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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.

Optional Questions

In what ways are the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve?
The news coverage and many of the programs such as Up Front, Hard Knock Radio, and Flashpoints are excellent. Some of the content that is not produced locally (Democracy Now!, Counterspin) is also outstanding. Much like the talk shows, the music programs also give people access to content they can’t usually find.

In what ways are the station moving in a negative direction, that you would want to stop or change? What changes would you work for?
KPFA works best when it informs people about the world and focuses on topics ignored or censored by corporate media so there is no place for censorship at the station. The self-help type gurus focus on the individual and don’t fit in with the good content about the world. The station needs to focus more on outreach as there is a huge segment of the population that doesn’t even know it exists. The station should also focus on new ways to disseminate content such as podcasts. Many people don’t listen to FM radio any longer.

What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station's mission?
As a teacher, I get out the word about KPFA to my students. I would like to do this on a wider scale as a board member. I have many ideas for this. We need to have more of a presence at events in the community. For example, if there is a rally for rent control, why not create placards for the event and include the station name and “Free Speech Radio” on it? Every donor should automatically receive a bumper sticker or window decal. We can’t lose opportunities for free advertisement.

What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced?
The best way to raise money is to expand the listener base in ways such as those mentioned above. I am very good with numbers and relish to use my talents to help the station meet goals and stay under budget.

So, what do you think ?