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KPFK votes against ratifying Pacifica bylaws

In a reversal of a recent vote in favor of Draft B, the KPFK LAB voted 12-11 against passing the proposed Pacifica bylaws.


From: Paul Surovell [WBAI area]
Date: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:30 am


You're wrong, this is not a victory for affirmative action, it's a victory for Ken Ford and his allies on the iPNB who want Pacifica put into receivership based on the failure of the iPNB and LABs to adopt bylaws.

As you pointed out, part of KPFK's rejection of B was based on supposed "democratic" issues. These were specified and referenced by Leslie Radford in a post earlier today. But all of her references and objections were provisions of Plans A and C, as well as B.

So the vote at KPFK -- as well as the vote at WPFW -- were votes against ALL proposed bylaws options -- A, B and C.

On the iPNB, there was only support for Plan B, which had a total of 8 votes. A had 2 votes, C may have had 3.

And if you think Plan A is a viable option for affirmative action, please get Ted Shaw to say so. In the absence of Ted Shaw's opinion, please read Lani Guinier's memo, which clearly warns against adopting the number-based and color-as-a-sole factor mechanism of Plan A.

If WBAI votes NO, the bylaws process will be back at square one after 16 months of great expenditure of time and energy, which have diverted the iPNB, the LABs and many listeners from doing the necessary work to build our stations and our network.

But being back at square one after 16 months is not a position from which the foundation can move forward. It is a position that will mark our failure to fulfill the settlement with no prospects in sight for agreement. If the WBAI LAB votes NO, the settlement is history and we're going back into court.

Paul Surovell

--- In WBAIBylaws@yahoogroups.com, sheilahamanaka [WBAI area] wrote:
> FLASH! In a stunning victory for affirmative action, the KPFK Los
> Angeles Local Advisory Board voted last night, 12 - 11, to reject Draft "B"
> of the Pacifica bylaws. Draft "B" lacked any affirmative action remedies.
> The WPFW Washington DC LAB voted unanimously to reject Draft "B."
> Next the focus will be on the WBAI LAB which is meeting tonight at the
> station at 6:30 pm. It is expected to reject Draft B as well.
> In addition to passing the interim Pacifica National Board by a 2/3rd
> vote, 3 out of the 5 LABs must ratify any draft of the bylaws before it can
> prevail. So the KPFK vote sealed the fate of Draft B.
> Controversy arose after Draft B failed to get a 2/3rd majority vote on
> the interim Pacifica National Board. IPNB members Carol Spooner/KPFA and
> David Fertig/KPFK asked Judge Sabraw to rule in favor of Draft "B" by
> discounting the votes of 3 African American directors on the interim
> Pacifica Board who had abstained when asked whether they supported Draft B.
> Spooner maintained, and the Judge agreed that abstaining was in effect not
> voting so therefore even though Draft B had failed to get a 2/3rds majority,
> it passed anyway.
> This move backfired, fueling resentment, particularly amongst people of
> color in Pacifica. Nationwide, the vast majority of people of color support
> affirmative action for obvious reasons. 45 people addressed the KPFK LAB
> last night. All the speakers of color spoke against "B."
> In addition to issues of DIVERSITY, the KPFK Bylaws Committee was
> concerned about DEMOCRACY: it strongly opposed to elements of Draft "B"
> which they felt would result in a loss of local control over programming,
> governance, and editorial control and freedom of speech for programmers. In
> addition, they wanted more transparency vis a vis finances (i.e, open books)
> and a Listener Bill of Rights. These elements had been largely overshadowed
> by the intense internal debates over affirmative action remedies, which
> Spooner and Fertig called "illegal."
> This development paves the way for bylaws which can truly fulfill the
> Mission of Pacifica to serve the oppressed and underrepresented masses and
> to build racial harmony. Pacifica is classified as a "Minority" organization
> and as such receives over 1.5 million dollars a year in CPB funding. Were
> the staff, audience and/or national board fail to be at least 50%
> "minority", Pacifica would lose part of all of that funding.
> Taking a short time to resolve this concerns, and to get expert legal
> advice of the impact of the recent Supreme Court decisions will result in a
> set of bylaws which will hopefully contain meaningful affirmative action
> remedies and allow for full development of empowered local boards.

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