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Contact Fred V. Cook
Listener Candidate
for the KPFA Local Station Board
I support the continued development of KPFA's unique, inclusive organizational culture. The promotion of Cooperative Partnership culture, both within the station community, and in leading cultural change in society at large, is one way to enact the founding Vision and Mission of KPFA and Pacifica.

I support proportional representation which makes the number of Directors each station has on the Pacifica National Board proportional to the number of paid members of each station. Details at . . .. This is a vital step in our evolution; and may need to be revisited in a decade as our listener-sponsor base shifts with planetary internet access. The PNB members representing members of Affiliate stations and representing listener-sponsors outside our broadcast areas may need to have online forums to gather input from the far-flung listener-sponsors they represent.

Our challenge is to fine tune our programming and build our audience and community participation to approximate that of our signal area, especially the marginalized 70% of our neighbors who most need the fundamental change in our society and culture called for in our Mission Statement. On the one hand we need to do better in producing, distributing, and marketing programming which will appeal to this large, diverse audience – and on the other hand we need to be creative in our cultural leadership so that we are moving them in the direction of active participation and financial support of the station AND making the revolutionary Vision of Pacifica clear and attractive. Expanding our liason program with community organizations and grass-roots groups, investing in shorter production-training programs to develop a larger crowd of “stringers” who can work with their own “adequate technology” to produce programming that reflects the intersection of their concerns and aesthetics with Pacifica's Vision and requirements as well as priorities set by the CAB. Respect for the diversity of our audience is key to enhancing the Agency and Voice for the many communities we serve.

Our station can adopt the vision of ourselves as a Learning Community in the process of doing the Station better and better; we can facilitate our listener-sponsors functioning as a Learning Community in the process of fundamentally transforming the society in which we live.

Some aspects of our culture that need ongoing investment are
(a) Mindful Witness and Stress Management,
(b) Skillful, Respectful Communication,
(c) Accountability on our Mission, Goals, Projects, Budgets, etc.,
(d) Leadership that allows bold but affordable experiments, owning & learning from mistakes,
(e) eliminate oppressive “Isms”, make structural reforms, and build skills in inclusion,
(f) continuing to cultivate an inclusive and socially-just set of processes so that no group is privileged nor deprived AND our community continues to move in the direction of respectful, compassionate communication and efficient ways of working together;
(g) investing in Leadership Development for staff, board members, and contracted volunteers, so that they continually improve on aspects (a) through (f) as well as personnel evaluation, managerial communication, and coaching for peers and subordinates.
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 have been a listener-supporter of KPFK, KFCF, and KPFA over the decades since 1972. I have done radio production on and off since college, including some volunteer production work for shows on KPFA. I have been committed to action for fundamental, nonviolent social change (in keeping with Lew Hill's vision and KPFA's Mission Statement) for at least 50 years. I have paid work experience in a variety of fields that are relevant to the needs of the LSB, KPFA, and Pacifica. I worked in Investigative Journalism, primarily with TV as an outlet (60 Minutes, Frontline, etc.) through Center for Investigative Reporting and Pacific News Service. I worked in Nonviolent Direct Action Training and organizing, primarily through American Friends Service Committee. As part of this work with grass-roots groups we helped them improve their internal organization and process as well as their social change strategies. On the Earth Community Network project we did self-governance process training with land-based intentional communities. Out of this project, the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center was funded to buy their land, and the little NOLLA News letter became IN CONTEXT, which has since evolved into YES! Magazine.I have spent a couple of decades doing Professional Media Production work through IATSE and NABET.One way in which I have supported decolonization is in teaching local/indigenous people how to produce media themselves (Mexico, D'ineh/Navajoland, Republic of Palau). I also helped found and build the Community Video Center in San Diego from a dream of six people in a living room to the largest such center in the USA with a dozen staff and hundreds of volunteers. Along the way I helped design and build the studio and taught numerous video production workshops for the people of San Diego In the context of working on Independent Documentaries and working for NonProfit Organizations I participated in a variety of fundraising campaigns. In one of those projects we raised half a million dollars. I also wrote a proposal to CPB on behalf of the Navajo Division of Education for Navajo language TV and Radio stations.
2. What do you appreciate and value in the station's current operations?
  #1 that KPFA is still on the air and still offering its amazing diversity and depth of programming. I listen pretty much whenever I am driving. The Apprenticeship Program is vital to cultivating new generations of programmers who have their roots in the marginalized 70% of our public. (I'm in favor of continuing and expanding it.)Of course, I like the visionary, nonviolent social change vision and mission for peace, justice, ecological sustainability, and something like cooperative or democratic socialist economics - and the critical perspective on current structures and mainstream delusions. I like that KPFA includes both Spanish, English, and Spanglish. I like hearing from lots of different ethnic communities and from people around the world. I think that continuing music and cultural programming is essential to reaching out beyond hardcore politicos and the college educated "elite" (not to be confused with the 1% or the 0.001% who run the world).
3. What would you like to see improved or changed in the station's current operations?
  a) Keep improving the organizational culture of KPFA and Pacifica. My vision of it is a nonviolent/compassionate Cooperative Partnership culture and moving out of all manifestations of the violent Dominator/Exploiter culture in which we find ourselves. Training, coaching, mentoring, as well as retreats and workshops can help improve human relations. We all need to continue freeing ourselves from the vestiges of Dominator culture, the "Isms" that would make us divisible and conquerable, and the internalized opppression, self-hatred and doubt that can sabotage our effectiveness and ability to cooperate. b) Invest in training to develop paid staff, management, and contract volunteers to be technically proficient, culturally competent, aesthetically sensitive, and cooperative. c) Strengthen the Departmental Internship Program and extend it to provide short trainings for "stringers" who are situated in communities where we want to expand our listener-sponsors as well as building relationships with the departmental gatekeepers who can assess "readiness for airtime" and weave the material into the program schedule The equipment to produce "broadcast quality" is now much more accessible, affordable, and widely distributed . . . even in economically disadvantaged communities. d) Continue work to improve the inclusiveness and cultural equity of the processes through which self management and production work are accomplished
4. Describe what you anticipate would be your top three priorities or areas of focus if you were elected to the local station board.
  a) Improving the organizational culture, including, for example, moving toward Proportional Representation (by station membership) on the Pacifica National Board. Other structural reforms will probably also be necessary. Investment in training and coaching to improve the capability and zest of KPFA programmers, managers, and contract volunteers. Firming up everyone's commitment and capability to practice fair and respectful communication in all aspects of the station and community. Continuing the legacy of Margo Adair, Asata Iman, and others. We can bring in outside resource people. I know several who would be willing to donate training services to help KPFA improve its culture. b) Extending a "short/inexpensive" training program to empower citizen journalists and producers to make programming for KPFA using "appropriate technology" that fulfills the aesthetics, technical quality, understanding of intersectionality and respect for diversity that are necessary to support expanding our audience to meet our goals of our audience approximating the demographics of our service area. There are continual balances to be found between "easy listening" for a hugely diverse audience and folks from marginalized communities having the space to clearly and directly communicate THEIR message, which sometimes comes across to "outsiders" as a painful rant. Producers need to be Active Listeners and cultivate those skills. Helping representatives rooted in our various communities develop as ARTISTS of communication is one of the functions we could extend. I'm thinking of La Onda Bajita as exemplary in this regard. I'm hoping that our audience assessment process can be even more systematic and constructivist. I miss Veronica Faisant. and I advocate an ongoing campaign of LISTENING to the people we want in our audience, both online and in community forums, etc. to understand how they use radio and other media and how they perceive their needs. With training including listening and basic social research, this "audience engagement/research" program is another way in which volunteers can help the station. It may be that we can build audiences with programming in other languages besides Spanish and English. APEX Express is doing a good job, longer segments purely in non-English language might be explored. c) Working with everyone who is interested in KPFA and Pacifica's staff to craft a credible strategy to put all our stations on a solid financial footing by increasing their listener-sponsors AND moving the consciousness and commitment of audience members in the direction of the fundamental social/cultural changes as envisioned by the founders of KPFA - substantially through the quality and delivery of our programming. It will take ART to attract and hold audience AND clarify and build consensus around social change goals, and move with with our audience to enact the social/cultural changes we need.
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?
  This is going to require bringing the Pacifica organization and several of its stations into continued contact with reality. They've been able to avoid receiving and responding to feedback, in part because of the dysfunctional organizational structure and the bylaws and procedures that cross-subsidize failing stations and programs which refuse to learn and improve their audience/member support. We need to get much more serious about Defining and Measuring Success AND offering USABLE (training, coaching, technical assistance, etc.) HELP to improve operations that are currently failing. We need the clarity, strength, and functional organization (starting with Proportional Representation) which so far have been lacking, to insure that managers and programmers acknowledge and learn from their mistakes, and make appropriate course-corrections to avoid wasting resources unnecessarily.We need a compassionate approach to communication and management so that personnel who have been driven into defensiveness and antagonistic competition will risk participating in a cooperative renaissance.
6. Is there anything else you would like prospective voters to know?
  Whether I win or lose in the LSB election this time around. I will remain part of the Pacifica community and eager to support improvements in our functioning. To that end, I hope that you will communicate with me and help me refine my understanding of what is needed for us to succeed in thriving as a"University of the Airwaves" and learning community; and in helping catalyze the profound changes in our society and culture that are needed for us to (a) survive as a species and (b) reach our full positive potential. I will be working in the field of "culture healing" and "entertainment education" as a way of helping model the kinds of changes that are needed and inspire audience members to keep maturing and lend a hand in whatever way is right for them to the project of building the better world that is possible.
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