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Pacifica bylaws revision chair
re: the proposed "hybrid" elections model
11-27-02


Original version of Gould hybid model
Hybrid elections proposal - revised

From: Carol Spooner
Date: Wed Nov 27, 2002 2:13 pm
Subject: Why I voted NO on the "hybrid" constituency model

I voted NO on forwarding the "hybrid" constituency model to the LABs for the following reasons:

1) I received a petition signed by roughly 500 WBAI listeners and staff members asking me not to approve it. (So did all iPNB members.)

2) The WBAI bylaws subcommittee consistently voted against the constituency model, in all its various forms, by large majorities several times.

3) I find it repellant to divide our membership up into racial/ethnic sub-categories and I believe that doing so, ultimately, will be destructive of our efforts and commitment to understanding and resolving our conflicts.

4) I believe the plan is impossibly complex, unlikely to be widely understood by the voters, and easily manipulated in ways that would undermine the fairness of the nominations and elections process.

5) The provisions that only members of a category may nominate candidates in that category is unverifiable and unenforceable without requiring our members to register by race/ethnicity/other and political categories -- a repugnant prospect to me and probably to most of our listeners.

6) I believe it is unwise to permit wide variations in size and manner of election of the Local Station Boards from station-to-station and will accentuate the tendency towards splintering the network into self-interested provinces.

7) I see no wisdom in permitting the outgoing unelected LABs to determine what "categories" of persons or political interests should be represented on the new Local Station Boards ... I believe the station voters should do that by their votes.

8) It does NOT achieve the original proponents stated purpose of self-determination, as the category seats will be filled by a vote of the full membership -- thus the votes of Latinos on Latino seats will be overwhelmed by the votes of people from other racial/ethnic heritages and Latinos will NOT determine who fills the Latino seats.

9) Proportional representation voting methodology DOES provide self-determination. Every racial/ethnic/ideological category that chooses to vote as a category will gain a seat on the LSB if it gains 1/17th +1 of the listener-sponsor vote (on a 24 person board with 1/4 of the seats filled by staff, there would be 18 seats to fill in the first election. If 20% of the eligible voters vote in the WBAI election, that would be approximately total 4000 voters and 236 votes required to gain a seat. Under the KPFA model, half the board is required to be persons of color and if that minimum requirement is not met in the vote count, then persons of color who receive a minimum of 1/3 the threshold number of votes will be elevated and seated to replace the lowest vote-getting non-persons-of color, i.e., it could require only 79 votes to gain a seat on the WBAI LSB for persons of color.)

Furthermore, the revised hybrid model forwarded by Donna Gould is NOT the proposal that 4 members of the iPNB voted last Sunday to send to the LABs for consideration ... the vote was a tie 4-4, then Dave Fertig changed his vote to break the tie. This new proposal violates two bylaws provisions agreed upon either unanimously or by strong majorities of the iPNB ... that the size of the local boards be from 16 to 24 members, and that the elections procedures for local boards be uniform for all five stations.

--Carol Spooner


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