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My name is Janet Kobren. I am currently a member of the KPFA Local Station Board (LSB), a director on the Pacifica National Board and PNB Secretary, elected by acclamation.

I stand for LOCAL, GRASSROOTS, COMMUNITY, and ACTIVIST RADIO: As an advocate of non-hierarchical, collective decision-making and changes made through grassroots activism, I have worked to get issues such as student debt, our debt economy and privatization of public resources on KPFA’s airwaves. I formed the Strike Debt Radio Collective that so far produced nine segments on KPFA. I have supported KPFA coverage, directly from community newsmakers, beyond “rip-and-read” wire services, of the March for Real Climate Leadership, protests against police terror and murder of people of color, Occupy, housing justice, election integrity, Palestine solidarity (I was a 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla passenger), 9-11 truth, and responsible technology, leading to my introducing KPFA LSB motions for real-time livestreaming of local actions.

I stand for ATTRACTING NEW LISTENERS and KEEPING CURRENT LISTENERS: If elected to the LSB as an incumbent, I will continue to serve KPFA from a UCR perspective (see UnitedForCommunityRadio.org), working to halt the decline in listenership and rebuild our membership base and advocating for program reviews and the creation of an innovative mechanism to revitalize existing programs and produce new programs audiences want to hear.

I stand for ACCOUNTABLE MANAGEMENT and RESPONSIBLE GOVERNANCE: I have had motions passed and have some motions pending on the PNB agenda that will require station management to form and implement urgently needed policies, and be held accountable. And as we have regular audits of Pacifica’s financial systems, it is time for an audit of Pacifica’s records and technical data, including all station membership data.

I stand for TRANSPARENCY: I will continue to advocate for all Pacifica audit reports, financials and other materials to be posted to the pacifica.org website, all meeting minutes for the PNB, LSBs and PNB committees posted at kpftx.org, and all LSB Delegate rosters made publicly available.

If re-elected to a third year as a PNB director, I will continue to implement my work on what has become a PNB that has been making big strides in achieving fiscal stability. By working independently within the PNB, I have become an officer of consequence and I have gained respect, high regard and acceptability from directors on all “sides” from all stations. And if I continue on the PNB, I hope to be re-elected as Foundation Secretary.

I am a retired NYC public high school math teacher, and after moving to the Bay Area I worked for over 15 years as an information technology professional and quality assurance manager in the corporate world before transitioning into being an eclectic peace and justice activist.

Please vote for me and my fellow UCR candidates as we work together to represent you on the KPFA LSB.

My public endorsers include: Carol Brouillet, Samsarah Morgan, Lesley Tiyesha Phillips, James Vann, Laura Wells.

Optional Questions


In what ways are the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve?
Many people want to support KPFA as an independent, grassroots and democratic media source. Getting involved in the LSB elections enables that as well as helps the station to grow. KPFA also has an active Community Advisory Board that has been building connections with individuals and organizations while expanding geographical reach. KPFA has a great apprenticeship program and a number of dedicated programmers covering local issues.

The redesigned website has brought a new and vibrant look to kpfa.org. It can also utilize, in the near future, new technologies like interactive social media, real-time video livestreaming and internet search engine tools.

Canceling the summer fund drive gave listeners a refreshing break. It was possible because of a one-time windfall of two major bequests. Finding new sources of revenue may involve doing more outreach and community events to build membership.


In what ways are the station moving in a negative direction, that you would want to stop or change? What changes would you work for?
Let’s move away from corporate-based media sources. Decrease the number of “NPR type” mainstream interview guests to avoid “group think” promoted by Feature Story News, Associated Press and Reuters news services. Develop more innovative programs bringing new voices into the news and public affairs, with input from activists and citizen journalists from all over KPFA’s signal area.

KPFA needs to have a volunteer coordinator to support and help organize people who want to contribute time to the station, with more KPFA visibility in the streets and at cultural and political events.

KPFA also needs to create a more organized and accessible system for people to give feedback about programming, services and breaking news with timely responses to communications.

I am strongly opposed to trends towards underwriting for KPFA and Pacifica and seek to protect KPFA’s autonomy to choose who is interviewed and what information and culture reach KPFA’s airwaves.


What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station's mission?
Through my work in activist circles, I emphasize that planning for a strong media presence is a crucial ingredient for projects and actions. I help to make this happen by acting as a liaison with KPFA.

Having done livestreaming myself, I support expanding livestreaming production, with easy access on KPFA’s website to local actions and demonstrations. KPFA can also bring in revenue with a pay-per-view model on the website for special lectures and cultural events. And I hope to help establish, through the PNB, a collaborative, national network on live streaming.

I bring my project management and organizing skills as well as my forensic auditing experience to KPFA and Pacifica. And serving on the LSB and PNB, I have become skillful and creative using Roberts Rules of Order and clear communications to make constructive proposals with effective follow up and listening to others with care in my interactions.


What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced?
The bylaws empower the KPFA LSB to approve the station’s annual budget. As an LSB member I will continue to press for responsible, realistic and sustainable budgets for KPFA.

Maintaining the level of KPFA’s paid staff seems unsustainable. We need to develop new approaches to utilize the wealth of experience of KPFA’s nationally and internationally recognized unpaid staff programmers and also enlist community newsmakers and citizen journalists to report breaking news.

On the national level, I have been working to support efforts to complete Pacifica’s financial audits in a timely manner in order to ensure that our financial systems and data are being managed responsibly, and leading to the possibility that CPB grants are reinstated.

I am also on the PNB Personnel Committee which is presently involved in a search for a corporate finance officer. I am committed to helping Pacifica hire a CFO who is experienced, effective and dependable.


So, what do you think ?