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Contact Geoff Munroe
Listener Candidate for the WBAI Local Station Board
Statement
I appeal to our voting members as a candidate for the WBAI Listener Station Board. An adamant WBAI listener for 25 years, I was introduced to the station and immediately drawn to Elombe Brath’s show, Afrikaleidoscope, which cemented my appreciation for activist-oriented community media. WBAI’s impact inspired my decision to independently produce my own Public Access show, The Melanin Chronicles. I learned quickly and directly of the many ethical and social responsibilities, production skills and tasks, and the culturally-conscious demands of the journalistic process, particularly with respect to critical issues that relate to the lives of working class people, and how to synthesize raw authenticity with zeal and action-centered solutions for the people. I’ve since utilized those learning experiences to inform and direct my service as a parent, community organizer and a union member employed in the corporate audio-visual industry.
WBAI has been an integral part of my media consumption and realization that the American corporate press does not and will not serve the working class, nor will it disabuse itself as a source of oppression. The WBAI mission and values align with my own professional, political, socio-cultural, and economic intentions to undermine the American and global forces of White Supremacist Patriarchy and Imperialist war-making. WBAI holds great potential to hold space for the voiceless and inform the masses. In the angst-ridden era of a pandemic, Black Lives Matter and widespread street protest, I’ve become dissatisfied with the many program-interrupting fund-drives, lack of diversity in on-air programming and ineffectual reach to the New York Tri-State Area outside of the five boroughs of New York City. From my vantage point, there’s a prime opportunity to connect residents like myself in non-NYC regions, increase listener interest, continue engagement with a demographically shifting membership population, and appeal to a wider range of potential material support in the WBAI struggle within the American experiment known as “democracy”. I see my value as a viable source of support in engaging Westchester county residents, particularly connecting members of the various organizations that I serve in, facilitating broader solution-based discussion, including WBAI’s financial and other material needs, in an effort to collectively save the last bastion of truly independent “Peace and Justice Radio.”

Please use the following rank order to maximize the value of your vote (it is not a reflection of the value placed on 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?
  As part of my goal to work with the LSB, I hope to bring my expertise as a former Public Access Producer and community organizer. I believe I may be able to articulate the benefits of more effective, Internet-based, video-incorporated media strategies and tactics that have, due to shifts in consumer behaviors, weakened standard Terrestrial Radio popularity. I believe that with WBAI’s increased relevance among these potential listener populations our programming will better serve individuals and families most left behind in the information age and who, in turn, may be a more sustainable source of membership and volunteer resource that will make the station and, by extension, the Pacifica Foundation more relevant than its current path is taking us.
2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  I appreciate that younger age groups are being targeted. This is evident in the addition of “Millenial” generation producers and hosts. This will be important to properly gauge and direct the station’s appeal to another age group of listeners and potential audience members that have previously been overlooked. I also value the increased activism within the station management against recent anti-democratic efforts to restrict the Pacifica Bylaws structure. The apparent internal unity and cohesion of the WBAI family is a welcomed sight in view of our recent history of division and internal controversy. I support the exhibited unity and protection of local self-determination in the affirmation of the “no” vote rejecting the recent referendum proposals.
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  The broadcast range of 99.5 would better serve our communities and municipalities by enhancing our coverage of the unique needs of Working Class communities whose challenges and victories get neither justice nor balanced analysis of the local stories via the Corporate Press in the Tri-State region. The programming content would also be of better service to our audience if it reflected the more diverse cultural and socio-economic spectrum of the Progressive Tri-State area Young people and families with young people would also be better served by programming content which addresses social, education, mental/physical health or other material needs unique to youth or parenting. If these qualitative essentials were attended to, and abetted by, more Internet-based digital technology as well as video solutions to add effectiveness, the station may find added audience, membership and, therefore, improved financial viability.
4. Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
  My top three priorities would be to 1) Add greater representation of the program schedule to Progressive organizational activity in the municipalities of Lower Westchester and beyond; 2) Increase the diversity of the station listenership; 3) Counter the Corporate Press’ effective dominance of New Media with additional Internet-enabled strategies like video and podcast content.
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 believe many new Internet media strategies, like podcasts and other members-only access to certain recorded material have proven popular to “New Media” audiences. I don’t believed that vital information or access to governmental services and news analysis should be payment based, however, certain cultural and entertainment material or less needs-based content should be given some consideration on a tiered basis for paid access and download. I also believe that if WBAI’s regional geographic spread were better represented, this would positively influence the potential for fundraising and listener/member involvement.
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  If there is a technically oriented committee, I think I would be most effective there. My professional development, over the last 25+ years, began as a City College of New York Film/Video Production student and since then has centered around video production, projection, live sound mixing and Audio/Video Presentation. Though I currently spend much of my time organizing for better food access in my community, I have, before the pandemic, made my living working in mostly hotel environments setting up and operating the sound and video supports for mostly corporate presentations that are recorded and/or streamed to the Internet. Though I’m mostly self-taught in Audio engineering, I’ve become very proficient in sound recording and live, sound reinforcement mixing. I’ve spent the larger part of my years since college as a student activist and worker/participant in various movements, social justice organizations and resistance actions. Since college, I’ve been a member of the Sons Of Afrika study group; I’ve been a member of the Black Panther Collective, supporting strategies for NYPD monitoring during the Rudolph Guiliani “driver checkpoint era”; I’ve been a local cadre and supporter of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement and African People’s Socialist Party and I currently spend much of my organizational time building local capacity for community media in Mount Vernon, NY, where I live; I’m a member of Division 432 of the Universal Negro Improvement Association; Serving in Mount Vernon, I’m a member of the City Council-appointed Cable Television Advisory Committee; I once volunteered as a Technical Director for our local media training center, “Media Magic”, as a way to continue building our local capacity to serve our community media infrastructure. I hope to bring my team-building, management and production management expertise to bear as a critical thinker and problem solver for the needs of our listener population, the oppressed and the Working Class families of the Tri-State Area.
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