I am not in this fight to get elected to public office, further a career in broadcasting, or make a revolution. Not that those are not worthy goals. I do not demand that WBAI or Pacifica conform to my own particular politics, but only that it conform to the Pacifica mission. I am in this fight to preserve free speech, free form radio so that layers of truth that do not make it to main stream media or NPR can still be heard. Even though I live in Oklahoma, I can still make it to New York for meetings, if need be.
I have been politically active in multiple groups and coalitions since the 1967 March on the Pentagon, including the Anti-Vietnam War Movement, the Women’s Movement, the Save Our Sydenham coalition, the New York Anti-Klan Network, and the support movement for the revolution in Nicaragua. Since moving back to Oklahoma to take care of aging parents, I have been active in prisoner support, electoral politics, and citizen’s petitions. This gives me experience over a wide spectrum of political thought and activism.
Being a blue dot in a red state gives me a sense of urgency regarding the reactionary direction of our country. There are many places in the world where there are blood feuds. Pacifica doesn’t need to be one of them.
I am attentive to detail and, as Secretary of the LSB, now very familiar with Pacifica bylaws and problems. Much has changed and much has not changed since I chaired the listener’s group Free Speech Radio Alliance in the 1980’s, which opened up the LSB meeting to the public for the first time in 13 years.
The current staff of WBAI is a skeleton crew doing an amazing job month to month keeping the station going and continuing quality programming despite all the fiscal problems.
There are too many internal barriers. To work together better, we must re-learn that trust is a two-way street. Then perhaps we can share our visions, reach out to new listeners, and bring in needed funds.
My top three priorities would be:
1. Group dynamics – improve democratic processes.
2. Fundraising – utilizing an “all of the above” approach.
3. Outreach to new listeners through on and off-air initiatives.
What the Board can do:
1. Personal effort – marketing BAI’s programming first to yourself and your friends. Send archived recordings of programs you like to friends via email or social media.
2. Ongoing transparency in documenting governance activities, continuing to publicly post meeting announcements, zoom log-on information, agendas, minutes, and to support those who archive our recordings.
3. Promotion/marketing committee to help our overworked General Manager
4. Grass roots fundraising helped save KPFT. We need to share expertise from sister stations.
5. Perhaps restart hybrid meetings to overcome pandemic isolation.