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I’m Lawrence Reyes, running for re-election to the LSB with Grassroots Community Radio Coalition. Community-based free-speech radio is at stake, as KPFK elects an entire new LSB, with new management in place nationally and locally. “Radio powered by the people” is a call to action and community empowerment. KPFK must address the survival issues of people who’ve been marginalized not only by the state and the wealthy, but also by those who cling to airtime like oxygen. Does what you hear on KPFK satisfy you completely, or do you feel as I do that it’s missing the boat on many issues affecting your struggles and future, missing out on growing younger audiences, and devoting too much time to fund drives?

KPFK’s airwaves should allow diverse grassroots communities to communicate with each other. Listeners and volunteers, who power the station, must have a say in how it’s run and what it airs, for true free speech, and to give voice to the voiceless. KPFK must help advance solutions to the problems we’re experiencing – immigration raids; homelessness and gentrification; lack of health care; denial of rights for the disabled, children and the aged; police killing youth of color; repression of whistle blowers; absence of food sovereignty; militarizing schools; racism, war, colonialism and genocide. These affect me personally; I care and struggle about them daily as an organizer, parent and social worker. I’ve been involved as a listener, reaching out about these issues for years; yet KPFK has often been resistant. I want to continue making sure the station addresses those issues and airs expressions directly from affected communities. As an LSB member, I’ve supported greater financial transparency and restoring local news. I serve on the Pacifica National Board and helped save the network from the brink of ruin by changing the national management.

An open programming evaluation process is critical to improve the quality and depth of what KPFK airs. We need a training program for fresh, energetic people engaged in the communities and schools, such as those in the DREAM movement, the Occupy movement, and opposition to police terror, our next generation of listeners who are already under attack and who have the commitment to carry the station forward. KPFK is threatened today by forces that would eliminate grassroots voices, Spanish-language shows, and collectives. They’re more concerned with their own interests and political agendas. The best antidote is allowing the community to speak for itself. On-air forums and town halls must be held debating these issues. I have played a key role in helping organize such Town Halls at KPFK.

I serve on the Governance Committee of the LSB, and on the PNB Programming Committee and Spanish Language Task Force. I’m running, along with others from the Grassroots Community Radio Coalition, to bring accountability and openness to KPFK, so the station can survive the attacks that will come no matter who wins the 2016 US elections.

Questions? Call 310-460-8586, email alianzapr [AT] hotmail [DOT] com, or search for gcrc-socal.


Optional Questions (push the plus sign to see the answers)

In what ways are the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve?
KPFK has unique community-oriented grassroots programs in both English and Spanish that are available nowhere else on the radio dial, and has a signal that reaches throughout the southern California region. We need to strengthen and expand on such programming, by making our airwaves and website more accessible and more interactive with the communities in struggle and to young people addressing deep-rooted social, political and economic issues in a fresh and forward-looking way. We need more remote broadcasts from, and more community events and meetings in, all the areas that our signal reaches, including South and East L.A., Orange County, Long Beach, the Inland Empire, Ventura and Santa Barbara, addressing survival issues. We need to air Spanish-language and bilingual programming during hours suitable for working class listeners who often leave for work early.

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?
KPFK has unfortunately eliminated, reduced or marginalized many important, radical voices from communities of color, and has as a result lost audience, listener sponsors and community financial support, so more and more time is spent on fund-drives with less and less cutting edge, lively content, further driving listeners away. We need more community-based off-air fundraising, and I have supported the LSB taking a direct role in fundraising for the station. We need more exciting programs that reflect grassroots efforts for social, economic and political justice and transformation, and cultural activities and investigative journalism, including local news that will attract new listeners. We need greater financial transparency and accountability.

What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the station’s mission?
I am a social worker with experience communicating with all types of people. I am a labor and community activist with long-standing involvement and connections with important social movements. I am involved in the peace movement against militarism, colonialism and foreign intervention, and have long experience on LSB committees and the LSB itself, and also serve on the national Programming Committee and Affiliates Task Force of the PNB. I chair the station board’s Outreach Committee and also have been involved in putting on most of the successful town halls to engage community input.

What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced?
KPFK needs to broaden its base by attracting new, younger listeners from the growing demographics of our region. We also need to use our air waves and our web-site and related “web 2.0” social media to create a more attractive and inter-active presence, tapping into the creativity of our concerned listeners, and offering them means to support the station via smart-phones and through remote broadcasts and other community-based activities such as speakers, cultural events, etc.

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