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Contact Pete Farruggio
Listener Candidate for the KPFA Local Station Board
Statement
My background
I’m with Rescue Pacifica

rescuepacifica.net

I was a truck driver and a cabby in New York City, a warehouseman and bilingual teacher in the Bay Area, and a professor of bilingual education in the Texas borderlands.

I have 40+ years experience in struggles against war, imperialism, racism and for workers' rights. I was a member of a militant caucus in the ILWU that fought to organize various local, national, and international solidarity actions, and I served for several years on the ILWU Local 6 Executive Board. I have led numerous movements to organize Black and Brown parents to improve our local public schools and was a co-chair of the School Site Council of Oakland’s largest elementary school, where we fought with the district bureaucracy for more funds for Black and Latino children.
I was a convener of the mass rally in April 1980 that stopped the American Nazi Party from celebrating Hitler’s birthday on the steps of SF City Hall, and helped to organize successful anti-Klan actions throughout California

Why Am I Running?

I want to help KPFA expand our listener base and paying membership by revamping our programming to serve the interests and needs of young people and the various communities of color in the Bay Area.

I understand that to accomplish this we must break the stranglehold on station management currently exerted by an entrenched clique of paid staff, who resists democratic participation in programming decisions.

To revive the founding Pacifica principles, anti-imperialism and independence from the mainstream, we must pull KPFA out of the Democratic Party orbit. No more Russiagate, nor favorable coverage of CIA color revolutions.

Use independent journalists instead of wire services to counter lying mainstream media propaganda. Co-produce local stories with community groups, much of it in Spanish and other languages.

Expand listener dialogue with hosts and guests via phone, text, email, etc

Our whole operation must be about community engagement

More on the scene reporting about local events of importance to our working class communities in the Bay Area

Enhance online digital programs and promote them to attract younger listeners

Excessive pledge drives turn off potential members.

Increase paying membership by offering programs vital to their lives. Reinvigorate the Pacifica spirit of fighting for the common people against war and exploitation.

To revive this spirit, we must revamp our programming away from mainstream media propaganda with multilingual broadcasting that involves local groups and individuals who are struggling against the system, for example union organizing drives, rent strikes, fights against gentrification and absentee landlords, resistance to school closings and privatization, actions to stop police brutality and to defend undocumented immigrants, etc

Our listenership is aging and shrinking because most of our current programs are boring and irrelevant to the lives of working class people and youth.

Attracting large numbers of new and younger members from our diverse Bay Area communities is a better way to build fiscal security than interminable annoying pledge drives
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 have 40+ years experience in struggles against war, imperialism, racism and for workers' rights. I have led numerous movements to organize Black and Brown parents to improve our local public schools. I was a member of a militant caucus in the ILWU that fought to organize various local, national, and international solidarity actions. I was a convener of the mass rally in April 1980 that stopped the nazis from having a demonstration in San Francisco, and helped to organize several successful anti-Klan actions throughout California
2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  I appreciate the few remaining programs that manage to present an anti-war, anti-imperialist viewpoint
Saturday music programs
La onda bajita
Apprentice broadcasts that focus on local issues- like the programs in Antioch with African American parents talking about raising their kids in a racist society
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  We need to make major changes in programming to pull the station out of the orbit of the racist, pro-imperialist capitalistic Democratic Party, and to restore it to embodying Pacifica's founding principles
Specifically, our news department must stop using mainstream wire services for national and international coverage. We should instead contract with independent journalists to inform our listeners with the truth to counter the lying propaganda promulgated in the mainstream media.
We should expand our local news coverage by engaging with local grassroots community groups to coproduce in-depth stories of vital interest to the real people of the Bay Area. Much of this programming should be done in Spanish and other key languages spoken in our region.
We need to provide more opportunities for listeners to dialogue in real time with on air hosts and presenters via phone, text, email, etc
Our whole operation must be about community engagement
4. Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
  Revamp programming to do on the scene reporting about local events of importance to our working class communities in the Bay Area
Create shows that involve community groups and allow for on the air feedback and dialogue with listeners
Enhance online digital programs and promote them to attract younger listeners
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?
  We must revamp our programming to attract and involve more listeners by covering local events and allowing for participation by members of local communities
We must expand our Spanish language programming to attract more listeners
Pledge drives turn off potential members. We must increase our paying membership by offering programs that are vital to their daily lives
Our listenership is aging and shrinking because most of our current programs are boring and irrelevant to the lives of working class people
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  We must stop the rightward drift into the Democratic Party and restore KPFA to its anti-imperialist anti-capitalist roots
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