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Contact John David Brinkley
Listener Candidate for the WBAI Local Station Board
John Brinkley

I‘m seeking re-election to the WBAI Local Station Board with the Justice & Unity Campaign ( endorsed by several progressive organizations including Larry Hamm and The People’s Organization for Progress--because I want to see the station continue to be a strong voice for the 99%. Recently, working with P.O.P., we were able to get a donated billboard advertising WBAI placed on the NJ Turnpike at no charge to the station. (See image above.)

Working with NJ organizations, such as P.O.P. , Frontiers International, Essex County College and others, we were able to gain support to vote NO on the referendum amending the Pacifica By-Laws to do away with the LSBs.
I was on the LSB previously from 2010 to 2016, serving as its chair during the last 3 years. Despite Justice and Unity being in the minority during this period, I was twice re-elected unanimously. During this period, there were many challenges, both internal and external, but we continued to develop plans to help the station to stabilize and prosper. WBAI has always needed money, so during the time I was on the Board a group of us brainstormed fundraising ideas and developed a detailed sustainability plan. To save access to our transmitter (then at the Empire State building), I helped secure a union phone bank and coordinated volunteers who called members to raise money for a transmitter fund set up through a motion proposed by Justice & Unity. I want to bring back to the LSB that spirit of "let's work together" so we can overcome our external challenges.
My background and skills include:
• Community activism since high school: picketing, debating, and challenging racial discrimination in its many forms.
• Currently serving on the People’s Organization for Progress (POP), Frontiers International (the oldest Black service organization), the International Holistic Health and Green Technology Center, chairing the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission, and VP of the Plainfield Arts Council.
• Working with community-based organizations to develop re-entry programs for the formerly incarcerated.
• Serving two years in the U. S. Peace Corps in Ethiopia as a math teacher, learning the local language and helping several students come to the U.S.
• Earning 2 degrees from Rutgers and teaching in settings from private grammar schools to public colleges. Trained as a project manager
• Working in college, corporate, local government and nonprofit environments.
• Traveling to all parts of this country and to countries in East, West, and North Africa, the Caribbean, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada.
We have a diverse country in a world of people who have rich cultures with much to offer. WBAI should be a progressive voice reflecting this diversity. I urge you to vote for the J&U Listener Candidates in the following order:
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
9- Kim Ives
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 served on the LSB previously for 6 years and established a fundraising call-out center to generate monies to save our broadcast transmitter. Professionally, I have worked in marketing and project management for a Fortune 100 company. I have served with a number of community-based organizations in NJ in leadership and support positions. I know how to reach out to local communities to gain support for worthy causes. I believe in the mission of the station and can communicate its value to others.
2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  I appreciate that despite all of the challenges, WBAI is still on the air and has moved its transmitter to Times Square. Also, I am heartened that it has phones available, with our old number, to take on-air calls, and that the studio has been upgraded.
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  I would like to see the station expand its listenership, reduce on-air fundraising, increase coverage of local communities (particularly in NJ), increase involvement of youth both at the station and in the focus of programming, and upgrade its technology to include a visual component.
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. Increasing listenership, particularly in NJ.
2. Increasing off-air fundraising.
3. Increasing productivity on the LSB.
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?
  WBAI needs a comprehensive sustainability plan. In the past, I worked on just such a plan, which now would need to be reviewed and updated. The station also needs to look at partnerships with other nonprofit entities.
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  I have a real passion for the station, a history of community service and a skill set (project management, communication, marketing, fundraising, and community outreach) that has prepared me to work with others to move the station toward stability and growth. Please vote for me and the entire Justice and Unity team.
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