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Contact Felipe "Phil" Messina
Listener Candidate for the KPFA Local Station Board
I’m Felipe Messina; and I’m running for the KPFA Local Station Board on the Rescue-Pacifica ticket (

I grew up in San Mateo, and now live in the Central Valley. I’m an apprentice electrician, and a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 684. I’ve worked with Modesto Cop Watch, and also with Valley Improvement Projects (which campaigns for cleaner air in the Central Valley). I have a degree in Economics from UMKC.

I started listening to KPFA back in the mid-1980s, when I was in sixth grade. As a Chicano teen, I enjoyed Friday night’s “La Onda Bajita,” which back then played mostly lowrider oldies. As I matured and became more sociopolitically conscious, I began to appreciate other KPFA public affairs programs as well.

During the 1990s, one of my favorite programs was “What’s the Verdict?” with Wendell Harper. I loved his investigative news analysis, which focused on local and regional issues, but also invited listener call-ins. Another favorite program is “Flashpoints,” because Dennis Bernstein is probably the most influential voice in my life, encouraging me to graduate from being a passive listener, to an active listener, to an activist. Project Censored is another favorite program, among others.

I’m running for the Local Station Board because I want to help KPFA get back on course. KPFA is known as a community radio station. Yet, today, much of its programming is not local. Some syndicated shows are excellent, like the Ralph Nader Radio Hour. However, nine hours a week are given to one syndicated show (“Background Briefing”), which isn’t local, and does nothing to enhance KPFA’s diversity. These hours should instead be used for a wider variety of programs, with preference given to local, community, and pro-peace shows.

Equally serious is the near-disappearance of community connections to KPFA. KPFA once had a listener / staff Program Council to evaluate programs, and hear proposals for new shows. But it was eliminated by a previous KPFA manager. We need to bring it back.

For years, the Local Station Board has been dominated by the “Protectors” faction, or its predecessors. As a result, KPFA is losing its way. With a “Protectors” majority in charge, the LSB does almost nothing of substance. The meetings are held as infrequently as possible (every other month), are limited to two hours, and leave public comment until near the end. The LSB is ignoring its duty to do annual evaluations of the station managers. It’s even too timid to pass any motions about issues outside of KPFA / Pacifica. It actually voted down a motion calling for a cease-fire in Gaza! The “Protectors” seem to prefer criticizing KPFA’s New York sister station WBAI, rather than doing anything to improve KPFA.

This is why I’m running on the Rescue-Pacifica ticket. The “Protectors” faction does not deserve your vote. Instead, please vote for me and the other Rescue-Pacifica candidates – we are the reform ticket in this election!

Felipe Messina
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