I, Gerard (Jerry) Lynch, am running for the KPFT board because I have always been proud to have one of the five Pacifica Stations in the whole country here in Houston and I want the Station to thrive.
Though a listener for more than 35 years and an occasional speaker on KPFT I am an outsider on the day to day working and management of the station. The fresh perspective I bring can be an asset, though the experience and collective wisdom of the staff and old hands should never be discounted. As an analogy, give be professional unionized teachers, but some new input from Teach for America types is also useful.
My experience of 30 years running a successful law practice with experience in marketing, managing employees adapting to changing technology, responding to ever changing marketing or business opportunities etc. gives me a perspective to share with the other board members and the director and staff to help run the station in a financially viable fashion. I emphasize financial viability as without that we will not accomplish the goals of Pacifica and most KPFT listeners. We must avoid declining to an ever smaller audience necessitating ever increasing fund drives causing more casual listeners to switch stations.
KPFT radio like other old media has a perhaps near existential challenge in responding to new technology. The ability of individuals to start their own podcasts and broadcast to the ever increasing universe of smart phone users, which is now penetrating to even many of my very poor disability clients is an example. As an example, Democracy Now which I understand is a big money raiser is available to many 24/7 on their phones and virtually any issue will have a Youtube video or even channel.
Progressive Media is critical to contesting the oligarchs who have ever increasing power, including media power, which leads to endless wars and an environmental catastrophe. I view my candidacy for the KPFT Board as a continuation of my involvement in progressive politics dating back to opposition to the Vietnam War. In my work life I have always worked with poor and working class folks first as a food stamp and welfare worker, later as a lawyer at the Centro Para Inmigrantes, a non-profit immigration clinic, and now for 25 years representing Social Security Disability clients ranging from the previously secure middle class to the homeless.
With the Occupy Movement, $15/hour Movement, Black Lives Matter Movement, Immigrant Rights Movement, Tar Sand Opposition, the Bernie Sander’s campaign to the Pope’s opposition to prevailing capitalism etc. we may be entering a period of rapid progress which KPFT can both promote and benefit from.