Español
Prev Sarah Klepner Next
Contact Sarah Klepner
Listener Candidate for the WBAI Local Station Board
Statement
"I'm asking to serve as one of your representatives on the WBAI LSB to translate my enthusiasm into organized activity for our station.

I'm running on the Justice and Unity slate which is a group of listeners and producers formed in recognition that the same political struggles which characterize the society exist within WBAI and Pacifica, and that therefore there is a need to actively work to foreground racial justice and anti-imperialist issues and movements, and not only listen to but seek out the voices of impacted communities, locally, nationally, and globally.

As a community activist in Monmouth County, I am connected to a network of forward-looking people and groups here in north coastal NJ. I've been organizing community education events (e.g. films, talks), mainly around racial justice and sustainability, for the last 13 years. I produce publicity materials and do press work for these events. I also have written successful grant applications.

I bring to the LSB a commitment to involving, both as listeners-contributors and as producers, those who are currently most disadvantaged in society. This is the way for WBAI: to connect communities in the NY metro area with each other and the world, to be attentive to people’s struggles for self-determination both here and around the world, and, when we believe in and use the airwaves to amplify their power, to be supported largely by the millions in the listening area who are currently denied an active voice in shaping the future.

The LSB is charged with conducting community needs assessments. I will work with other board members and volunteers to ensure that we meet this responsibility and that the findings are reflected in programming decisions:
• One universal need that has come to the fore is to grapple fully with the implications of climate change and the options for adaptation and mitigation, especially for under-resourced communities.

The board is also responsible for holding biannual town hall meetings:
• I will work to make these major events that bring together activists from across the listening area to strengthen a shared understanding of the station's role and potential."

Please use the following rank order to maximize the value of your vote (it is not a reflection of the value placed of any of us individually).
1. Errol Maitland
2. Hazel Pinder
3. Geoff Munroe (Bounubti Kamenthou)
4. John Brinkley
5. Harriet Hines
6. Josie Gonsalves
7. Sarah Klepner
8. Cerene Roberts
Answers to Candidate Questionnaire
1. What experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the local station board to advance the station's mission?
  I bring experience as a teacher, restaurant worker, and home health aide, as well as an on-the-ground organizer in Chicago’s public housing in the 2000s. I have also worked as a reporter for local print media, and written hundreds of flyers and press releases over the last 20-plus years. I am a friend of and organizer of events at the local Unitarian meetinghouse (uucmc.org). I’m also connected to the Transition movement (transitionus.org). As a young adult, I worked with a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization, where I learned a number of key principles that continue to guide me in working for a better world.

As a white person who has taken up struggles in Black communities, I know first-hand about the systemic abuses faced by communities of color. I witnessed police harassment many times and was involved with resistance in the wake of multiple police murders and unjust arrests in Chicago.

While I hold strong opinions, I am eager to listen to and engage those with whom I differ. I believe that this is the only way to sort out the underlying questions that are at play.

2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  I appreciate the variety, depth, and authenticity of WBAI’s programming.
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  There is room for improvement with regards to meeting the full range of community programming needs for the WBAI signal area. Changes in programming should reflect the goal of meeting these needs. Also, there is a need to improve outreach to listeners, who can be a powerful force to spread the word about WBAI.


4. Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
  I want to help with writing grants (including those that will support a bus and subway ad campaign), conducting town halls and community needs assessments, and implementing fundraising strategies.
5. Sustainability is an important part of any nonprofit operation. What are your thoughts on how the board can help to improve the station's financial footing?
  The path to sustainability should be guided by the revolutionary principle of ‘relying on the masses’. A million listeners will keep the station going. By relying on existing listeners to publicize the station through social media and good old-fashioned flyers, and multiplying this process, we can build listenership and thereby ensure sustainable financial support.
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  I first got involved with the inner workings of WBAI in 2009, when 29-year WBAI veteran and then-current Program Director Bernard White was fired. The Justice and Unity Campaign played a key role in organizing listeners who supported Bernard’s work at the station and wanted to reverse his firing and a number of other anti-community measures that were taken at the time. I received their endorsement as LSB candidate in 2009 and joined the J & U slate for LSB elections in 2010.
Prev Back to List Next