Despite Declining KPFA Membership, UCR Stays Strong and Steady

United for Community Radio and all the candidates say “THANK YOU” to all our supporters!  UCR candidates Scott Olsen and Sharon Adams were elected to the KPFA Local Station Board.

Sharon Adams

Sharon Adams

Scott Olsen

Scott Olsen

tmT.M. Scruggs was the first runner-up and will replace Andrea Pritchett at the first meeting of the new KPFA Local Station Board, scheduled for January 23, at 11 a.m., at the North Berkeley Senior Center.  This means that UCR will have 4 new representatives on the LSB.

United for Community Radio candidates won 3 seats, and so-called “Save KPFA” candidates won 6.  Although SK candidates won more seats, we at UCR believe that the election results show that UCR is moving in the right direction.  And we believe that UCR can obtain a majority of the LSB seats in the next election, currently scheduled for later in 2016.

 

UCR’s message is resonating with the KPFA members. 

UCR maintained its support, despite a large decrease in voter turnout and a decrease in overall KPFA membership. This is good news for UCR, as it means we have a chance to WIN the next election.

The number of listener-members of KPFA has been decreasing over the last 10 years:
YEAR—–Listener-Members
2005  —–  24,000
2006  —–  22,000
2010  —–  20,000
2012  —–  18,000
2015  —–  16,0000

 

Likewise, the number of voters has been decreasing, although not as much as the decrease in members; reflecting the fact that the people who continue to contribute to KPFA are massively committed to the well-being of the station.

Despite the decline in members and in voters, UCR has maintained a steady base of approximately 1000 votes.  This means that support for UCR is growing within the KPFA community!  This is great news for UCR and means that we are on the right track.   In contrast, SK has been losing voters as the membership has declined.

Election Year Total Voters SK Votes UCR Votes
2010 3,457 ~ 2,400 ~ 1,000
2012 3,257 ~ 2,200 ~ 1,000
2015 2,300 ~ 1,300 ~ 1,000

For more details click here.

Notice:  Some may recall that Janet Kobren ran on the UCR slate.  By mutual consent, Janet Kobren is no longer affiliated with United for Community Radio.

Please follow and like us:

Beleaguered KPFK Workers Need Support in Election; Union Member Says, “Vote UCR”

BY ANTHONY FESTvote-661888_1280

NOVEMBER 30, 2015: KPFA subscribers have five more days to vote in the election for KPFA’s governing body, the Local Station Board.
 

Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is hearing multiple grievances from unionized staff members at KPFA’s Southern California sister station KPFK, grievances prompted by the actions of KPFK’s recently-appointed manager. The KPFK workers say management has violated their union contract, cut their hours, and failed to pay thousands of dollars in pension contributions and union dues.

Is there a connection?
Indeed there is, and KPFA voters should take heed:
Leslie Radford, the KPFK general manager responsible for the workers’ grievances and the widespread listener complaints, was appointed by none other than KPFA board member Margy Wilkinson. And Wilkinson is now running for re-election to the KPFA board.

What’s Going On?
KPFA and KPFK are two members of the five-station Pacifica Foundation network. Each of the five stations elects a Local Station Board; then the five local boards each send four members to the Pacifica National Board (PNB), the legal “board of directors” of Pacifica. The network and its stations are supposed to be overseen by a full-time Executive Director, hired by the PNB, but the current PNB seems unable to keep an ED on the job; two have departed after short stints in the post. In the absence of an ED, the Chair of the PNB is acting ED. It was in that role that PNB Chair Margy Wilkinson appointed Radford as manager of KPFK this past June. Incredibly, Wilkinson installed Radford in the KPFK job one day before a newly-hired ED began work. Evidently, Wilkinson didn’t want to leave the hiring of a station manager in the hands of someone with actual radio experience. And Radford’s apparent qualification for the general-manager job was being a member of the KPFK board faction that’s allied with Wilkinson’s “Save KPFA.”

In only four months on the job, Radford has so alienated KPFK workers and listeners that a no-confidence petition on Change.org has garnered 250 signatures. The signatories include listeners, present and former KPFK staff, former KPFA staff members Esther Manilla and John Hamilton, and Uprising host Sonali Kolhatkar, whose program is heard on both stations. The no-confidence statement cites labor-contract violations, fundraising blunders, “disastrous programming decisions,” and other problems. It concludes, “ We believe Radford is a liability to KPFK and will lead the station to bankruptcy and/or numerous lawsuits until KPFK is no more.”
 
Some of the KPFK staff members have also created a Facebook page to publicize their issues; Facebook users can find it here.

Throw the Bum(s) Out?
Under Pacifica’s bylaws, the KPFK LSB could begin the process of firing Radford, although the ultimate authority is the Pacifica National Board. This month’s election could swing the balance of power on the local boards and thus the National Board. Therefore, KPFA voters should consider this advice from long-time KPFK staffer and union member Ali Lexa:

As a current SAG-AFTRA member, I can tell you the union busting at KPFK going on right now is real, and Margy Wilkinson is no friend of our union. If we don’t get the Pacifica National Board into better hands immediately, our station in LA which is the biggest non-commercial radio signal west of the Mississippi River and the most important free speech voice in Southern California, is done. So please vote UCR. It’s the pro-labor vote.

United-for-Community-Radio (UCR) is supporting a well-qualified team of nine candidates for the nine KPFA LSB seats to be filled by KPFA subscriber votes. The UCR team includes a union leader for home care workers (Marilla Argüelles), and a former organizer and shop steward (Don Macleay); they’re part of a diverse group of individuals advocating for peace and social justice.
 

To support both KPFA and KPFK, please vote for the nine UCR candidates! To be sure of meeting the voting deadline of Friday, December 4, KPFA subscribers should vote online using the access codes that came with their paper ballots.

Please follow and like us:

PAST: United For Community Radio Postcard 2015

pc_photos

 

 

 

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

Please follow and like us:

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.

Please follow and like us:

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

Please follow and like us:

Program Council at KPFA

antenna-154946_640

 

KPFA PROGRAM COUNCIL —

What is it? Why is it important? What did it do? Where did it come from? Why should I care that it is gone?

[Written c. 2009, still relevant today!]

The Program Council (or programming committee) at KPFA has existed since the 1970’s – over 35 years. [45 in 2015.] During that time, its been composed of managers for the departments of public affairs, news, music and arts and humanities, representatives of the hundreds of unpaid programmers, often elected under the supervision of the Unpaid Staff Organization (UPSO) and at various times, technical and operations staff, managers from the apprenticeship program, local board members and listener representatives.

At times it has been facilitated by a program director or coordinator, and sometimes by someone else in the group chosen by the members. The author of this piece served in that role from 2004 to 2007 as a listener representative.

Birthed in the mobilizations of the 60’s and 70’s that demanded a meaningful place at the table for the perspectives of marginalized groups (and created at KPFA a Women’s Desk, a Third World Center, and the Unpaid Staff Organization itself), the program council had the philosophy that collaborative decision making about programming was healthy and desirable for a voice of dissent and resistance. Protected by a confidentiality agreement that allowed staff, volunteers and later listener reps to talk candidly about their programming visions and critiques, the program council always played an important role in airing and discussing contentious issues. During the many years the station lacked a program director (including the years 2000 to 2006), the program council took on much of the responsibility for non-emergency decision-making.

Some of the things accomplished in that period of time:schedule

(In the same interval of time – the only programs added to the schedule by management policy were Against The Grain, Sundays with Peter Laufer (since canceled) and imported programs from New York (Behind The News) and LA (Uprising).

  • Evaluated 2/3 of the current programs with a thorough 5 page evaluation form and programmer briefing
  • Developed a program proposal process for new additions to the grid from community members, processed over 40 demos, interviewed the programmers and developed a waiting list of approved programs.
  • Attempted to implement a contract basis for programming where individual programs would sign an agreement for a program slot for a contained period of time (until the next evaluation – projected for 2 years apart).

(Current system is indefinite until programmer voluntarily relinquishes a slot or is taken abruptly off the air; examples: Youth Radio, Peter Laufer)

The program council couldn’t always solve every contentious issue. In 2003, it was temporarily dissolved when its decision to move Democracy Now! from its current airing time of 6 am and 9 am to one daily 7 am airing failed to be implemented by station management.

When the program council was re-assembled, the Local Station Board passed a motion affirming the decision making power given to it.  It also made a highly controversial decision to place a one year moratorium on new proposals from a group called the Labor Collective.

In 2006, after a long interval without a full-time Program Director, KPFA finally assigned an interim person to the position. Unfortunately, the results were:

  • Suspension of meetings from April 2007 to October 2007
  • Unilateral reduction of meetings from weekly to bi-weekly
  • A statement that the program council was advisory only,
  • Removal of program proposals for long and short-term programs from the review of the council
  • Jettisoning of the approved program waiting list that had been created after the program council slogged through a backload of 20+ proposals between 2004 and 2005
  • Replacement of the established evaluation process with a one-page Survey Monkey online survey.

This is not what the unpaid staff organized, fought and went on strike for in 1970’s

This is not what the listeners envisioned when so many of them marched to protect KPFA in 1999.

KPFA is not to be encompassed by any one single person’s vision. The delivery of the mission depends on many perspectives being brought to bear and on sharing experiences, building understanding and resolving differences. If we cannot do that within our own community and build collaborative working groups, how can we hope to do so out in the world?

All the stakeholders sitting down and hashing out the best way to put the 59,000 watts into service for peace and justice. That’s the mission.

by Tracy Rosenberg, Media Alliance

 

     2015 Postscript – To date the Program Council has not been reinstated because the SaveKPFA majority on the Local Station Board rejected a democratically-constituted Program Council, as existed before. They preferred one dominated by department heads, which would hardly function as a democratic Council, dedicated to community programming.

Please follow and like us: