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Contact Errol Maitland
Listener Candidate for the WBAI Local Station Board
Statement
We need to preserve WBAI and to have a voice in how it serves our needs. I would like to continue to work on your behalf.

I'm a longtime listener and subscriber to WBAI, and proud to be running for reelection to the Local Station Board with Justice & Unity (justiceunity.org).

I started listening in the '60s. Radio then, was a link to the whole wide world, and BAI was the station that did it the best. WBAI was my classroom of the air, and it still is. Religion and spirituality with Lex Hixon. Chris Whent's ancient and obscure music from Europe; or the classical opera with the Sokols. Bob Fass's Radio Unnameable would take you through the night with wonderful far-out music, musing, and conversation unheard of on the radio. I can still hear Odetta performing at the Free Music store. Yeah, I became a student subscriber. 

Then in the '90s Elombe Brath recruited me as a producer. I volunteered or was drafted for everything, from the mailroom to the tally room during fund drives. I answered the phone, ran the elevator at night, organized the annual BAI Christmas craft fair for a few years, and engineered and hosted programs. 505 Eighth Ave became my home.

Under the stewardship of Samori Marksman, along with Bernard White and Amy Goodman I helped create a successful morning drivetime program and named it "Wakeup Call." It was the precursor to the national and international program "Democracy Now!", on which I served as Technical Director. Wakeup Call had a notable cast of contributors, including Robert Knight, Zack Fink (NY1), Jose Santiago (WBAI News), Deepa Fernandes, Esther Armah, Mimi Rosenberg, Janice K. Bryant, and the executive producer of Wakeup Call, Sharan Louise Harper.

My most memorable contribution to BAI was the instigation to rebuild the Master studio. The station was operating on a main control board that we jokingly said was built by Marconi himself--from time to time it would smoke and smolder. Of course there was no money to replace it, but I persuaded management to put faith in you, the listener, and through hard work we raised the funds to rebuild our studios.

Once again, we need to rebuild BAI, and I would like to be a part of that effort. If reelected to the board, I will always work in your interest because you have made this bold experiment in listener-sponsored community radio possible. 

Please vote for me and the entire Justice & Unity slate. Current and previous J&U boardmembers include Sharonne Salaam, King Downing, Michael Tarif Warren, Bernard White, Father Lawrence Lucas, and Sara Flounders.
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 decades of people-centered community activism. I did not come to WBAI or to the board out of self-interest or for personal aggrandizement. Serving the peoples' needs remains my motivation for being here.

I am one of the early adopters of internet broadcasting as well as melding visuals with our radio broadcasting. I helped to shape a little program called DEMOCRACY NOW! I also worked with Samori Marksman - our late Program Director, and a crew of dedicated paid and unpaid staff to achieve the first Million-dollar fund drive in community radio history.

I know radio, appreciate technology, and practice healthy collaboration
2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  WBAI is being run like a failed colonized state. Current leadership is not accountable to anyone but themselves. WBAI has been destabilized by external and internal forces that have taken over the station for their narrow ideological interests. Much of the time it sounds like a money machine for a few salespeople.

Hate, lies, and right-wing propaganda emanates from our frequency. Anti-progressives call the shots behind the scenes and sometimes on the air.

I admire those listeners and producers who are able to hold on ... still clinging to the mission of Lew Hill and the dream of Louis Schweitzer.
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  Accountability to the mission, respect for the members who pay the bills, recognition that Pacifica is entrusted with the license to operate the station in the public interest and in the interest of area communities.
4. Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
  Members are owners; they are not nuisance to be tolerated or shunted aside.

a. Return to collective principles.
b. Rebuild and expand our audience.
c. Find a suitable and permanent home for WBAI.

The LSB must be driven by the interest of the listener and subscriber.
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?
  Programming, programming, programming.

Fulfill our responsibilities around programming. Good compelling programs drive funding support for the station. Competent management would have clear programming goals and processes.
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  Truth, critical thinking and analysis must be restored. We can have differing points of view on issues but lies and vindictiveness will destroy us.
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