by Bella De Soto

Pacifica Radio is possibly the last Non-Commercial Broadcasting Radio Bastion on the FM dial!

I first joined Pacifica-KPFK 90.7 FM Radio Station in 1995, when I sent my $25.00 annual membership subscription check.

Since then, I have been involved as a volunteer with KPFK through different committees of the LSB-Local Station Board.  But these LSB Committees were not yet formed until the passage of a new set of Bylaws by the Foundation in early 2003.

Before then, the local body was classified as the “LAB” Local Advisory Board without real democratic process or power.

By 1997, much opposition to such internal undemocratic structure at Pacifica Radio, began promulgating demonstrations across the Pacifica Foundation Radio Network (KPFK-LA, KPFA-Berkeley, KPFT-Houston, WBAI-NYC and WPFW-D.C.), with much emphasis at the Berkeley, CA Radio Station KPFA area, because Pacifica needed a new set of Bylaws moving forward, mandated by 1999 through a Lawsuit.  While living in New York City for 22 years plus, I would tune to WBAI, and found very refreshing that current political matters were being exposed and dissected on air, with such political and other icons making history…

By 2001 this Foundation was compelled to begin the process of drafting a new set of Bylaws in earnest across the network though early 2003, when such Bylaws was to be adopted, or ratified by at least 3 of the 5 network stations.

However sadly, the Bylaws language adopted was not inclusive enough or with language, which some of us languished over 2 years, to make sure that the LSB-Local Station Boards had enough power muscle at par with the national level, then to be classified as the PNB-Pacifica National Board.

I must skip much background as to how and why KPFK 90.7 FM has met such current juncture of financial dismay for lack of time and space herein, needless to mention that an effort to bring down this Radio Non-Commercial Foundation to its knees, through local fiscal mismanagement, to sum up this area, which I realize does not do justice to such a financial state!  But the highlights would be sundry!

The same forces, pushing other Lawsuits against Pacifica Foundation, Inc in recent years for predatory reasons, eventually took over majority of the PNB-Pacifica National Board.

Since then, this current PNB, with questionable elected members as Directors over 2 years ago, has been passing sweeping top-down Resolutions to the Pacifica network, which are in contradiction with the Foundation’s own Bylaws and spirit of its unique and global Mission Statement.

Pacifica Mission and Bylaws can be accessed here: https://www.pacifica.org/about_mission.php    https://www.pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/index.html

As for myself, I was elected for this KPFK LSB in 2019, and was re-elected to a 2nd term Dec., 2021.  Each elected candidate can run a two term, each 3 years for a total of 6 years.  And PNB Directors, are elected by each station’s LSB; one Staff Director and three Listener Directors to the PNB to represent its station’s membership constituency interests.

At KPFK in LA, there has been a recent uprise of LSB members, who see this PNB violating the foundation’s Bylaws that each Candidate was elected to uphold once seated at its LSB system.

Consequently, this Network is now facing a monumental challenge from within…

Some violations:

  • Several such PNB Directors and network supporters, have expired their term of service, some before 12-31-22. Other violations, such as cancelling last year’s 2022 LSB Elections for the network, and further extending their already expired term one more year, or indefinitely!  The excuse that the Foundation did not have the necessary $100K funds available to conduct the 2022 Elections seems questionable at best, and why are large sums of funds from KPFA’s Bank Account recently becoming available in time to pay off certain frivolous Lawsuits upwards of $305K against Pacifica Foundation, Inc!
  • As well, others have reported other large sums have been used from the same station’s Bank Account to cover other past Lawsuits against Pacifica Foundation, Inc.
  • Resolution to sale the historic KPFK 90.7 FM building without any oversight long term plan, or even current Financial Reporting.
  • Punishment for being outspoken, to communicate much secrecy and lack of transparent accountability, especially in the financial area, since I am a FC Bookkeeper, who understands the need for timely monthly financial reporting should not be punished. But this, PNB ruled majority has gone out of its way to politically persecute LSB members like myself and others across the network through intimidating tactics, illegal suspensions and removal from the LSB-Local Station Boards we were elected to by its membership in their trust and good will.
  • On Dec 15, 2022, this PNB voted to suspend myself Bella De Soto from the KPFK LSB without proper due process, and on Jan. 27, 2023, voted to remove me.
  • As well, the KPFK LSB Chair, was also recently suspended, with a so-called pending trial date…
  • Whereas, this PNB has cancelled all KPFK LSB Committee Meetings at the general Pacifica Network posting site for all Committee meetings at: http://www.kpftx.org, including its historic archived records!
  • And this PNB has refused to acknowledge newly elected KPFK LSB officers and PNB Directors at the national level.

Sadly, the Network membership has no clue of what has been going on internally at this important Radio Foundation.

Here is my response to these PNB intimidating tactics, which I never submitted:

Your declaration of charges against me are compounded with repetitious conjectural nuances. Beyond physical and factual harm, that I may have caused to this Foundation is of course unfounded!

As the record shows that since 1995, when I sent in my 1st membership check to KPFK, and soon became involved with the then Bylaws Subcommittee to help draft a new set of Bylaws for this Foundation, I have remained faithful and continue working tirelessly for the expansion of my local Pacifica Radio Station KPFK 90.7 FM signal area.  In this breath, I have invested much of my meager capital, both as volunteer and financially to help increase its listener/membership.

I have been considered a most dedicated element for the betterment of Pacifica’s survival for future generations.

Your charges are also politically motivated, as I have been a voice to defend the rights of our members, who pay the salaries of those staff across the network.

I also recall when a pronounced Lawsuit producer against Pacifica, Mrs. Jan Goodman was censured by the PNB some time ago, and others who have been unique accomplices in the ongoing efforts to destroy this Foundation…  Members of the New Day syndrome, promoters and backers of sundry Lawsuits against Pacifica Foundation, Inc., while braking Pacifica’s bank, to feed New Day’s insatiable pursuits.

Now, as far as I can see your charges against me for performing a whistle Blower function of factual and public information, and baseless.

Here is the relevant law that you have violated:

California Corporations Code  >   Corp. Code §7341. Expulsion, Suspension, or Termination; Procedures

(a) No member may be expelled or suspended, and no membership or memberships may be terminated or suspended, except according to procedures satisfying the requirements of this section. An expulsion, termination or suspension not in accord with this section shall be void and without effect.

 (b) Any expulsion, suspension, or termination must be done in good faith and in a fair and reasonable manner. Any procedure which conforms to the requirements of subdivision (c) is fair and reasonable, but a court may also find other procedures to be fair and reasonable when the full circumstances of the suspension, termination, or expulsion are considered.

 (c) A procedure is fair and reasonable when:

  (1) The provisions of the procedure have been set forth in the articles or bylaws, or copies of such provisions are sent annually to all the members as required by the articles or bylaws;

  (2) It provides the giving of 15 days’ prior notice of the expulsion, suspension or termination and the reasons therefor; and

  (3) It provides an opportunity for the member to be heard, orally or in writing, not less than five days before the effective date of the expulsion, suspension or termination by a person or body authorized to decide that the proposed expulsion, termination or suspension not take place.

 (d) Any notice required under this section may be given by any method reasonably calculated to provide actual notice. Any notice given by mail must be given by first-class or registered mail sent to the last address of the members shown on the corporation’s records.

 (e) Any action challenging an expulsion, suspension or termination of membership, including any claim alleging defective notice, must be commenced within one year after the date of the expulsion, suspension or termination. In the event such an action is successful the court may order any relief, including reinstatement, it finds equitable under the circumstances, but no vote of the members or of the board may be set aside solely because a person was at the time of the vote wrongfully excluded by virtue of the challenged expulsion, suspension or termination, unless the court finds further that the wrongful expulsion, suspension or termination was in bad faith and for the purpose, and with the effect, of wrongfully excluding the member from the vote or from the meeting at which the vote took place, so as to affect the outcome of the vote.

 (f) This section governs only the procedures for expulsion, suspension or termination and not the substantive grounds therefor. An expulsion, suspension or termination based upon substantive grounds which violate contractual or other rights of the member or are otherwise unlawful is not made valid by compliance with this section.

 (g) A member who is expelled or suspended or whose membership is terminated shall be liable for any charges incurred, services or benefits actually rendered, dues, assessments or fees incurred before the expulsion, suspension or termination or arising from contract or otherwise. [1996]

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Bella De Soto of KPFK can be reached at bella@bellads.info, or 310-345-7022

The KPFK LSB can be reached at: lsb@kpfk.org and the PNB at: pnb@pacifica.org

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