I have loved Pacifica for decades, but now humanity, and the station are in crisis. Factionalism on both the local and national boards has permitted incompetence to hinder the network and our station from fulfilling its mission in the robust fashion our times require. The national board is rumored to be contemplating the drastic action of selling off one or two stations to put the network as a whole on a more stable financial footing, effectively abandoning those communities to their own devices and the caprice of corporate commerce.
A functional vision going forward for Pacifica fulfilling its mission must not be one that resorts to austerity triage, sacrificing some communities (New York, Houston?) in order to make the network solvent. Obviously however, this crisis needs to be effectively addressed. KPFK’s broadcast license is in jeopardy for not meeting State of California auditing requirements governing non-profits for two years in a row, and has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in CPB funding for not doing so.
In late 2000 I participated with a group picketing the station to force the resignation of then-manager Mark Schubb, who along with popular host Marc Cooper was taking the station in the direction of NPR. Nevertheless, while I don’t agree with the political perspective, the more I am forced to listen to KPCC during our ever-increasing pledge drives, I am struck with the difference in on-air professionalism.
At pledge times our strengths and weaknesses are on display: catastrophism threatened if listeners don’t come forward to save the station from insolvency great programming offered as premiums that is scarce to be found at other times programmers who seem to believe they are indispensable demanding the listeners step up, while at the same time disparaging other programmers hype over the magical properties of this or that supplement, health food or self-help program offered as premiums some programs missing completely, not even offered the chance to pull their own weight
Is it any wonder listenership continues to decline?
As someone who has practiced meditation for forty-five years, I understand the spiritual perspective of many of our programmers. As a program coordinator for the Democratic Socialists of America’s Los Angeles chapter, I feel strongly that KPFK should provide an inclusive forum for politically left, gender and racially diverse views. As a member of the Southern California Federation of Scientists, I feel KPFK could be doing far more to report the science revealing the threats we face as a community, and humanity faces globally, due to climate change—and political analysis of how we must organize to meet those threats.
I cannot guarantee I can provide the answer to these issues. If elected I will utilize my skills to encourage fellow Local Station Board members not to become deadlocked in factionalism and bureaucratic abuse of Robert’s Rules of Order, but to work together to assist the station in fulfilling its mission to listeners and the public.