My name is Louis Wolf. I moved to Washington in 1977 and when I heard on the street that some people were just launching a progressive FM radio station centered around ‘Jazz and Justice’, I decided to work in any way possible, initially by helping plaster and paint the first two-room office on Vermont Avenue near Thomas Circle. As a jazz lover since my teens living in Duke Ellington’s birthplace, I am deeply committed to my “Jazz and Justice” station.
As a candidate today for the WPFW Local Station Board (LSB), it is my love for the station and the principles which led Lew Hill to found the Pacifica network in 1946 when he wrote: “It is about ideas, not products.”
I was a civil rights activist in Indianapolis, and then a conscientious objector to military service working in Laos (1964-67) during the Viet Nam War. I co-founded and co-edited the award-winning investigative magazine CovertAction Quarterly from 1978-2005, documenting the crimes of the U.S. intelligence apparatus at home and abroad and the human costs thereof. I volunteered with the Rock Creek Free Press (2006-2011) reporting on the events of 9/11 and exposing the Big Lie embedded in the Official Story of 9/11, and which in turn formed the pretext for the deadly wars, the assault on our rights, the rampant mass surveillance now in the U.S., and the dual scourges of American global imperial empire and exceptionalism.
At 74, as co-convenor of the Gray Panthers of Metro DC defending Social Security and Medicare, and an amputee with a lifetime of medical challenges, I have testified before the DC City Council about the rights of our disabled and elderly, and in defense of the valiant National Nurses United union.
Our esteemed WPFW veteran and volunteer since 1977, Askia Muhammed, asserted that “WPFW is the Village Voice on the Potomac,“ and observed that “there was an attempt [by elements locally and at the Pacifica national office] to lobotomize WPFW.”
Central to my platform is (a) an expanded and strengthened local news department enabling WPFW to reach beyond reading mainstream wire service reports to conducting live on-the-street interview and coverage of urgent local issues like affordable housing, public education, unemployment and poverty, gentrification, police brutality, DC statehood, returning citizens, etc., (b) convening regularized Town Meetings for WPFW listener-supporters, programmers and staff (paid and unpaid) all with a stake in our station to further democratize it, (c) expanding the training of young persons in radio skills, engineering, etc., and (d) formally empower the Local Station Board beyond being an advisory body to become a policy-making one.
Lew Hill’s vision in 1946 must motivate WPFW’s mission today. As the Rock Creek Free Press wrote in 2006: “Make no mistake about it, there is an information war underway. The battlefield is the American media landscape, the prize is your mind.”