Monday, June 7, 2021

vote NO on the new KPFA/Pacifica bylaws

You might know that I have been a member of the KPFA Station Board for a few months now.  Some friends have been asking me what (the F) is going on at KPFA radio? and what should they do about these new Pacifica Foundation bylaws changes that they are getting email and postcards advocating support?
Vote NO is what I think people should do.
Why?  Because the proposal is not only about bylaws.  It is also about a long-standing faction fight. The fine print in the bylaws proposal will put one faction in control and shut everyone else out permanently. 
Part of the experience of being on the KPFA Board is to get to see this faction act badly.  I don’t get shocked by much anymore, but this group has really gone too far several times.  The used to call themselves SaveKPFA, now they have a few other names including New Day Pacifica.  It has been personally disappointing to see people who I once respected a lot more justify all kinds of questionable maneuvers to get control of the network and to shut the others out.  Now they send you a slick post card full of nice photos of on-air personalities who support their proposal.  What you do not see is that they are all in the same faction.  The other factions have just as many on-air personalities opposing the bylaws, but what you are seeing is not a debate, it is political advertising. 
In the short time I have been involved this is the second time these faction fighters are trying these trojan horse bylaws referendum.  They have also tried a lawsuit against our own movement and attempted to shut down a sister station.  It is hard to describe how undemocratically they run the KPFA board where they hold a majority.
Are there financial problems at Pacifica?
Of course there are!
But the sky is not falling, no matter what you have heard from New Day Pacifica. 
Could the stations be doing a better job in programing?
I think so and I wish we were talking about how to make things better
instead of lurching from takeover attempt to takeover attempt.
Should we have better, more efficient governance?
Probably, but not at the cost of one side just getting rid of the other. 
A change in the bylaws would need to have support from all sides, not just one. 
Does something need to be done about the constant power struggle at our community radio network?
You betcha. 
I feel that democracy is messy and difficult.
And I don’t see how authoritarianism leads to something better.
Start by voting NO on the bylaws and then vote for new and younger voices to our station boards later this year.  We need some new leadership and distance from the toxic dynamic that has been holding us back. 
My seat on the board is filling in for someone who dropped out.  I will run for a term of my own this next election and I will let you know who I think are some of the other quality candidates.
And if you are willing to run for the station board yourself and help make KPFA a better community radio station, please get in touch. 
Don Macleay


  1. This would be more interesting if you posted about the actual issues that the factions are fighting over, rather than just asking people to take your side.

    1. The "actual issues" seem to change on a regular basis. I woukd know more if the local station board officers gave us real reports. They literally say things such as "the Pacifica board does not have a plan and don't know what they are doing" without any descriptions, details or accurate report of the National board meetings, where they are our representatives.
      And yes, on my blog I express my opinions and I do not need to follow your factions talking points.