KPFA Election Results

Meet Your New KPFA Local Station Board Members
from United For Community Radio’s slate

(For complete results, click here)

Thank you to the United for Community Radio community and the many KPFA members who held events, distributed literature, posted on social media, endorsed and voted for our candidates. We look forward to working with you to expand and strengthen our independent KPFA and Pacifica radio network.  The new members will be seated at the January meeting of the Local Station Board.

Akio Tanaka

Akio Tanaka

Akio Tanaka—Listener Representative

I first encountered Pacifica in 1970 t the height of the Vietnam War, an amazing new station came on the air broadcasting anti-war progressive voices. It was exhilarating and at the time a somber experience because the station was bombed off the air shortly after it began its broadcast, but it crystallized for me why Pacifica needs to survive.  Read more.

 

Carol Wolfley

Carol Wolfley

Carol Wolfley—Listener Representative

I want KPFA to cover YOUR interests: on the radio; on the community calendar; on podcasts and on website videos, I advocate for dependable reporting of people’s responses to political, economic and environmental challenges, discrimination and militarized violence; and for drama, comedy, and enlivening music that heals our souls.  Read more.

 

 

T.M. Scruggs

T.M. Scruggs

T.M. Scruggs—Listener Representative

I am an educator, musician, and long time social activist, involved in community/non-profit media for over 30 years.   My various forms of organizing and cultural work have proven to me that media is the crucial battleground for providing information and framing issues that determines a societys political direction.  I am a founder of TRNN-TheRealNews Network (therealnews.com), and on the Board of Advisers of truthout.org.   Read more.

 

Tom Voorhees

Tom Voorhees

Tom Voorhees,— Listener Representative

My primary focus will be rebuilding KPFA and all five Pacifica stations news departments back to their former award-winning national and international investigative news reporting on critical progressive issues. Presently, the three remaining Pacifica news departments depend mostly on a single commercial news feed read over the air, which discourages continuing listeners and new subscribing members. Read more.


Lisa Dettmer

Lisa Dettmer

Lisa Dettmer — Staff Representative
(Lisa replaces Josiah Alderete who is unable to serve.  Her seat is still unofficial.  She joins Sabrina Jacobs in serving as an independent staff representative.)

I would like to see KPFA be the community radio station it was meant to be.  One where there is actual respect and cooperation between the staff and the listeners so that we are living the mission of democracy that we preach.  And I would like to see KPFA expand it’s audience which is absolutely necessary if we are to survive by hiring a development/marketing director who will expand our audience and bring in some much needed grants for invaluable programs like the Apprenticeship program.  Read more.

 

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Bringing Peace to KPFA

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By Akio Tanaka 10-15-15
[KPFA LSB Member 2006-2012]

 

Underlying Problems
Whenever there is a conflict, there is always an escalation in rhetoric, such as the divisive and inflammatory charge a few years ago that the Pacifica National Office engaged in union busting, and the labeling of volunteers who worked on the Morning Mix as scabs. We should avoid getting caught up in rhetoric and address real problems and concerns.

The underlying problem is financial. The trauma of the layoffs in 2010 was the consequence of the station increasing the payroll by 140% between 2000 and 2009. Even with the cuts made in 2010, income has not kept up with the expenses.

AndresSoto

Andrés Soto

One area of friction is programming. It stands to reason that a trade union looking after the financial security of its members will prefer programming which appeals to a more affluent audience. But the mission of Pacifica is to be the commons of the airwaves, to represent a broader and more diverse community, to include marginalized and under-represented voices.   (Lew Hill, the founder of Pacifica, was a conscientious objector. One program exemplifying this diversity – and which saved KPFA money — was the Morning Mix, which included members of the local activist community, like Peter Phillips of Project Censored, Andres Soto of Richmond Progressive Alliance, and the well-produced “Poor News” and “Strike Debt” segments. However, in 2014 it was inexplicably replaced by a show produced in L.A. rather than being supported and improved by KPFA paid staff. (Paid staff member Davey D did support this show.)

An area of friction is the working relationship between paid and unpaid staff. Originally, both were represented by one union. In 1996, it was replaced by a union which only represented the paid staff. This created a class system resulting in an uneasy working relationship between the paid and the unpaid staff.

Possible Solutions

So what to do with these conflicting needs and interests? How does a union look after the financial security of its members in a non-profit organization that relies on donations by listeners and must live within a balanced budget?

The management and the union should work out a staffing level that is sustainable over the economic ups and downs, and avoid the temptation to add more paid staff during the economic boom times as happened in 2001-2006. Achieving a sustainable paid staffing level is a challenge, but it would help address the main source of tension. It could curtail the seemingly endless appeal for funds.

The primary task of the station should be to fulfill the mission of Pacifica.

It is important to note that KPFA has always relied on a large number of volunteers (e.g. Alan Watts), who produce the majority of programming. At KPFA there simply is not enough money to pay all those who contribute to the station. Progressive organizations like KPFA should have one all-inclusive union for everyone who works at the station. While the notion of workers’ rights resonates to all within the progressive community, it must be remembered that it is about respecting and honoring ALL workers.

Instead of taking sides, we as listeners should encourage the paid and unpaid staff to work together and help each other to produce the best in progressive radio. It is time for the staff, paid and unpaid, and for the listeners to embrace the democratic victory that was won in the legal and street battles of 1999-2001. It is time to stop dividing the station.

13 Years of KPFA Finances

 

 

  1. Listener Support:

The audited financials show that steep decline in Listener Support occurred between 2006 and 2009 before cuts were made in 2010. (Adjusted for inflation, since 2010, Listener Support is back to the 2000 level, irrespective of the morning programming line-up.)

  1. Salary and Benefits:

            The audited financials show that between 2002 and 2006, the station added way too many people (the payroll more than doubled), and between 2006 and 2010, the station, understandably, did not address the steep decline in Listener Support. By the fall of 2010, the station was in danger of insolvency, which is the only reason that the Pacifica National Office stepped in, to bring expenses in line with income. (Adjusted for inflation, even with the cuts that were made in 2010, the current Salaries and Benefits are still above the 2000 level.)

  1. Central Services:

            Central Services pay for network administrative services like FCC licenses, audit, insurance, legal, Pacifica archives, and national programming like Democracy Now! (Adjusted for inflation, since 2010, Central Services has been below the 2000 level.)

 

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