Our Blog

Tony Leon is an Afro Latino native Washingtonian. Like many of my peers, I grew up during the 60’s and 70’s on commercial radio and television. Reading the common textbooks and talking the common talk. However, my instincts always told me that something wasn’t quite right in this city. I joined the military in the early eighties seeking a wider perspective on life and found that my instincts were correct. Moreover, discovering that things weren’t, as they appeared to be not just in my city, but also in the country and world. Not finding the resources to describe how I felt, I ran into a psychological wall, until discovering WPFW.

After listening to Papa Wabe playing the messages contained in Reggae music, I began to listen to the other infectious messages being broadcasted and quickly started to find the information, vocabulary and logic that supported my theories. I’m almost certain that had it not been for WPFW the works of – Dorothy Healy, Ambrose Lane, Tom Porter, Zinn, Fanon, Cabral, Chancellor Williams, Eric Williams, Caldicott, Null, Welsing, Perkins and Amy Goodman to name a few, would be obscure.

I became a member and volunteer. In 2011, I became a Sound Board Operator and Engineer for programs such as Community Comment, Metro Watch, What’s at Stake, Voices with Vision, Africa Now, Heal D.C., and Spectrum Today w/Askia Mohammed. Musically – I’m a substitute programmer and Engineer for Brother Ah on the “Collectors” every Monday evening.

I’ve served on the LSB Programming Committee since 2011, Chaired since mid 2014 and as of January 2015 am filling a vacant seat on the LSB until formal elections take place.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Minor in I.T., former Restaurateur, and have worked for over 30 years in the Tele-Communications/Multi Media field.

As a result of the abrupt 2012 programming disruption, myself, many listeners, paid and unpaid staff, I became involved with Concerned Members and Supporters of WPFW (CMS), “the advocacy group among WPFW listeners and members who would like to see our listener-sponsored radio station serve as a catalyst for mobilizing the local community to confront the legacy and root causes of racism, sexism, and corporatism in our capitalist society…”

It’s very clear that in order to have a functional democracy, we must have an educated and informed populace. This comes from the reporting of factual information and the opportunity for meaningful dialogue in the media.

WPFW can make positive and long term contributions towards addressing issues if it continues to address ideological questions while building a strong and active base of listener/supporters most affected.

In the society that we’re living in, all but the 3% are struggling. The 97% aren’t exactly in the same boat because we experience life differently however, many people sense that something is wrong with this country and are looking for change and how to go about it. WPFW and Pacifica have the potential for becoming the Pied-Pipers of this movement.

Optional Questions

In what ways are the station moving in a positive direction, that you would want to continue or perhaps improve?
Programming continues to be relevant however, it should regularly leave time for listeners to call in and comment.
The broadcast signal is strong again.

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?
I would support-
1. Moving to a permanently owned space costing half of what’s being paid today.
2. More presence in the communities for their input,
3. Increased public awareness about the station,
4. Live reporting,
5. More training in radio and broadcasting to pave the way for succession.
6. Make regular time to discuss issues affecting our youth

What key experience, connections, skills or traits would you bring to the Local Station Board to advance the stationÕs mission?
I bring training and experience related to business, social justice, community service and humanity.

What ideas do you have for helping the station and the Pacifica Foundation meet the financial challenges currently being faced?
1. Increase public awareness of the station using flyers, setting up tables at strategic events and locations around the area, bumper stickers,
2. Ongoing off -air fund raising events. Minimum of 6 per year
3. Ambitious relationship building and partnerships with like minded organizations, schools, philanthropist and business.
4. Relocating out of the high rent districts

So, what do you think ?