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Contact Craig Dunkerley
Listener Candidate
for the KPFA Local Station Board
My name is Craig Dunkerley and I’m running for KPFA’s Local Station Board. For the last 2 years I’ve served as Facilitator of the KPFA – Community Advisory Board (CAB). We collect and analyze listener feedback regarding station programming. I’ve long held the conviction that independent quality media is essential to our democracy, and that conviction has only grown stronger these past few years.

The Pacifica Radio Network in general, and KPFA in particular, are virtually unique in today’s media arena. I believe their survival and ability to thrive and grow are both crucial and in danger of fading away. We must not let that happen.

For a while now I’ve been advising the Local Station Board on questions of parliamentary procedure. I’m now anxious to be an official member of the Board and do my part to ensure KPFA has a long, bright, and vibrant future. I believe my years of experience in communication, mediation and conflict resolution will be useful in that collaborative effort, as will my background in financial planning.

I’ve been a progressive activist in the South Bay Area for many years, focusing most of my energies on getting special interest money out of politics. As Southbay Coordinator for California Clean Money Campaign, a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan organization, I’ve helped lead the effort that resulted in the 2017 passage of the California DISCLOSE Act, a law which has brought much greater transparency to the question of who really funds ballot measure political ads, a media phenomenon that’s been drowning in “Dark Money” for far too long. In 2018 our efforts yielded passage of the Social Media DISCLOSE Act which will bring the same sort of “true funder” disclosure to political ads on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This year we’re working on 4 more pieces of legislation that will help get rid of Dark Money and secure our elections.

We have a lot of work to do and difficult decisions to make. I’m chafing at the bit to get started, but first I need your vote. When you receive your ballot, please consider Craig Dunkerley. Onward and upward. Thanks.
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?
  I was valedictorian of my Sunnyvale High School class and graduated Magna Cum Laud from San Jose State University with degrees in mathematics and philosophy. I have over 20 years experience teaching classes in human communications, mediation and conflict resolution. Most of my working career was as a Real Estate Broker. I was also a Certified Financial Planner. Later in my working career I was a Site Analyst for Clean Solar, a residential solar contractor in San Jose. My progressive political activism dates back to 2004 when I became Southbay Coordinator for California Clean Money Campaign, a statewide, non-profit, non-partisan organization working to reduce the influence of money in politics. In 2017 we succeeded in passing the California DISCLOSE Act which requires the disclosure of true funders of ballot measure political ads; in 2018 we built on that success, passing the Social Media Disclose Act which requires the same sort of true funder disclosure for political ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This year we're working on 4 more bills to improve disclosure of political funding and further secure our elections. In my “free” time I like to sing, play a little guitar and build models.
2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  2. I’m impressed with the credentials and radio broadcast experience of our local management team and our new National Executive Director Maxi Jackson. I think Pacifica and KPFA are maturing into what they’ve always aspired to be, a unique and socially responsible institution that puts the public interest first, something our besieged democracy sorely needs.
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  3. In terms of programming, I think we need to stay focused on our stated mission to educate, seeking out sources of legitimate news not often heard from, and putting a premium on information that’s “accurate, objective and comprehensive,” avoiding tabloid innuendo and that which is unsubstantiated speculation or only remotely possible. As has often been observed, “everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.” KPFA can be “cutting edge” without being out on the fringe. In terms of management, for much of our 70 year history we’ve kind of flown by the seat of our pants, something our independence from corporate sponsor interference allowed us to do. It’s given us a rich and varied history. That said, it’s also led us into dire financial straits and threatened our very survival. For KPFA and Pacifica to thrive and continue in its unique mission, we need to get our financial house in order and continue improving our programming. Fortunately our current management team seems well versed in how to do this.
4. Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
  4. On the Local Station Board and in the whole KPFA operation I want to do whatever I can to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation. We can disagree without being disagreeable. We all want the best for KPFA and our community and we’ll have much greater success achieving these ends if we all work at getting along. A close second, in terms of priorities, is brainstorming and implementing strategies for fundraising that go beyond listener support while not compromising our broadcast independence. Finally we need to do more outreach to Bay Area communities, not only to get their feedback, but to let them know we’re here. Too many Bay Area progressives don’t know about KPFA and/or don’t listen to our station.
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?
  5. Identifying and approaching potential sources of funding, while maintaining our independence and public interest focus, is not an easy task. If it were we’d have done it long ago. That said, I think seeking renewed funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) would be well worth the effort. It must be conceded that CPB funding is under perennial threat from budget hawks in Washington, DC, and we should endeavor to avoid over-dependence on it, but the sheer discipline of qualifying for it would serve us well. Beyond that I think seeking grants from the various public interest foundations that abound in the Bay Area would be a good idea, but here again, we first need to get our own financial house in order if we hope to qualify for them.
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  6. For the last several decades our democracy has been under assault by wealthy individuals, large corporations and the various interest groups they fund. One of the crucial areas they’ve infiltrated and taken hold of is the media landscape citizens depend on for information. Even the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio have suffered significant erosion of their independence. The Pacifica Network and KPFA stand virtually alone in the midst of this desolate landscape. I believe it’s essential that they thrive and continue to push back against this plutocratic tide. They and our democracy are too precious to lose.
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