I’m Lawrence Reyes, running for re-election to the LSB with Grassroots Community Radio Coalition. Community-based free-speech radio is at stake, as KPFK elects an entire new LSB, with new management in place nationally and locally. “Radio powered by the people” is a call to action and community empowerment. KPFK must address the survival issues of people who’ve been marginalized not only by the state and the wealthy, but also by those who cling to airtime like oxygen. Does what you hear on KPFK satisfy you completely, or do you feel as I do that it’s missing the boat on many issues affecting your struggles and future, missing out on growing younger audiences, and devoting too much time to fund drives?
KPFK’s airwaves should allow diverse grassroots communities to communicate with each other. Listeners and volunteers, who power the station, must have a say in how it’s run and what it airs, for true free speech, and to give voice to the voiceless. KPFK must help advance solutions to the problems we’re experiencing – immigration raids; homelessness and gentrification; lack of health care; denial of rights for the disabled, children and the aged; police killing youth of color; repression of whistle blowers; absence of food sovereignty; militarizing schools; racism, war, colonialism and genocide. These affect me personally; I care and struggle about them daily as an organizer, parent and social worker. I’ve been involved as a listener, reaching out about these issues for years; yet KPFK has often been resistant. I want to continue making sure the station addresses those issues and airs expressions directly from affected communities. As an LSB member, I’ve supported greater financial transparency and restoring local news. I serve on the Pacifica National Board and helped save the network from the brink of ruin by changing the national management.
An open programming evaluation process is critical to improve the quality and depth of what KPFK airs. We need a training program for fresh, energetic people engaged in the communities and schools, such as those in the DREAM movement, the Occupy movement, and opposition to police terror, our next generation of listeners who are already under attack and who have the commitment to carry the station forward. KPFK is threatened today by forces that would eliminate grassroots voices, Spanish-language shows, and collectives. They’re more concerned with their own interests and political agendas. The best antidote is allowing the community to speak for itself. On-air forums and town halls must be held debating these issues. I have played a key role in helping organize such Town Halls at KPFK.
I serve on the Governance Committee of the LSB, and on the PNB Programming Committee and Spanish Language Task Force. I’m running, along with others from the Grassroots Community Radio Coalition, to bring accountability and openness to KPFK, so the station can survive the attacks that will come no matter who wins the 2016 US elections.
Questions? Call 310-460-8586, email alianzapr [AT] hotmail [DOT] com, or search for gcrc-socal.