to make sound decisions.My many interactions with KPFA producers and programmers, and other local, international, independent and mainstream media people give me a broad perspective of the broadcasting world. My experiences in Iraq, at Occupy and with veterans help give me a special understanding of the need for independent media today. I seek to use this insight for the common good.


4.  What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced?Money Sign


We are all grateful to those who make large donations to the station and at the same time I would like the station broaden its fundraising approach for people with more limited incomes. This might look like keeping the cost membership at $25 per year, providing additional lower cost premiums during fund drives and having more fund raising cultural events. This could allow for a greater number of people, including diverse communities and youth to be able to help sustain the station. Also a greater community presence where people can meet somebody from the KPFA can also support fund raising. People who know and love KPFA can throw $5 or $10 in the basket and those who are new can learn about the station.Also by supporting the development of great programming and new media innovations for KPFA and the Pacifica national network we build more financially sustainability for all the stations and affiliates.