Pauline Park (paulinepark.com)
I am running for the WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) because I believe passionately in the power of radio to educate the public, and in the crucial role that WBAI has played here in the tri-state area and can continue to play with the right leadership.
In the course of 21 years of activism, I have co-founded several LGBT organizations, including the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), the first transgender advocacy organization in the state; Queens Pride House, the borough’s only LGBT community center; Iban/Queer Koreans (Iban/QKNY), the first organization in New York specifically for LGBT Koreans; OutPOCPAC, the first political club by and for LGBT people of color; and NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, the first LGBT-specific organization formed to challenge the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. My commitment to social justice is embodied by my work with these organizations, an important asset for a board member of this mission-driven station.
I’m running with the Justice & Unity Campaign, as I share their critique of existing WBAI operations and their vision of a community-based progressive radio station positioned for long-term sustainability. The J&U minority on the current Board is willing to work to make WBAI more community-connected, but the current LSB majority has blocked movement on vital mandated processes such as finding a permanent Program Director, evaluating the General Manager, and investing in off-air fundraising. It’s time to make the board more effective and more genuinely representative of WBAI listeners and the larger tri-state community that the station is here to serve.
If elected to the LSB, I would bring to the board both executive experience, having served as executive director of Queens Pride House for the last three years, and board experience, having served as president of the board of directors for the last five of my twelve years on that board. I know how to focus on what really matters, and understand the difference between governance and management. I would work to make the LSB much more useful.
I would also be the first openly transgendered woman of color on the LSB.
It is my sincere hope that you heed the call to give the Justice & Unity Campaign a clear and strong board majority. We are committed to the goal of a powerful station and are willing to do the work to take it there. You can help us move WBAI beyond internal conflict and vilification toward effective collaboration and long-term sustainability by voting for the complete Justice and Unity slate–endorsed by ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), Bayan USA (progressive Filipinos), Larry Hamm, and the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition–in the following order:
1. Lynne Stewart – WRITE HER IN AS # 1
2. King Downing
3. John Brinkley
4. Ralph Poynter
5. Pauline Park
6. Dacio Quintana
7. Eugene Hamond
For unknown reasons, Lynne Stewart’s online membership didn’t register. Please write in her name and rank her #1; her statement is at www.justiceunity.org.
1. In what ways is the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve? The efforts of Justice & Unity secured the WHCR studio at City College and kept WBAI on the air at a crucial moment. Also, the station has made significant improvements in programming in the past year (especially adding local community voices), but much more needs to be done to make WBAI’s programming fully inclusive of the communities in our area.
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? The current majority on the LSB has distorted and mishandled critical staff and programming processes and failed at primary responsibilities by, blocking the hiring of a permanent program director for most of six years and long postponing the required annual evaluation of the general manager. Another major problem is late or no delivery of premiums to donors. This should be completely unacceptable to any institution, especially one that is ostensibly listener-driven. Making sure that premiums are ordered in a timely manner MUST become standard operating procedure.
3. What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station’s mission? In my 21 years of activism, I have co-founded several different LGBT organizations, including the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), the first transgender advocacy organization in the state; Queens Pride House, the borough’s only LGBT community center; Iban/Queer Koreans (Iban/QKNY), the first organization in New York specifically for LGBT Koreans; OutPOCPAC, the first political club by and for LGBT people of color; and NYC Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, the first LGBT-specific organization formed to challenge the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. I would bring 12 years of experience on the board of directors of Queens Pride House, five of which were as president. I also have executive experience, having served as Executive Director of Queens Pride House for the last three years. I know how to recognize and focus on what really matters and I understand the difference between management and governance.
4. What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced? The board needs to facilitate the hiring of a permanent program director who will revamp programming, making it fresher, more relevant and more reflective of as well as more responsive to the needs and concerns of the WBAI audience in its full diversity. A permanent Development Director is also needed to help meet the financial needs of the station. In addition, the LSB must work with management on an effective plan for long-term sustainability. Justice & Unity has already developed such a plan, in conjunction with other staff and listeners, and that plan should be updated where needed, adjusted where appropriate and implemented. We have no time to lose!