My name is Craig Alderson. I was arrested at KPFA in 1999 in the struggle to keep Pacifica accountable to those who make this station and the network possible: the listeners.
Since then, much -- and yet nothing -- has changed. In recent years, Pacifica management has acted as if it has forgotten its listeners. It canceled KPFA's most successful program for partisan reasons, then dismissed the protests of thousands of listeners. It has attempted to strip duly elected local representatives of their seats; overruled the local board on the budget and personnel decisions; and hired one of the nation's most notorious anti-union law firms. SaveKPFA newsletters at www.SaveKPFA.org detail those abuses and more.
This is no way to run our radio station. When KPFA listener-members feel disrespected and taken for granted, they quit. I pledge to protect local control at KPFA. Those who know what is best for KPFA are those in the KPFA community its listeners and staff.
KPFA's future is optimistic. Its finances are positive and listeners have responded well to recent changes in morning programming changes based on what makes good radio, not on station politics.
Good radio is the high standard to which listeners hold the station. KPFA's purpose is to educate, illuminate, influence -- to give people the tools they need to make progressive political and cultural change. It doesn't matter how righteous KPFA's politics are; if no one listens because the quality of the programs is poor, we have failed. KPFA advances social justice with programming that is informative, intelligent, imaginative, entertaining, and even humorous. We change the world by learning how to speak to people outside the progressive community, as well as those within.
We can do this. As appointed secretary of the LSB since 2011, I am familiar with the issues facing the station. As a union activist and community activist for more than 25 years, I know that there are more than enough resources and talent in the Bay Area to sustain such an effort.
What's holding KPFA back are not financial or technical obstacles, but internal disorganization and mismanagement. The constant in-fighting everyone is sick of is fueled by a system of patronage and personal loyalty that pervades both station and the network. Decision-making must be based on facts and merit, not ideological assumptions or personal connections. Better consultation and communication, within the station and between station and network, is imperative. We must end the constant programming turmoil that drives away listeners, our most vital resource.
I will work toward those goals and more:
-- an effective system to generate and vet program ideas;
-- increased statewide collaboration with Southern California and the Central Valley;
-- improvement of training programs, so our programming can go from good to exceptional;
-- reforming Pacifica, to make Pacifica accountable to its members.
Learn more about SaveKPFA candidates and SaveKPFA's many endorsers at www.SaveKPFA.org.