In what is hopefully the last subscriber/staff board election that Pacifica radio ever has, the Save KPFA slate says it has won the majority of delegate seats on Pacifica station KPFA-FM’s Local Station Board.
“I believe that the results here indicate that the listener-members do not want an explicitly sectarian station,” declared Save KPFA’s Mal Burnstein, who won the most votes of any candidate in the race. “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.”
KPFA-FM is a listener supported radio station in Berkeley, CA. All five of the Pacifica Foundation’s stations in California, New York, Texas, and Washington, DC are running these elections. Here is a non-certified account of the Berkeley results, the winners in numerical order. Save KPFA candidates have asterisks to the left.
*Suzi Goldmacher 1st runner up
Kate Tanaka 2nd runner up
*Terry Doran 3rd runner up
Non-certified Staff election results:
Congratulations to Save KPFA, which was easily the best slate running (my assessment of the other slate here). But if the official results resemble previous elections, the real winner in this race was nobody. The great majority of Pacifica listener subscribers never vote in these races. They never wanted them in the first place. These elected boards have cost the organization millions of dollars and brought nothing in return.
And in what is the height of absurdity, there’s still another election to count: the “recall” vote on one staff delegate. Pacifica’s by-laws say that a mere two percent of staff can petition for a recall (eight volunteers at KPFA signed the petition, it seems). So at the considerable expense of cash strapped Pacifica, the election crew has to follow through on this debacle. And for what? To potentially recall him just before his term expires.
Enough. Hopefully a critical mass of the latest crop of Pacifica governance members realize that this elected board system has got to go.
Eleven years ago 10,000 people marched on the streets on behalf of KPFA, which had been shut down by a clique of panic stricken incompetents. The demonstrators wanted three things: the station re-opened, the license not sold, and board members and staff who thought and acted otherwise removed.
These elections have gone way beyond those basic demands. They serve not Pacifica radio, but small factions who know that they’ll never have anything to do with Pacifica governance without them. It’s time for this debacle to end.