The survival of the network and especially WBAI is at stake. People are not listening to radio as much as they used to and young people almost not at all. Everywhere community radio stations are disappearing. Our average listener is 65+. When listenership falls, membership and revenue fall, layoffs follow, listenership falls further etc.
If we survive, we should become a multi-media digital platform ( Youtube channel, our own video streaming and multiple radio channels). Modern media technology should end the fighting for air time. We will become the vibrant, innovative, artistic outlet for multicultural and progressive programming we have been in the past and should always be.
To that end the Community Advisory Board and the volunteers have been working diligently with management, producers, staff and interns to help the station. Collectively the CAB members and the volunteers have done thousands of hour of work. Both a volunteer and CAB member I have done hundreds of hours of volunteer work myself. I worked with Fran Luck to set up, clean up and help work the door on the five nights of the successful Feminist Film Festival.Bob Lederer called and asked me to personally facilitate the copying and shipping of a book premium for his group’s show. I did the work and contributed the paper for the job. I have picked up hundreds of Gary Null premiums from his office and processing plant in NJ and brought them to the station where we packed and shipped them. Some large ones were hand delivered by car to save the station postage. We are working together.
I participated in a committee to write a common Sustainability Plan for WBAI that merged the JUC plan with three other plans written by experienced individuals. Agreement not reached and the four separate plans remained so.
These factional disputes and the politics of personal destruction have diverted many well meaning people from the task at hand: Saving Pacifica and WBAI. We must, at least momentarily, set aside our differences and work for survival.
It is not unreasonable for both factions to plan for what may be the inevitable demise of the network as we know it. There are tens of millions of dollars in assets at stake. We may be in the end game but we should fight to the bitter end to preserve and transform this network for the future.
My petition signed by: John Brinkley (JUC), current LSB chair of the LSB and Ken Laufer (Independent), current LSB Secretary, Jim Dingman, current Chair CAB and other LSB and volunteers.
Personal notes: Radicalized by struggle against Vietnam war, gentrification by suburban sprawl. Mother’s family and neighbors forced off farms by eminent domain for reservoir that was never built. Fought development sprawl, war and strong local racism. Naively thought Revolutionary change at hand.
Tried to start communal farms twice. Raided and attacked by police twice. Met President Ford at Morristown airport after Nixon pardon. Assaulted by Republican operatives, detained by Secret Service. Detained by NJ Transit police for putting up Revolutionary Student Brigade stickers at the Newark Train Station. Interrogated by the FBI/INS.Etc. etc. In cross hairs of NJ police ever since.
Last 30 years worked with PeaceWorks shipping material aid to Nicaragua. Begun in early 1980’s to run the Reagan blockade. Targeted by the CIA. Currently: Shipment Coordinator.
Mentored at Rutgers Law School by Arthur Kinoy, Civil Rights and Labor attorney, co-founder Center for Constitutional Rights. Studied under Ivan van Sertima Rutgers College. Used law degree to teach English at Essex County College Newark, NJ.