New Day’s Pacifica Restructure – Trick or Treat?
by Pacifica Fightback
Why is democracy under attack at Pacifica and in the US? Is the NDP Petition a solution or part of the problem?
There is a new Bylaws petition to restructure Pacifica circulating. Signing it amounts to signing away your rights to local elected representation or oversight and abolishing collective control of the Foundation’s destiny by Pacifica members. New Day Pacifica (NDP) tried to scare people into eliminating democracy and diversity at Pacifica by raising the specter of the loan that got us out of a costly contract and larger debt. Now it’s claiming to be Pacifica’s savior by going behind the backs of Pacifica’s management and democratically elected governance to solicit an offer from the lender to extend the loan. This may have undercut Pacifica’s ability to get better terms on an extension. Don’t buy their BS and don’t sign their petition!
Democracy is not a formality: it’s essential to the struggle for justice and peace! In this extraordinary time, reject elitism and opportunism and instead, fight for democracy in the country AND in Pacifica. Withhold your signature on the Pacifica Restructure Bylaws petition! If you already signed, you can rescind your signature by email firstname.lastname@example.org with a cc: to NES@pacifica.org, and bcc: email@example.com
VIRTUAL NATIONAL TOWN HALL, SAT. OCT. 31, 3 PM PDT
Pacifica Fightback scheduled a National Town Hall Meeting for Sat., Oct. 31, 3pm PT. entitled Where Do We Go From Here? Protecting Democracy, Fighting Racism – featuring Dr. Brandon Mack and Kandice Webber of Black Lives Matter Houston, Prof. Johanna Fernandez, author of The Young Lords: A Radical History, WBAI host and contributor to Pacifica’s COVID, Race & Democracy show, and other Pacifica programmers, producers, listeners and board members. If you see this timely, you can register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAtf-ysrTssH9LArX3A6axEUJjDyvOTivZt
Or if you missed it, check our website, https://pacificafightback.org
Weigh-in for Pacifica democracy by not signing the “New Day Pacifica” petition.
Weigh-in for democracy in the US by fighting voter suppression or intimidation and coup attempts.
THE LOCK ‘EM OUT ACTORS ARE BACK…WITH NOTHING NEW
Nothing new except their name, proclaiming a “New Day” for Pacifica. This same basic crew first proposed an “amicable divorce”, breaking apart the network. Then they wanted bankruptcy and judicial control so as to pick up the pieces of what they’d break. Now they’re trying–for the second time in a year–to take over and restructure Pacifica with another massive bylaws rewrite petition. The key thing that hasn’t changed: their push to sell WBAI, located in the center of the commercial dial in New York City at 99.5 FM.
A year ago on October 7, 2019, the “Pacifica Restructuring Project” now known as “New Day Pacifica” supporters tried to take over WBAI and Pacifica by force. With an East-West 1…2 punch they physically and electronically seized WBAI and filed a bylaws lawsuit in the Alameda County courts where their KPFA base in Berkeley, CA is located.
A month later, a NY judge made them return WBAI’s radio signal and we restored local programming.
Five months later, in a membership referendum vote ordered at their behest by the CA judge in the bylaws lawsuit (who has recently been reprimanded by California’s judicial disciplinary agency), we members rejected the faction’s exclusionary bylaws proposal by 2-to-1. Yet the fingerprints of Bill Crosier and others who colluded in the illegal shutdown and takeover of WBAI, the stealth Bylaws lawsuit, and previous efforts to bankrupt or break up Pacifica are all over this new attempt.
Having to secretly use $80K from KPFA revenue that could have been spent on operations to defend their illegal seizure of WBAI, paying police-security guards, needless referendum expenses, hundreds of thousands lost in the interrupted WBAI fund drive … doesn’t seem to have mattered to them. But perhaps repeated referenda are their alternative route to bankruptcy?
Wasting our donations and disrespecting our earlier referendum decision, the 2019 “Pacifica Restructuring Project,” re-invented as the 2020 “New Day Pacifica”, are circulating another petition, seeking your support with appeals to fear.
Don’t be tricked! They tweaked their undemocratic bylaws changes, but the results are the same. They switched their graphic from a drowning white hand to a multi-ethnic array of connecting arms, but the end result of their proposal will be to undercut Pacifica’s capacity to amplify grassroots voices for racial and economic justice, or to provide cutting edge community solutions and creative expressions. They oppose democratic governance because it’s an obstacle to their efforts to gentrify Pacifica’s airwaves.
They proclaim that Pacifica is on the edge of extinction and that the primary cause is its democratic governance system – even though where and when they’ve been in control, they put in managers who failed to welcome burgeoning new movements and communities to be part of Pacifica on both sides of the microphone, failed to form strategic partnerships with like-minded media, and failed to find new ways to deliver program content via multi-media and social media platforms.
Ironically, Jan Goodman, part of the crew shouting that the sky was falling, made our case that the loan is not the problem that they’ve been claiming.
In a recent propaganda piece being used by NDP to convince members that addressing Pacifica’s 2018 FJC loan requires approval of her group’s latest bylaw replacement plans, she blends the FACT – that Pacifica has substantially improved its financial presentation and the latest audit is only a few months late, with both cost-cutting and fundraising work in progress – with the “New Day” FANTASY: that well-informed Pacificans would endorse a massive Bylaws rewrite this time around after rejecting more-or-less the same thing a few months ago.
Their latest proposal actually would do nothing to pay off the loan; instead it would:
- Turn Local Station Boards into toothless “advisory” boards without a real governance role.
- Install, with no opposing candidates, “New Day Pacifica” Foundation Officers who would remain in power until 2024 – 3 of the 4 belong to the same minority faction that illegally seized WBAI in October 2019. It’s the kind of “election” Trump would love to run.
- Change the national board composition to set up multiple winner-take-all votes that would limit diversity and eliminate minority-voice representation.
- Decrease staff participation in governance and create a permanent, discriminatory wall between paid and unpaid staff who work side-by-side.
- Cut station representation by 75% and representation of our 200 affiliate stations by 50%.
- Create a national board majority to easily marginalize, remove, and handpick replacements for member-elected representatives.
- Impose a hierarchical chain of command within management, and of management over staff, with little to no board oversight.
Goodman’s role and purpose is highly suspect:
- She’s a long-time Pacifica National Board (PNB) member who claimed to oppose the last Bylaws replacement just long enough to get re-elected to the PNB, and then did a 180 and backed the replacement Bylaws.
- She is term-limited on the local and national board, but in their latest scenario, she would become national board vice-chair for 3 full years with no opposition allowed.
- She was the originator of the 2017-2018 “Supporters Loan” aka “Bridge Loan” whose interest rates climbed and fees increased during the processing of the deal…even as the offered amount plummeted.
- Her individualistic grandstanding with FJC supplanted the role of Pacifica’s iED and attorney, and may have undercut their ability to get a better deal on extending the loan.
Do these actions uphold a Director’s Duty of Loyalty and Duty of Care to Pacifica?
We cannot know what was actually said in her exchange with the lender, or what was implied.
Stay tuned for updates on http://www.pacificafightback.org.