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Contact Anthony Fest
Staff Candidate for the KPFA Local Station Board
Statement
Fellow staff members,

I'm Anthony Fest, and I'm running for a staff seat on KPFA's Local Station Board (LSB).

My involvement with KPFA began when I took the News Training Class in 1994.
From 1996 to 2016, I hosted Sunday-evening newscasts. I've been producing the Project Censored Show since its beginning (now it airs on dozens of stations around the country). I also edit and mix the Poor News segment on Hard Knock Radio.

I've been on the LSB before. I'm running again because I'm concerned that KPFA has ceased to innovate. This would be unwise at any time, but in 2021, when broadcast radio itself is threatened by new kinds of media, standing pat is practically asking to become irrelevant. KPFA's subscribership has already been dropping over the years – once in the twenty-thousands, it's now about half that.
How low does it have to fall before we insist on a different course of action?

Although most of the power in the network rests with the National Board, the Local Station Board does have important responsibilities, some of which it's not been fulfilling in recent years. One of these duties is perform annual evaluations of the General Manager and the Program Director. At a minimum, the LSB needs to carry out the duties it's assigned under the Bylaws.

Besides its official duties, the LSB can and should be a place where subscribers and staff are made welcome (not merely tolerated) at every LSB meeting to share their ideas about what KPFA is doing, and how it can improve.

There are three staff seats to be filled in this election. I'm requesting your vote for my running mates (Frank Sterling and Ann Garrison) and me. Frank is the long-time co-director of KPFA's vital Apprenticeship Program, and Ann is the most outstanding KPFA reporter I've ever met. Your “STV” ballot enables you to rank the candidates, in the order you prefer. Please use the 1, 2 and 3 rankings for the three of us, in any order you like.
On the listener side of this election, I support and endorse the Rescue Pacifica (RP) team of LSB candidates; read the RP platform at www.rescuepacifica.net.
Thank you!
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?
  Many years of producing programs for KPFA. I produced and hosted Sunday-evening newscasts from 1996 to 2016. Now I produce the Project Censored Show, and the Poor News segment of Hard Knock Radio. I'm glad to be associated with these programs, because for me they exemplify the kind of work KPFA should be doing.

I've been elected as a staff representative to the LSB before, as well as serving on the Program Council (when we had a Program Council).
2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  The programs which present perspectives and viewpoints that are overlooked, ignored, or suppressed in other media. Good examples would include Flashpoints, Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, and Pushing Limits, as well as the shows I work on (Project Censored and Poor News). Other important shows are La Raza Chronicles, Bay Native Circle, and Apex Express.

Also, shows that play music that wouldn't otherwise be heard on the radio, and perhaps be hard to find even online (such as Music of the World).
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  KPFA needs to do *more* of the things that make it valuable. Many communities and populations remain underrepresented or unrepresented in the program lineup. There's only one hour a week of programming by and for Asian communities. There's no LGBT program, nor a program for youth, nor a program for seniors. And only an hour a week of programming by and for women.
4. Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
  Most of the authority in Pacifica lies with the National Board, not the local station boards. Within that framework of limited LSB powers, I would still aim high, with these priorities:
** Restoring representative decision-making about programs. Programming decisions are too important to be left in the hands of one or two individuals. We need to have a (democratically-chosen) Program Council again.

** Establishing a bill of rights for programmers. Canceling programs without explanation or prior notice should be unacceptable. This has happened several times at KPFA in recent years. And earlier this year at KPFT in Houston, many programs hosted by Black, Latino or Asian staff were suddenly canceled outright or moved to lesser time slots. Staff deserve better treatment than this.

** Making the LSB an inviting place for listeners and staff to bring their thoughts about the station. Since the present management does not do on-air communication with the audience, nor hold staff meetings, the LSB remains as one of the only parts of KPFA where audience members or staff can be listened to. Yet at present, each staff member or listener who addresses the board is held to a two-minute time limit, so the board can move on to what it seems to regard as more important matters.
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?
  The Bylaws empower the board to review the station's annual budget, but typically the board merely rubber-stamps management's proposed budget. The board ought to insist on a budget-review process that starts earlier in the year, give the budget more scrutiny, and be provided periodic updates during the year to see whether the approved budget is actually being followed.
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  This election is happening only because the destructive 'New Day' bylaws referendum was defeated by Pacifica staff voters. Had New Day passed, this LSB election would've been canceled.
On the listener side of this election, I support and endorse the Rescue Pacifica (RP) team of LSB candidates; read the RP platform at www.rescuepacifica.net. Consider the words of RP candidate Daniel Borgstrom:
"Asked why I joined the Marine Corps (1959 to 1963) I say, 'Where I grew up, there was no KPFA or Pacifica Radio affiliate.' There was a constant corporate drumbeat of anti-Communism, always pretending to advocate for democracy while backing dictators."

What an excellent statement of why KPFA and Pacifica Radio matter!
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