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Contact M. Kay Williams
Listener Candidate for the WBAI Local Station Board
Hello again! This is M. Kay Williams. The M. is for Matilda, which is the name I use to pay for my WBAI Buddy membership and other donations through the years. I’ve found in the past I need to use at least the initial in order not to have my candidacy questioned.
I’ve been secretary of the LSB for 2 years now, non-voting, non-speaking, protecting WBAI’s guardrails, and trying my best to be secretary for all. I’ve been in love with WBAI ever since I discovered it in 1972, up late studying to become a PA at Long Island University. My volunteer service goes back to the time of the church on East 62nd Street in NYC.
Every 10 years or so, there has been an upheaval at WBAI. I was part of one of those in the 1980’s when I chaired a listener’s group called the Free Speech Radio Alliance. Although it’s been good practice to just listen and not talk, and I hope to become a fully empowered member of the Board, especially in this time of WBAI’s need.
There have been obituaries written several times for WBAI, but they’ve always been premature. There are too many people for whom the kind of information and entertainment we hear on WBAI’s air is too valuable for us to let it go. Having grown up in a small town in Oklahoma, I was very fortunate to have found friends along the way who influenced my personal growth and world view. I attribute a large part of my personal development to WBAI and the friends I made at WBAI. It continues to challenge me every time I stream in to entertain new and deeper analysis of current and past events.
In my opinion, I like the formulation of a previous program director that programs on the air need to be judged by two criteria, first, whether they are Pacifica Mission congruent, i.e. representing the voice of the voiceless, and also encouraging creativity not possible in the straight jacket of commercial broadcasting; and, second, by whether the program “has heart,” listenable, speaks to our inner longings for comfort and contact, not just our intellect.
When I moved back to Oklahoma to take care of aging parents, I heard wild news stories. A brother kills his sister, puts her in a freezer in the basement, and collects her disability for two years. Lately, the behavior of sister Pacifica stations reminds me of these stories. In my opinion, motivations like envy, greed, revenge, or self-justifications like more-politically-correct-than-thou don’t seem to have a place in a network dedicated to promoting world peace through communication between diverse groups. As Bob Fass used to say, Radio is a hot medium, can’t hide anything from it. As a staunch First Amendment advocate, I always think the cure for bad speech is more speech. As a Board member, I vow to work on developing better communication throughout Pacifica.

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