Results: KPFA Election, 2015

Three United for Community Radio candidates have been elected as listener representatives, Scott Olsen, Sharon Adams and Janet Kobren.  T.M. Scruggs and Don Macleay, who also ran with this slate, were first and second runner ups.  Anthony Fest, United for Community Radio candidate, was elected as a staff representative.

Radio tower simpleComplete results follow.

KPFA Listener Delegates
Margy Wilkinson
Scott Olsen
Leland Thompson
Sharon Adams
William Campisi
Sasha Futran
Janet Kobren
Barbara Whipperman
David Lynch

KPFA Staff Delegates
Tim Lynch
Anthony Fest
Sabrina Jacobs

For more details about the vote count, click here.

2016 KPFA LSB Listener members
Sharon Adams (United for Community Radio – UCR)
Craig Alderson (Save KPFA – SK)
William Campisi (SK)
Jose Luis Fuentes (SK)
Sasha Futran (SK)
Kate Gowen (SK)
Mark Hernandez (SK)
Janet Kobren
David Lynch (SK)
Samsarah Morgan (UCR)
Scott Olsen (UCR)
T.M Scruggs* (UCR)
Ramses Teon-Nichols (UCR)
Leland Thompson (SK)
Carole Travis (SK)
Barbara Whipperman (SK)
Burton White (SK)
Margy Wilkinson (SK)
Rych Withers** (SK)
* T.M Scruggs will replace Andrea Pritchett when her term ends this December
** LSB seat but not a Delegate (see bylaws, Article 7, Section 8 at http://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art7sec8.html)
2016 KPFA LSB Staff members
Brian Edwards-Tiekert (SK)
Anthony Fest (UCR)
Sabrina Jacobs (non-aligned)
Tim Lynch (SK)
Joy Moore (UCR)
Frank T. Sterling Jr. (UCR)
2016 KPFA LSB Totals:
Delegates
14 SK
9 UCR
1 Non-aligned
LSB members
15 SK
9 UCR
1 Non-aligned
2016 KPFA LSB Listener Election runners-up list
*1. T.M. Scruggs (UCR) who will immediately replace UCR’s termed-out Andrea Pritchett
2. Don Macleay (UCR)
3. Yuri Gottesman (SK)
4. Virginia Browning (UCR)
5. Marilla Argüelles (UCR)
6. Jeremy Miller (UCR)
7. Tom Voorhees (UCR)
8. Mario Fernandez (UCR)
9. Brian Oakchunas (SK)
10. Richard Hart (UCR)
2016 KPFA LSB Staff Election runners-up list
1. Lewis Sawyer (SK)
2. Ann Garrison (UCR)
3. Luis Medina (???)
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:

Pacifica National Board Already Decided — Bequest Should Have Been Sent to Pacifica!

By:  UCR Candidate Sharon Adams

Our opponents have been claiming that United For Community Radio “cost KPFA $400,000“, implying that KPFA was actually entitled to a $400,000 bequest.  Of course, that is the exact issue — KPFA was not entitled to the $400,000 bequest — the Pacifica Foundation was entitled to this bequest.  Our opponents inappropriately decided, WITHOUT CONSULTING PACIFICA, that this bequest was intended solely for KPFA.  The reason we know that KPFA was not entitled to the $400,000 bequest is because the Pacifica National Board (PNB) has determined that the bequest was actually supposed to go to Pacifica.
Bequest_Check

The PNB’s decision is supported by the evidence.  First and foremost, both the bequest and the check were specifically made out to “Pacifica Foundation Radio”.  There was no mention of KPFA in the bequest documents.

Pacifica LogoAnd, even assuming there was ambiguity in the identification of Pacifica Foundation Radio, the proper response would have been to contact the PNB to mutually discuss and decide how to deal with the bequest.  It was our opponents failure to ask Pacifica that is at the heart of this matter.   To the extent that our opponents felt there *was* ambiguity, they should have checked with the Pacifica National Board.

Interim Executive Director (and SaveKPFA candidate) Margy Wilkinson later apologized for this failure to disclose — after the fact and when the bequest funds were already comfortably residing in the KPFA bank account.  It really would not have been that difficult to send this information to Pacifica prior to depositing the check in the KPFA bank account.

FBOKPFA

~Screen shot of kpfa.org website

As the image above shows, it is quite easy to make a bequest that is for KPFA, and the KPFA website provides clear instructions on how to do this.  Of course, Pacifica must be mentioned in the bequest instructions because Pacifica is the parent organization of KPFA.  Significantly, the KPFA website makes clear that the phrase “for the benefit of KPFA” or “fbo KPFA” must be added.  This is not difficult to do, and is standard operating procedure for attorneys working in estate planning who are trained to make clear and unambiguous bequests.

Now that our opponents have been exposed, they start the mudslinging, with personal attacks on UCR candidate Janet Kobren who found the documents showing that the bequest was intended for the Pacifica Foundation.  However, Janet Kobren was simply doing her duty as a board member and secretary of the PNB.  This is in stark contrast to other KPFA members on the PNB, Brian Edwards-Tieckert and Margy Wilkinson.  They have shown that they are willing to “Save” KPFA — at the expense of the entire Pacifica network.

United for Community Radio is not into assigning blame.  UCR wants to ensure that the entire Pacifica network remains strong, including KPFA and its sister stations.  UCR’s opponents must stop cannibalizing Pacifica to allegedly “Save” KPFA.

Vote for the entire UCR slate in the KPFA Local Station Board election.

RESCUE KPFA from Save KPFA

gears-820980_640

For another perspective on the bequest, read Frank Sterling’s article here about how We Are All One!
Frank Sterling is KPFA’s Technical Director of First Voice Media program.

 

Please follow and like us:

Does the $400K Bequest Belong to KPFA?

WHAT MY OCTOBER
DIRECTOR
S INSPECTION REVEALED

By Janet Kobren,

In mid-October 2015 after numerous inquiries from KPFA members regarding the two large bequests made to KPFA amounting to a total of $958,000, I decided to perform a director’s inspection at KPFA to look into the bequest documents.LastWill

Note that the bequests had been reported at the April 2015 KPFA Local Station Board meeting. SaveKPFA’s LSB member Margy Wilkinson was serving as PNB chair and interim Executive Director at the time. KPFA General Manager Quincy McCoy’s April and May 2015 General Manager’s Report reflected these bequests (see “A Partial Financial Landscape of KPFA”.)

As a result of my director’s inspection I learned, among other things, that:

1)   The will of the Hall Trust listed $400,000 to be distributed to PACIFICA FOUNDATION RADIO*,

2)   The estate’s check was made out for this amount to pay to the order of PACIFICA FOUNDATION RADIO and was deposited in KPFA’s bank account (albeit one of Pacifica Foundation’s DBA’s** is KPFA), and

3)   There was no reference to KPFA in the will or on the check.

I also learned that the check for the other bequest was specifically written to KPFA for $558,000 and correctly deposited in KPFA’s bank account.

This discrepancy caused me to explore the Hall Trust further, discovering some gaps in information with regards to how the Hall Trust bequest had been handled internally. The bequest that had been spelled out in the bequest document and the check to go to PACIFICA FOUNDATION RADIO, rather than going to or through a Pacifica Foundation bank account, was deposited directly into KPFA’s bank account.

I meticulously chronicled this matter with substantial source documentation that included references to and actions by individual employees and which also revealed other individuals and organizations named in the bequest documents, all of which would have precluded this matter from being addressed in an open session. I had suspected there was more to be learned regarding this matter, but absent any other documentation provided even after requesting additional information that would have filled in some of the gaps, I was motivated by my fiduciary duties as a Pacifica National Board Director to bring the matter to the PNB as soon as possible. There was some back and forth within the PNB by email but no additional documentation was provided. So I presented the chronology/analysis that I had prepared to the PNB prior to its October 29, 2015 PNB closed session meeting and made the following motion during the meeting:

That by the end of day November 4, 2015 the KPFA GM and the interim Controller:

office-495808_640

  1. Produce an accounting with documentation to the PNB of how the Hall Trust bequest has been allocated and spent to date, including what KPFA transferred to Pacifica units – KPFT, KPFK, PRA, WBAI and election deposit shortages and the remaining balance, if any; and
  2. If a remaining balance exists, transfer it to the PNO unit or other Pacifica units as appropriate; and
  3. Based on the accounting, revise the plan to repay KPFA; and
  4. Based on the accounting, revise the KPFA and PNO budgets accordingly.

This is how the vote went:

Voting YES: Teresa Allen (KPFT), Rodrigo Argueta (KPFK), Lydia Brazon (KPFK), Jim Brown (WPFW), Stephen Brown (WBAI), Adriana Casenave (KPFT), Janet Coleman (WBAI), Benito Diaz (WPFW), Janet Kobren (KPFA), Janis Lane-Ewart (KFAI Affiliate), Lawrence Reyes (KPFK)

Voting NO: Brian Edwards-Tiekert (KPFA), George Reiter (KPFT), Cerene Roberts (WBAI), Pete Tucker (WPFW), Margy Wilkinson (KPFA)

ABSTENSIONS: None

PRESENT NOT VOTING: Robert Mark (KPFT), Tony Norman (WPFW)

The tally came to: 11-YES, 5-NO, 0 ABSTENSIONS, 2-PRESENT NOT VOTING

The motion passed handily and was included in the report-out of the executive session.

The main argument against my motion, chiefly by those directors who have a vested interest in KPFA, included a claim that since the snail mail address of an individual whose name was similar to but not the same as the name spelled out in the Hall Trust documents, someone who had donated a total of $1,745 between 1990 and 2014 (which by the way was way less than 1% of $400K) was in the North Bay and within the KPFA “signal area”, it was the “intent” of the donor to bequeath the $400K to KPFA, and not the Pacifica Foundation, even though the will and the check had spelled out PACIFICA FOUNDATION RADIO on both, with no reference to KPFA.

Janet Kobren at a protest at the San Leandro Walmart, 2013

Janet Kobren (with green hand) at a protest at the San Leandro Walmart, 2013

To me this was an attempt by some within Pacifica to interpret the intent of the donor, and there is no way, short of a seance, to determine the donor’s intent beyond that specified in her will.

Many questions remain, among which are the following: Was SaveKPFA’s influence through the then PNB chair/iED Margy Wilkinson used to make the interest of the Pacifica Foundation network to solely benefit SaveKPFA? 

To what extent does a financially weakened Pacifica Foundation, possibly intentionally starved to facilitate its bankruptcy, benefit a private entity, the now not-so-secret KPFA Foundation?

And, how far will Brian Edwards-Tiekert, the SaveKPFA, KPFA LSB member, PNB Director and chair of the PNB National Finance Committee (aka the PNB treasurer) go through motion after motion to attempt to get proposals passed to “capture” KPFA’s license for the benefit of an undemocratic, private entity?

KPFA has transferred approximately $310,000 of the two bequests to various Pacifica units to compensate for network-wide shortages at WBAI, KPFT, KPFK, WPFW, PRA, and PNO (see the KPFA General Manager’s April and May 2015 Report here),

 ♦♦♦♦

* Between February 26, 2013 and January 20, 2015, the “Pacifica Foundation” name had been captured by an entity in New York during which Pacifica used the name “Pacifica Foundation Radio” until recapturing the “Pacifica Foundation” name back on April 9, 2015.

** DBA = Doing Business As.  A DBA is also sometimes referred to as a fictitious business name. In the case of the Pacifica Foundation, it is the Pacifica Foundation, not the fictitious name, that is the entity conducting any business in the name of a DBA.

 

♦♦♦♦

SEE MORE INFORMATION AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION HERE A Partial Financial Landscape of KPFA

November 3, 2015

Please follow and like us:

Secret Plot Revealed to Hijack Pacifica’s Broadcast Licenses & Assets

Documents registered with the California Secretary of State for a private “foundation” called the “KPFA Foundation seem to be part of a conspiracy by “SaveKPFA” insiders to gain total control of KPFA (under the guise of protecting KPFA) and to “capture” its license in the event of Pacifica’s dissolution. Further, it appears to be an attempt to privatize the Pacifica Foundation for the benefit of a few instead of the many. These documents were recently uncovered by Pacifica’s National Board (PNB) Secretary Janet Kobren, a United for Community Radio (UCR) candidate and whistleblower.KPFA_Foundation

Here’s what was revealed:
In September 2013, PNB director, former PNB chair/interim Executive Director (iED) Margy Wilkinson registered the above named shadow corporation with the California Secretary of State at the address of Siegel & Yee, the law firm of former PNB director and current Pacifica legal counsel Dan Siegel. They kept this information hidden from the KPFA listeners, the Local Station Board (LSB) and the Pacifica National Board (PNB) until its discovery only recently.

In addition to usurping Pacifica’s trademarked “KPFA” call letters, this shadow corporation also adopted Pacifica’s Articles of Incorporation that includes its Mission Statement. When asked to explain, Siegel and Wilkinson admitted that they created this shadow corporation to acquire the licenses and assets of Pacifica (estimated to be worth more than $100 million) in case Pacifica went bankrupt and/or was taken over by creditors or the government.

The establishment of this covert “KPFA Foundation” raises the question of whether some of the decisions Wilkinson made when overseeing Pacifica’s finances during her tenure as interim ED contributed to the current disastrous financial state of the Pacifica Foundation and its stations. What might be considered gross ineptitude was so systematic that it appears to be an intentional attempt to bankrupt Pacifica and its stations, in order to gain control of KPFA from Pacifica via the “KPFA Foundation”  At the very least, this constitutes a severe conflict of interest and ethical violation by Wilkinson and Siegel.

How does this relate to the KPFA Local Station Board election?

Your Vote Matters (photo credit below)

Your Vote Matters (photo credit below)

As a KPFA member, your vote will elect members to the KPFA LSB. This board not only sets policy for KPFA, it also selects four of its members to sit on Pacifica’s National Board. Right now, the Siegel-Wilkinson “Save KPFA” faction has a majority of KPFA’s seats on this board. This election can overturn the “Save KPFA” majority of seats on the board and enable the new local and national boards to block their plan to hijack Pacifica’s licenses. “Save KPFA’s” Brian Edwards-Tiekert’s recent motion to get the KPFA LSB to overstep its powers and ratify the creation of thesecret “KPFA Foundation” was stopped by UCR LSB members. But it could still be approved if the LSB majority stays the same in this election.
The United for Community Radio (UCR) candidates are committed to doing everything in their power to block “Save KPFA” from dismantling KPFA and Pacifica and walking away with KPFA’s licenses and assets.

     HELP PACIFICA REMAIN INTACT ~
RESCUE KPFA
~  VOTE FOR THE UCR 9

————

“Your Vote Matters” photo by Brooke Anderson from a rally for the Right to a Roof / El Derecho al Techo in Santa Rosa, California, Summer 2015.

 

Please follow and like us:

“Save KPFA” Supports Union Busting at KPFK

broken Transmitter towerSave KPFA’s current Pacifica National Board member Margy Wilkinson was elected to chair the national board.  As part of that position, she stepped in to serve as the Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation when there was no one serving as the E.D.   This summer, in the weeks immediately before John Proffitt took over the job, Wilkinson appointed Lesley Radford, a long time SaveKPFA ally, to the job of General Manager at KPFK, our sister station in Los Angeles. 

Radford, although faced with a nearly impossible task, massively bumbled her dealings with the KPFK union and set off a staff rebellion.  To date, neither Wilkinson or Save KPFA have severed their support for Radford.  In fact, another central Save KPFA member, Dan Siegel continues to advise Radford.

KPFK Management’s Anti-Union Tactics

  • Management cut all the union staff working over 50% to 50% pay.
  • They gave the staff less than two weeks’ notice before their pay cut took effect.
  • SAG-AFTRA said the pay cut was breaking the contract. KPFK management refused to talk to or negotiate with SAG-AFTRA. The matter went directly to arbitration.
  • Management made no arrangements to cut the staff workloads and to address the critical needs of running a radio station.
  • KPFK management said that the staff would be eligible for the Cal Works program. It was discovered later that when KPFK management made that statement KPFK was not eligible for the Cal Works program. Management claimed the union did not sign off on it. Management had not sent it to the union for their signature when they made that statement. KPFK management has, as of Monday, still not put through the paperwork in order for the staff to receive this benefit from the state.
  • KPFKManagement is using volunteers for some of the union positions.
  • There is still a discrepancy about:

– Seniority pay
-Pension funds owed

   It seems management is contesting these monies; management is anticipating litigation over these monies.

  • KPFK/Pacifica collected the union dues from staff salaries as usual – but for the previous six months did not send those monies to the union. SAG-AFTRA could have kicked our staff out of the union but did not. It is not known if those funds have since been paid to SAG-AFTRA.
  • At least one staff member, with a critical position – the webmaster – was terminated with no reason given. Web donations are somewhere between $150,000-$200,000 a year.
  • The union host, although offering to work 100% for 50% pay, had her show cut and half her days given to volunteers.
  • The subscriptions manager and person who runs ours fund drives, also a shop steward, is or was in the hospital; cause unknown. Management claimed Tues night at the finance meeting it was not work related.
  • The other person now out sick was not a union person. It is not known if she is or was in the hospital but claimed exhaustion for overwork due to filling in to replace the subscriptions manager for the fund drive.
  • Due to these two absences, KPFK’s GM cannot verify any of the fund drive tallies and can only guess at an overall total to date.
  • Save KPFA member, Dan Siegel, is advising KPFK’s GM in these matters against the SAG-AFTRA union staff.

Suggested question to ask Save KPFA folks:

Do you condemn the CURRENT regime’s extensive union – busting tactics at KPFK?

The massive cutbacks and layoffs, all done without any union negotiating was just the start. There are over half a dozen union grievances that have been filed and arbitration on all these complaints is set to happen during the first weeks of November. Add to that the intimidation and hostile tactics to intimidate the staff and you have classic union busting that Walmart would be proud of.  

A KPFK Staffer

 

10-21-15

Source: KPFK Staff

 

Please follow and like us: