Delegate Election Process Underway at KPFK

Under a court mandate to hold elections for listener and staff delegates at all five of its stations, Pacifica Foundation has belatedly gotten underway with the member elections that should have been held last year.

The National Election Supervisor, Renee Peñaloza, has issued promotional announcements that will begin airing on all stations, including in English and Spanish on KPFK starting June 1. The timeline in place calls for nominations to be made between June 1 and June 30. The “date of record” for determining membership and therefore eligibility to run, sign a candidate petition, or vote, is June 30, meaning you must be a member in good standing by that date to be eligible.

Membership is based on donating at least $25 within the past year, providing three hours of supervised volunteer work for the station, or in the case of prisoners, shut-ins and others who support Pacifica but are unable to afford the donation or to provide the hours of service to the station, there is a provision for membership on a case by case basis, waiving the donation/volunteer requirements for those who sign a document attesting to their situation and their support for Pacifica. You can donate right now by going to the station website, and clicking on donate, ideally by becoming a sustaining member with a regular monthly subscription by electronic funds transfer from your bank or credit union, which saves the station having to pay credit card processing fees.

These elections are critical for determining the future of the station and the whole foundation, as there have been repeated breaches of the democratic bylaws, and efforts by some within Pacifica to break the foundation up or to narrow the range of critical opinion and analysis that can be heard on the stations. There is also a great need to  bring the station into the 21st century media environment, and to engage with a new generation of activists, artivists, and content providers who are developing grassroots solutions to social, economic and racial ills in this society. The outcome of the elections at KPFK is especially pivotal in regards to whether the station and foundation will live up to its commitments to peace and social & racial justice.

In other station news, interim General Manager Michael Novick is seeking professionals willing to work pro bono, especially if they have prior radio experience, in several areas to carry out a strategic plan to improve the station’s financed and increase its audience and impact. These include:

an interim unpaid program director, to chair a program council that can review and evaluate existing programming, as well as solicit and evaluate proposals for new programming to meet community needs and attract new listeners;

an interim unpaid development director, to chair a development task force charged with increasing off-air fundraising for the station, such as grants, mission-compliant, socially-responsible underwriting from community groups, non-profits and local, socially responsible small businesses;

an interim unpaid business manager, to work with the GM, ED, Pacifica business manager and others on a team to come up with a sustainable, balanced budget for the rest of this fiscal year and the next one; and

an interim unpaid social media marketing manager, to work with existing staff, management and governance to improve and monetize social media promotion and content provision.

Programming changes and improvements at the station are continuing. Margaret Prescod, the long-time host of Sojourner Truth, decided to cut back, and after taking some accrued vacation time into June, will be on the air with fresh programming once a week, Tuesdays at 7 AM. So starting June, the morning line-up at 7 AM will be Dr. Melina Abdullah Mondays with “Move the Crowd,” Margaret Prescod Tuesdays with Sojourner Truth, Nana Gyamfi of Justice Warriors for Black Lives and Black Alliance for Just Immigration on Wednesdays at 7 AM, Thandisizwe Chimurenga on Thursdays with “Rootwork,” and returning to KPFK airwaves, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian on Fridays at 7 AM. The Friday morning lineup is Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman at 6, AR at 7, Cut to the Chase with Sylvester Rivers and sister Ife Jie at 8, Rethinking Heroes: Life After the Military with Cary Harrison at 9, and KPFK’s  new labor-oriented program, Working Voices, with Joe Ayala and Jeanine Rohn at 10 (the Michael Slate Show, in Michael’s absence, is on hiatus). Additional new programming is being sought, focusing on education issues, parenting, kids programming with kids, urban gardening, and more. The Association of Spanish Language Programmers involved in KPFK en español have been asked to consider some similar program changes and improvements. There will be another management dialogue with the listeners in June, taking calls live on the air, stay tuned to KPFK 90.7 FM for details.


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