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Contact Marilla Arguelles
Listener Candidate for the KPFA Local Station Board
Long Statement
Im Marilla Argüelles. Im running for the Board because I want to repay KPFA for being my best teacher and ally. Ive developed, provided, and advocated for services to combat deprivation, stigma and trauma for more than 30 years, and everyday it helps me as an artist and teacher to battle bureaucratic obtuseness and lack of funds with creativity and Socratic obstinacy.
Im well aware of the frustration, waste and expense that accompany litigious solutions. In 1983 Barbara Lubin and I co-founded Project PLAE, the East Bays first physically integrated, childrens recreation program. This became a model for programs ranging from Palestine to Siberia. During the three years that Berkeley Unified School District was suing our family (for insisting on a language-based, local education for our son) every Berkeley Special Ed student under 12 was referred to PLAEs summer sessions. (Our son became the first wheelchair user to attend Berkeley High School.)

In 1984 I founded Consensus, Californias first nonprofit head injury program to receive Adult Ed funding. As Community Colleges became more inclusive, our focus morphed into media education projects at underachieving high schools. These differed radically from other digital storytelling programs. We taught students to look for the root causes of social problems, rather than to interpret personal histories of injustice as isolated instances of cruel fate or bad luck. Students created PowerPoint presentations on child slavery (BitterSweets: The Dark Side of the Chocolate Trade), criminal injustice, agribusiness, and With or Against Us: The U.S. Patriot Act). They presented these for community service credits to Union meetings, church groups, adult ed classes and public library community forums. In 1993 a Flashpoints interview led me to California Prison Focus. They allowed me to edit letters from the SHU at Pelican Bay Prison into an underground anthology lauded by Adrienne Rich, Carlos Muñoz, June Jordan, and the BBC.
Since then Ive spent equal time and heartache serving on Union Contract Negotiations and Executive Boards. As a current member of SEIU 2015 and former president of SEIU 616s chapter for In-Home Support Service providers, Im keenly aware of the need for fiscal vigilance, transparency, and resilience. And for the need of unions to work with local grassroots efforts on campaigns such as the FightFor$15, MediCareForAll, and CoalFreeOakland. KPFA and other Pacifica stations have long supported teachers Unions. Its time to expand outreach to the general public by hosting events that focus on the impact on local budgets and cuts from deregulation and international Corporate interests.
I pledge to work to replace corporate obsessions of profit, growth, and technology with local democratic economies geared towards Justice and Survival. Im endorsed by UnitedforCommunityRadio, Judy Ehrlich, Michael Parenti, and Barbara Lubin.

Im Marilla Argüelles. I want to repay KPFA for being my best teacher and ally. Ive been developing, providing, and advocating for services to combat trauma and stigma for more than 30 years, and everyday the programming help me battle bureaucratic obtuseness and lack of funding.

In 1984 I founded Consensus, the first California nonprofit head injury program funded by Adult Education. When Community Colleges became more inclusive, we morphed into media literacy projects. Were currently developing training Webinars and a library of independent films so teachers at underachieving schools can help teens create curricula using hiphop and media.

A 1993 Flashpoints interview led me to the California Prison Focus, where I edited letters from the SHU at Pelican Bay into an underground anthology lauded by Adrienne Rich, Carlos Muñoz, June Jordan, and the BBC.

As a current member of SEIU 2015, former executive board member of 6434, and former president of 616s In-Home Support Service Providers, Im keenly aware of the need for fiscal vigilance, transparency, and resilience. I pledge to work to replace corporate obsessions of profit, growth, and technology with local economies that are consensually governed. Im endorsed by UnitedforCommunityRadios slate (

Answers to Candidate Questionnaire
1. In what ways is the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve?
  KPFA (particularly Dennis Bernstein) does an excellent job fulfilling items d and e of the Mission Statement: obtain[ing] access to sources of news not commonly brought together in the same medium, exposing the craven manipulation of news by main stream media. Ive learned far more from Letters and Politics, Project Censored, Guns and Butter, Uprising, HardKnockRadio and Against The Grain about history, politics, and economics than I did at The University of Chicago despite majoring in history. Theyre certainly better at explaining the causes of religious, philosophical and racial antagonisms (growing up in Tennessee these were always presented as immutable and inevitable). Im indebted to KPFA for introducing me to Joy De Gruy Leary, Tim Wise, and others experts on white privilege, and pleased to note a more racially, age-diverse audience now attends the speaker series. The Pacifica Archives/KPFA Adopt a School Library day is an excellent collaboration.
2. In what ways is the station moving in a negative direction, that you would want to stop or change? What changes would you work for?
  Except for the speaker series, KPFA has no coordinated plan for involve our 30,000+ college student neighbors. Most have never heard of KPFA, although several UC professors have created Course Threads and Big Ideas Courses that synthesize knowledge from different disciplines to promote nuanced understanding of an important topic. Apprentice staff could broadcast these regularly? We also need to reach The Social Action Committees of local Faith Based Congregations deeply if cataloged by topic. (Last year MoveOn promoted small house party Teach-Ins featuring Robert Reichs 12 different 3-minute videos on ways to Save the Economy. Many filled within days.) We need a daily half hour morning labor show before work shifts with Andres Soto and Steve Zeltzer covering issues and actions like the Richmond Alliance concerned about poverty and greed whod probably welcome guest speakers with information about the Archives, especially.
3. What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station's mission?
  Our sons had numerous stays in Critical Care Units staffed by overspecialized physicians and technicians dangerously ignorant about nutrition and health alternatives. This forces us to tread lightly when challenging privilege and authority and to navigate carefully between genuinely held beliefs, arbitrary decisions, and assumptions. Serving as unpaid director and founder of a nonprofit for brain injured and learning disabled individuals has honed my skills for grant writing, collaboration, and creating programs that stress inclusion. Providing homecare for 38 years taught me how and why low wage workers must organize so I eagerly joined KPFAs Labor Collective where Steve Zeltzer generously coached me in producing several shows on pesticides and farm workers, Sami Al-Arian, unorganized labor and Unions. Im told Im a good listener. I have a somewhat photographic memory and can be a stickler for detail (mixed blessing).
4. What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced?
  Pacificas Mission Statement requires it to establish awards and scholarships for creative writing, and to promote and aid other creative that serve the cultural welfare of the community yet this is rarely, if ever, mentioned onair. Many of more affluent members and listeners creative activities would probably fund such efforts themselves, particularly if they were encouraged to establish them at their former schools, clubs, and houses of worship, and they were acknowledged as co-sponsors along with KPFA. (Certainly more fun and influential than a name on a wall plaque.) Pacificas Archives could be the source of reference materials for particular topics and competitions. Winners of awards and scholarships could then be invited to submit and/or perform productions at local workshops or Mini-Oscar events. These could produce further revenue from the general public.
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