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Contact Torry Mercer
Listener Candidate for the KPFT Local Station Board
I am a writer, songwriter, poet, bandleader, KPFT volunteer (organized half a dozen or so fundraisers), and a retired Social Studies teacher.

I have nine years nonprofit experience at Pueblo to People, an Alternative Trade Organization working with cooperatives of indigenous people in Latin America. We started the Fair Trade Coffee Movement in the USA.

I produced radio and television programs and helped publish a magazine in the late 1980's at Studio X Media, where I was a late-night DJ on a Persian subscription radio station, SAINET (South Asian Information Network), which broadcast on a subcarrier of KPFT.

I was a founder of Houston Radio Collective, which created the LPFM station Montrose Radio, 94.9 FM, in the late 1990's in response to the decay of public affairs programming on KPFT. I was on the programming committee and developed many public affairs and cultural programs.

I want to be on the KPFT Local Station Board to give back to the Houston Pacifica community a little of what this radio station has given to me.

I started listening to KPFT in 1976 at age 16. I tuned in after school to hear esoteric genres of music from all around the world. It was the only place on the dial at that time to hear such an eclectic mix. Then in the early evenings the alternative information programs came on. I stayed tuned in. For a 16-year-old suburban kid from a segregated neighborhood, I had never heard such things before. It changed my life. I felt connected to a much larger world. I started to hang out at KPFT on an almost daily basis. I became a political activist. I became a musician, composer, poet, and bandleader.

I owe much of my present identity to the alternative culture and information that were brought to me by this radio station when I was young. I want other young people to be drawn in to the social and political activist and artistic communities through Pacifica as I was.

At a time when regressive political forces in this country want a consolidation of opinion, Pacifica represents the last network dedicated to diversity of opinion. It is our last best hope for a broadcast free speech media in an increasingly bland, sterile, servile, and rightwing “marketplace of opinion”.

If elected to the KPFT Local Station Board I will work diligently, just as I have for many years, to keep alternative culture and public affairs programming on the air in Houston.

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