I am an English teacher at Newark Memorial High School and a community activist. KPFA and the information they bring to light not only benefits me personally but by proxy, it also benefits my students. Particularly with my AP Language and Composition classes, which are required to write about social issues, I frequently share clips from Democracy Now! as well as sound bytes from Up Front, CounterSpin, Hard Knock Radio, and Flahpoints. Additionally, I have students annotate The Evening News when choosing topics for an activism project they do.
It is great, necessary even, for an organization like Pacifica to exist. There has to be a place where people can go, finally, to hear the truth. I take what I learn, study it further, and teach it to others. Without KPFA, my efforts to teach dissent, to demonstrate the futility of arguments between two compromised political parties would be severely handicapped. This is a huge testament to why it’s necessary for KPFA to exist.
It should go without saying that I am committed to this institution and helping enlighten people about the world and country in which they live. To that end in particular, I am an advocate of The Evening News. It is one of the most important news programs available to people; in fact, it is far superior to NPR’s (underwritten) news, which has almost unlimited resources by comparison. One change I would love is for the news to play twice nightly. I believe in KPFA’s musical programs, and they bring in a wider audience, but making the news available twice nightly would give access to more people and further justify the resources we put into it.
While I am a teacher, I am also a published baseball analyst. I am very good with numbers and economics. These are also integral skills for a board member. We must combine our commitment to truth with sensible economic decisions that will help the station thrive.
It concerns me very much that I lived in the Bay Area for more than ten years before even learning that KPFA existed. I very much appreciate that KPFA practices what it preaches and a reluctance to use donations on advertisements certainly fits that mold, but the board needs to find ways to get the word out and I am committed to working with other members to do that. KPFA is a bit insular in that it can get a small army of people to see Chris Hedges or Richard Wolff, but no one else in the community has any idea these events are happening. We need to outreach and explore ways to take the station to places where it’s not just visible to the choir of loyal listeners.
As a listener and educator, I have made hundreds of teens aware not only of social issues but also of the power of KPFA all without the benefit of paid advertisements. As a board member I hope to do that for thousands.