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Contact Frank Sterling Jr.
Staff Candidate for the KPFA Local Station Board
Statement
My name is Frank Sterling Jr. I am running for staff representative to the kpfa local station board. I have served the past 3 years on the board and have been a consistent voice fighting for community representation on the airwaves of KPFA and the rights of paid and unpaid staff. Our most pressing issues are financial. A large loan looming. KPFA, KPFK, the equipment and the Pacifica archives are collateral. We must make sure of a plan to repay that loan. There are many ideas out there and some are actually in effect, like using percentages of any bequests to go toward the loan. I would also like to see stations taking at least one day of every fund drive and put it towards the loan.

I’m a firm believer in keeping the network together. Yes we have financial and other pressing issues at some of our stations but I believe helping get it together while working as a team will keep us stronger. The network can play an important role in shaping the narrative and help to bring this nation into a more progressive future.

Other important issues I feel are going more multimedia and utilizing the KPFA website to stream audio as well as video. I also believe if we work towards monetizing virtual tickets to the KPFA Speaker series it will help bring in some, not all but some much needed revenue. I would also like to see KPFA and the other stations in the network incorporate a text based system of giving. This would help augment the donation income and would hopefully help cut down on the number of on air fundraising days.

For staff. I feel we need to continue to keep us safe at the station while allowing workers return to the building. The CDC and the state and county are setting guidelines for fully vaccinated employees to return to the workplace. I believe we should fully recognize unpaid staff and help in the reformation of the unpaid staff organization. I feel many programmers from the unpaid staff were not properly alerted and respected in the termination of their programs. We should assure the unpaid staff has proper representation when their shows are on the chopping block. I would like to see the reformation of a program council at KPFA to help review the performance of shows and offer helpful suggestions to improve. The council could assist the GM in considering whether a show should be cut or help to improve and help in the implementation of new progressive shows that could be put in place of shows that are reruns.

If I am elected I will work my best to help KPFA and the Pacifica Network to regain some strength and keep strong into the future. I will treat other board members with respect regardless of their views or positions.
Lastly. I support Ann Garrison and Anthony Fest.

Thank you for your consideration.
Frank T. Sterling Jr.
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 15 years in radio production at KPFA. I was taught all my radio skills at KPFA as part of the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. I am currently the Technical Director for Full Circle which is the show produced, hosted and engineered by apprentices in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. I am closely connected to numerous organizations that organize protests, demonstrations and direct actions both here in the Bat Area around the country and around the world. Some of those include, Code Pink, AROC, PYO, ANSWER Coalition, Yemeni Alliance Committee. Working with these and other community organizations I will help be sure their stories are not only "covered" on the air but that KPFA is is involved in the promotion and the building of community awareness around their actions. I will also work to be sure KPFA is at these community events and broadcasting live whenever possible.
2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  I like that we still have somewhat of a variety of voices on the air. I also appreciate that we still have a wide range of music choices. I am also grateful that we were led safely through the COVID 19 pandemic and were able to learn to work remotely as a team from home but still connected to the station.
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  One thing that concerns me is the number of shows that get replayed, while we cut original programming altogether in some cases. As an example, we are now broadcasting Up Front for two hours in the morning. Then we are replaying portions of the same show in the afternoon. This is happening while we have a national show called "Covid, Race and Democracy" that is playing on all the stations in the Pacifica Network accept KPFA. This show highlights all the stations in the network with original programming from all the Pacifica stations and KPFA management refuses to play it but would rather repeat a show that has already taken up a two hour block of morning drive time. We also play Democracy Now 2 times a day and we were playing Rising Up With Sonali 2 times as well. These replays are taking up time that could be use for original programming. I would also like to see more support for broadcasting live from large demonstrations that take place in our area or nationally when possible. I would also like to see more support for streaming live multi media on the kpfa dot org website.
4. Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
  1. Making sure that Local Station Boards come up with a plan to contribute as much as possible to the repayment of the loan that is looming over us. Each Station should do whatever they can to safely contribute to an account that will be put towards the repayment of the loan. If we as anetwork cannot come together to repay this loan. Then we may not have our individual stations that make it up.
2. Increase our listenership and membership. KPFA has lost many listeners/members over the past 8 to 10 years. As we lose listeners, we lose members and donors at the same time. I feel to increase our listenership we need to get out into the community more and not just cover the civil rights, environmental and other justice movements but work with them to grow their outreach and help them to help us deliver their cries for justice to our listeners. Doing so we will grow our listeners and pool of possible donors.
3. Expand our social media and multi media presence online. We are finally growing and going online more with KPFA and I believe we need to continue to expand this into the future. One great example is the forced move to online KPFA Speaker events. I have long advocated for streaming the many KPFA speaker series put together by Bob Baldock and his crew. In many cases the speaker series is featuring a speaker that is on a national book tour. Instead of being limited to a local audience that would have to be present to attend. You could augment that by offering virtual tickets to people anywhere in the world with and internet connection. There are also many organizations covering topics that KPFA listeners care deeply about. We could be partnering with these organizations to promote their online events then link to and stream them on the kpfa dot org websire. I believe we could also have these organizations hold online fundraisers that could benefit KPFA as well as their organizations at the same time. And these online fundraisers would not interfere with onair programming.
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?
  I have already outlined a couple ways that we can get to raising some much needed funds, Aside from streaming and offering virtual tickets to our our speaker series. We could start a text based donation system. This way people could donate anytime they hear something great on kpfa by simply texting the word "GIVE" to KPFA941. We could run PSA's after shows and also randomly reminding them that if they heard something they appreciated today, they could send a quick text and give 5, 10, 15, 20 or whatever amount they want from their mobile device without even logging onto a website or talking to a person on the phone. The donations we would receive through the text system would take some of the pressure off the on air fund drives and hopefully cut down on the number of days that we fund raise on the air. I would also be interested in house parties for fundraisers, concerts and continuing the Movie Nights put together by Jeannine Etter.
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  I love KPFA and the Pacifica Network. I believe we are a very important voice at this important time in our history. I believe we need to stick together as a network and highlight that we are a network whenever possible. I will work hard to be a person that can be a positive force on the local station board bringing community voices to the air.
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