The SaveKPFA slate has won a big victory in elections to KPFA’s local governing board. Listeners elected SaveKPFA members to six of nine open seats.
The top vote-getter in the election, Mal Burnstein, said, “I believe that the results here indicate that the listener-members do not want an explicitly sectarian station. They want a station that presents varying points of view, civil discourse, controversy and comment; a station where ideas and facts not readily available elsewhere can get a hearing; a place where the arts, literature, music and theater are valued.”
“In short, they want a return to the basic principles of Pacifica,” said Burnstein. “This election seems to be a vindication of our beleaguered and underpaid staff, laboring tirelessly during this economic slump. We owe them real thanks. “
The unofficial results show that along with Mal Burnstein, SaveKPFA members Jack Kurzweil, Margy Wilkinson, Matthew Hallinan, Tanya Russell and David Saldana were elected. Those winning election from the Independents for Community Radio slate were Tracy Rosenberg, Hyun-Mi Kim and Cynthia Johnson.
The SaveKPFA candidates were elected in a landslide, despite an election process that was consistently biased against them. The local election supervisor charged with conducting a fair election admitted that she saw her role as “neutralizing” the SaveKPFA candidates because they had support from many KPFA staff members.
SaveKPFA says one of its first priorities will be to advocate for a “Sustainable KPFA” budget that asks the parent Pacifica National organization to share in the financial pain and back off its demand for staff cuts that would decimate the station’s operations. The lame duck KPFA board of directors is expected to approve a budget at its October 16th meeting at 11 am at the south branch of the Berkeley Public Library. The new board will be seated in December.
KPFA staff members also elected three staff representatives to the local governing board. Two of the three staff members, David Gans and Lewis Sawyer, supported the SaveKPFA slate. Shahram Aghamir is a member of the rival Independents for Community Radio.
KPFA is the nation’s oldest listener-sponsored radio station and the flagship station of the Pacifica Radio network.
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