Public Comment

New KPFA Pacifica Bylaws may be something - effective, "democratic" or inclusive they're not

Virginia Browning
Sunday March 15, 2020 - 02:39:00 PM

KPFA members are being asked to vote on a complete overhaul of the Pacifica Network (KPFA Radio) bylaws - by March 19, 2020. I'm urging a "no" vote.  

Imagine if KPFA members were urged in even half the intensive way they're being asked to vote on this -- to VOTE in the regular candidate elections - FOR qualified candidates. The opposite happens EVERY YEAR - and some now calling for this overhaul have watched it as well as I have. The same people who are pushing this now have done everything in their power, including actively intimidating election directors and preventing them from doing their jobs and much more to thwart honest elections. So now those who wrote this new bylaws scheme (including some who do understand the obstruction is real) think the solution to that is to get authority - but what about simply using the law to ensure fair elections? -- instead of suing to make sure confused and still uninformed members vote based on who has the most money to push their cause here?

I'm certainly not persuaded to vote for this particular bylaws overhaul. I find this posting of "31 Things" especially useful, and while I actually prefer one of the new points over the current bylaws, well, that's 1 out of 31, and I would not support this version of new bylaws in any case.
I was in a group with several who later came up with this new scheme. We finally, together, "all" sides, agreed to present first to the LSB and we hoped later more widely, a suggestion for starting a very wide conversation ("constitutional convention" if you will) within all of Pacifica about the bylaws needs. When then LSB chair Carole Travis presented it to the board, she slipped in another choice not previously presented to any of our group (not allied with her anyway - probably she did do it in secret though one of our agreements was not to do that) and promoted that - a choice with similarities to the current scheme. She ambushed those of us who had spent many days and hours meeting with her and her allies in good faith. This is the kind of fairness and honestly she offers. It is neither fair nor honest. The group I was part of (as mentioned above) was supposedly working for more listener involvement, better boards, and to protect KPFA's and Pacifica's assets. (Getting more listener involvement was given up on in the face of smarmy propaganda by the usual suspects, and I left the group).

KPFA's building has been invoked to justify this new bylaws scheme, saying that this would "protect" the building. One strong belief (still touted) is that KPFA does best (of Pacifica's 5 stations) by far and should be allowed to lead the way. But it was recently uncovered that the business manager at KPFA has not paid property tax for at least 6 years (8 I think, but I have to look back) and the building will be sold at auction in less than a week from now if something isn't done. Yes, the bs. manager claims (as usual) "it's Pacifica's fault." but it's a RADIO STATION. She could have alerted any number of people - even in subtle ways without causing alarm -- that legal help, or even mass-persuasive help with her bogeyman "Pacifica" was needed. It's not as if her allies haven't mounted massive region-wide propaganda campaigns before. That she kept this a secret from those who could help for 6 or 8 years, only letting it out when it was discovered by someone not allied with her is not a good look for her and those defending this drastic change RIGHT NOW. In fact the non-payment could even be planned. It wouldn't be the first or 2nd time that group has tried to dump the whole shebang to put themselves in charge. And by the way, KPFA's business manager has, at least for the past 12 or so years, been responsible for paying the property tax.