wbai.net Pacifica/WBAI history   events   links   archive   bylaws etc   bylaws revision
PNB   LSB   elections   contact info   opinion   search

Constiuency/Inclusion model for elections
Pre bylaws draft
9-19-02


[ proposed wbai station board composition chart at bottom ]

[ text from:pacifica.org/governance/bylaws_wbaiunity.html ]

CRITICAL ELEMENTS OF THE PROPOSED
"CONSTITUENCY / INCLUSION" MODEL
WBAI Unity Caucus
9/19/02

A plan for guaranteed self-representation of all key constituencies in Pacifica on the local and national boards, with a special emphasis on communities in each signal area that are oppressed, exploited and marginalized, and thus central to fulfilling Pacifica’s mission.

Critical elements (not a comprehensive summary) are as follows:

PART I: GENERAL BY-LAWS PROVISIONS

1. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES – A preamble to the by-laws seeking to deepen and update the Mission in conjunction with that expressed in the Articles of Incorporation. An introduction sets forth the major areas of media coverage, commitment to social change, and self-empowerment, followed by a list of principles of nondiscrimination, affirmative action, noncommercialism, workers rights, openness, accessibility and other cornerstones of Pacifica’s progressive approach to radio. This preamble becomes a key part of the standard by which all candidates for Station & National Board seats can be evaluated by voters.

2. OPEN DEFINITION OF MEMBERSHIP - Any listener, regardless of whether they have made donations of money or time to the station, should be eligible to vote. This is to insure that those who strongly support the station, but for a variety of legitimate reasons lack either the money or volunteer time to donate, can still have a voice in the election of the Station and National Board.

3. PRE-ELECTION "IN-REACH" CAMPAIGN:

A. PAID COORDINATORS [Not part of the by-laws] – As part of the FY 2003 budget, the iPNB must immediately authorize the Executive Director to work with all the LABs and stations to enlist five full-time paid community organizers as in-reach coordinators to link with community-based activists to support and help expand the constituent-inclusion work that is already underway.

B. THREE-MONTH PRE-NOMINATION IN-REACH PERIOD - To meaningfully engage in this critically needed but grossly neglected work (and to build the base of listeners, sponsors, volunteers and potential voters), the by-laws should provide that the nominations and elections processes should be preceded by a three-month "In-reach" Campaign among the various constituencies, both specific and at-large.

4. ROLE &AUTHORITY OF STATION & NATIONAL BOARDS - Overall and final responsibility should reside with the National Board of Directors, but major governance decisions will be made by the Station Boards, subject to various types of review, as per the Revised KPFA/Spooner draft. In addition, specific language (from the Diversity Committee/Blanchet draft) should be added mandating that both Station and National Boards are responsible for ensuring that staffing and programming, both local and national, provide for represention of the diverse communities served by Pacifica.

5. BY-LAWS CONVENTION - A national by-laws convention will be convened one year after the first election to review the impact of the by-laws revisions and make appropriate changes.

 

PART II: SPECIFIC PROVISIONS FOR COMPOSITION/ELECTION OF STATION & NATIONAL BOARDS

1. STATION BOARDS: SIZE AND COMPOSITION

The Station Boards are comprised of thirty-six (36) representatives; divided into three categories of constituencies, as follows:
1. Category One: Fifteen (15) Mission Constituency Representatives;
2. Category Two: Fifteen (15) Signal Area Listener Constituency Representatives
3. Category Three: Six (6) Staff Constituency Representatives

[Numbers of seats for each category or sub-category are in parentheses]

Category One: Mission Constituency Sub-categories: (15)

A. (Historically) Oppressed & (Structurally) Discriminated Against Peoples (8):

a) African Ancestry (2)
b) Asian & Pacific Islanders (1)
c) Latinos (2)
d) Native/Indigenous (1)
e) Arabs & Moslems (1)
f) Immigrant (1)

B. Often-exploited and/or Marginalized Sectors of Society (7)

g) Rank-and-file Labor & Unemployed Workers (1)
h) Youth (1)
i) Women (1)
j) People with Disabilities(1)
k) Prisoners (1)
l) Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered (1)
m) Cultural Workers (Artist/Arts Community) (1)

Category Two: Listener Constituency Sub-categories: These sub-categories are based on a division of each station’s signal area into distinct, relatively large geographic sectors. As an example, the following is the listing of the geographic sectors in the WBAI Signal Area: (15)

A. Geographic Constituencies (6)
1. New York City (3)
2. New Jersey (1)
3. Long Island (1)
4. Upstate NY/Conn. (1)

In addition, Category Two must include a relatively large number of At-Large constituency seats for members of the radio community not fully represented by Mission and/or a Geographical constituencies (subcategories).

B. At large seats (9)

Category Three: Staff Constituency Sub-categories: (6)
1. Unpaid (4)
2. Paid (2)

2. REGISTRATION, NOMINATION & VOTING PROCEDURES

Registration –Registration is required for all, including subscribers, who seek to vote, and can be done by mail. As part of the process, the registrant will be asked to provide information about themselves and to voluntarily answer a separate, anonymous survey about their favorite and suggested programs. Each person can choose to register in up to 2 constituencies of which they are a part (this includes at large, geographic, as well as those defined by various categories of oppression/marginalization, etc.). However, Staff can only register in one of the two Staff subcategories (paid or unpaid).

Nominations – Self-nominations of listener constituencies made with requirement of 50 verified signatures (less for staff) from registered voters in that person’s constituency, and detailed forms setting forth personal qualifications and views on Pacifica mission and policies. In addition, a well-publicized, open-to-the-public "Big Tent" convention will be held at which members of the "Mission," listener and staff constituencies can debate positions on Pacifica issues as a large group, and can break into caucuses by constituency to adopt positions or endorse or encourage particular candidates to self-nominate.

Campaigning – Voter guide compiling all candidates’ forms will be distributed. Each station will sponsor candidate debates for each constituency, at least one of which (per constituency) must be broadcast.

Elections – To minimize fraud, polling places will be set up at the station and several locations throughout the signal area on several days during the three-week voting period, staffed by volunteers. Waivers will be available for prisoners and people with disabilities or transportation problems. Registered voters will have to show identification (not necessarily picture IDs.), and will then receive ballots for the constituencies in which they are registered. Subcategories of the Board with multiple election seats will be tabulated using the KPFA model (50% women/people of color mandates and proportional representation). Subcategories with single seats will employ "instant runoff" procedures to insure majority support for the winner.

Supervision: An Elections Board of noncandidates will be chosen by the Station Board to supervise the entire process, investigate any irregularities, and decide on any complaints.

Grandfathering: In the first election, current LAB members (except staff members) will be offered to be grandfathered for the shortest term available in the constituency of their choice, if they can obtain 50 petition signatures from registered voters in their constituency. Any seats thus grandfathered will not be elected for the first term.

Removal/Recall: Removal by a 2/3 vote of the Station Board on adequate grounds. Recall at the next scheduled election by a 2/3 vote of the signal area registered members of the specific constituency category in which the Station Board member was elected. Special recall election triggered by a petition gathering signatures equal to 20% of the registered voters of the last election in the constituency in which the Station Board member was elected.

3. NATIONAL BOARD: SIZE, COMPOSITION AND ELECTION PROCESS

Election of PNB to occur after the Station Board elections, in an open meeting of the new Station Board, by the 3 respective categories of members on the newly elected Station Boards. Two alternative plans:

Alternative 1: The National Board is comprised of twenty-one (21) directors; four (4) elected by each station as follows: two (2) from Mission Constituencies, one (1) from Listener Constituencies; one (1) from Staff Constituencies, as well as one (1) selected by Pacifica affiliate stations.

Alternative 2: The National Board is comprised of twenty-six (26) directors; five (5) elected by each station as follows: two (2) from Mission Constituencies; two (1) from Listener Constituencies; one (1) from Staff Constituencies, as well as one (1) selected by Pacifica affiliate stations.

Removal/recall: PNB directors can be removed by a 2/3 vote of all PNB directors. PNB signal area representatives (directors) can be recalled at the next regularly scheduled election by a 2/3 vote of the signal area registered members of the specific constituency category from which the director was elected. PNB signal area representatives can also be recalled at any other time by a 2/3 vote of the Station Board representatives of the constituency category which elected the Director.

 

The Entire Draft

CONSTITUENCY INVOLVEMENT AND REPRESENTATION WITHIN PACIFICA AT THE LOCAL & NATIONAL BOARD LEVELS

(Revised/Corrected)
WBAI UNITY CAUCUS PROPOSAL;
"PRE-BYLAWS DRAFT" (9/19/02)

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
This Statement of Principles reflects the deepening of the Pacifica Foundation’s understanding of its mission as it proceeds into the 21st Century. Having been born more than fifty years ago amid war and rumors of war, it has been tested in every decade from within by bad ideas and policies as well as by opportunism. Similarly, there have been many serious challenges from the outside by reactionary forces.

However, due to the resolve of many listeners and the stewardship of the iPNB, Pacifica has regained its focus and is now reclaiming its mission. Coupled with the Mission Statement in the Articles of Incorporation, these principles are intended to be unifying tenets by which the Foundation and its membership can more effectively continue to struggle for social change. They will also become a key part of the standard by which all candidates for Station and National Board can be evaluated by voters.

Thus, we propose adding the following language to Article 1, Section 2 – Purposes.

The Pacifica Foundation is committed to maintaining a strong noncommercial radio network that:
a. is committed to peace with social justice
b. offers progressive political information and analysis as a tool for positive social, political, economic and cultural change;
c. promotes the most progressive currents of culture, arts and ideas and provides a venue for non-mainstream artistic presentations that are rarely heard on other electronic media;
d. exposes injustice and inequality of all types, both nationally and
internationally;
e. educates about the fundamental role of capitalism, corporate globalization and global apartheid in the ecological, social, political and economic devastation of this planet;
f. recognizes the critical importance and provide an outlet for the global grassroots movement for human rights, social and economic justice and sustainable development to the survival of this planet;
g. advances the self-empowerment and self-determination of exploited, oppressed and/or disenfranchised communities, populations and nations;
h. respects the rights of all workers to be treated equitably and respectfully;
i. encourages the free expression of controversial, marginalized opinions; and
j. seeks to involve in its governance and operations individuals committed to these broad principles.

As such, the Foundation commits to the following fundamental guarantees:

1. The Foundation and all of its local stations, in the selection and treatment of staff, national and station board members and appointees to various bodies, and in all programming, shall operate with equity, nondiscrimination, and (where appropriate) affirmative action in terms of race, nationality, language, religion, citizenship status,
class, gender, gender identity, sexuality, age, appearance, and ability/disability.

2. Recognizing the centrality of racism in U.S. society and given Pacifica’s stated mission "to engage in any activity that shall contribute to a lasting understanding between between nations and between individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors", the Foundation shall foster leadership in all of its national and local management, decision-making and advisory bodies, of people of color from a diverse range of races and nationalities.

3. The Foundation shall strive for gender parity and shall promote women's leadership in all of its structures and programs.

4. All Pacifica facilities, meetings and public events shall be accessible to people with all types of disabilities, as determined by standards including but not limited to those set by applicable local, state and federal laws.

5. Pacifica broadcasters shall have the freedom to discuss, and invite others to discuss, the internal business of the Foundation, with the only permissible limitations being any reasonable, clearly-defined policies the Foundation may establish to restrict personal attacks on anyone and hate speech on the basis of race, nationality, language, religion, citizenship status, class, gender, gender identity, sexuality, age, appearance, and ability/disability.

6. The Foundation recognizes paid and unpaid staff as employees and their right to seek union recognition under a common collective bargaining unit and to contract for their rights. Whenever the paid and/or unpaid staff of any Pacifica unit chooses to be represented by a union, the Foundation shall engage in good-faith negotiations with
that union to contract for the terms and conditions of work at that unit.

7. All meetings of the Pacifica National Board and the various Station Boards, and any committees thereof, shall be open to the public, except for any discussions of litigation strategy, personnel or criminal matters that are deemed necessary to be held in closed
session.

8. The Foundation shall accept no funding from for-profit corporations.

9. The Foundation shall under no circumstances sell its rights to any of the radio frequencies in its possession.


CONSTITUENCIES
The Pacifica Foundation has three basic constituencies: (1) The broad category of exploited, oppressed and marginalized peoples, communities and nations; those whom Pacifica’s mission supports and serves, (2) Its listeners; those who connect with one or more of the programs, and support the existence of the station, (3) Its workers (staff), paid and unpaid; those who daily operate each station, deliver the programming and maintain Pacifica as a network.

Collectively, these constituencies are Pacifica. While they are not mutually exclusive, they are each entitled to membership and representation in the Foundation. They each must also play an active role in all aspects of the new, more democratic Pacifica.

MEMBERSHIP AND VOTER REGISTRATION
Membership in the Pacifica Foundation and voter eligibility is granted to anyone who falls into one of Pacifica’s three categories of constituencies and registers to vote. Accordingly, membership is comprised of the following three basic categories: (1) the broad, mission constituency of exploited, oppressed and marginalized peoples, communities and nations; (2) the listener constituency, both those who have and have not donated funds or volunteered and (3) the staff constituency. All members of the above constituencies residing in a local signal area are eligible voters in local Station Board elections.

All registered voters, in addition to listener-sponsors, become members of the foundation. Listener-sponsors are listeners who were current subscribers and volunteers within a one-year preceding the start of the registration period. Membership in the Foundation must be officially recorded. That is, each "member" must be registered as such with one of the stations comprising the Pacifica network.

A mass mailing to all members of the Foundation and all past-year voters will be completed one week prior to the start of the voter registration period. In addition, any call-in or drop-in individual will be given or sent a registration package upon request. Registration packages will also be prominently displayed in locations friendly to Pacifica such as progressive bookstores, libraries, union locations and community centers. Voter registrations will also be available during the Big Tent convention (see "Nomination" below). All Foundation members will be required to fill out and return a voter registration during the registration period to be eligible to vote. Every election will require a new registration. Voters in the most recent election, as well as recent subscribers (less than one year before first day of registration), volunteers and staff will normally receive a registration package.

All those who seek to register as voters will be required to fill out a form including:

1. Name, Address and Telephone Number
2. Constituency identification: the registering voter will be asked to indicate which constituencies he or she identifies with. The selected constituencies will be a maximum of Two (2) with the following options (see below for constituency categories and subcategories):
a Up to Two (2) subcategories in Category One (Mission)
b Up to One (1) subcategory in Category One and up to One (1) subcategory in Category Two (Geographic and At-Large).
c Up to One (1) subcategory in Category Two A (Geographic) and up to One (1) in Category Two B (At-Large).

In addition, registrants will be requested to fill out an anonymous survey on a voluntary basis, so that the station can obtain broader listener input. It could contain the following questions:
a How long have you been listening to the radio station?
b How many hours a week (or day) do you listen and during what times of the day?
c What are your favorite shows and why?
d What new shows and perspectives would you like to hear?

All station staff registering as voters will be asked to register into a maximum of one subcategory of Category Three and will not be allowed to register into any other subcategories. Each member’s registration must occur no less than fourteen (14) days before the date commencing the election period, with the following exception:

The minimum voter registration in any one constituency (subcategory) will be no less than 50. If at the close of the registration period one or more subcategory has not been selected by the minimum 50 registered voters, the registration period will be extended for this subcategory or these subcategories for up to the day before the start of the voting period. If, by the time of the election, a subcategory has not received the minimum number of 50 registrations, the seat or seats assigned to this subcategory will remain vacant until the following year election.

The following is an outline of the sub-categories of membership within the Foundation. The sub-categories were developed to facilitate broad, inclusive member-participation in Governance (i.e., local and national board representation), Outreach and Programming Policy.

Category One: Mission Constituency Sub-categories:
A. Historically Oppressed & Structurally Discriminated Against Peoples
a) African Ancestry
b) Asian & Pacific Islanders
c) Latinos
d) Native/Indigenous
e) Arabs & Moslems
f) Immigrants
B. Often-exploited and/or Marginalized Sectors of Society
a) Rank-and-file labor & Unemployed Workers
b) Youth
c) Women
d) Disabled
e) Prisoners
f) LGBT
g) Cultural Workers (Artist/Arts Community)

Category Two: Geographic and At-large Constituency Sub-categories: The Geographic sub-categories are based on a division of each station’s signal area into distinct, relatively large geographic sectors. As an example, the following is the listing of the geographic sectors in the WBAI Signal Area:
A. Geographic Constituencies
1. New York City
2. New Jersey
3. Long Island
4. Upstate NY/Conn.
In addition, Category Two must include a relatively large number of At-Large constituency seats for members of the radio community not fully represented by Mission and/or a Geographic constituenies (subcategories).
B. At large seats


Category Three: Staff Constituency Sub-categories:
A. Unpaid
B. Paid

NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The members of the station boards of the Pacifica Foundation will establish, elect and maintain a National Board of Directors (PNB).

ROLE &AUTHORITY
Overall and final responsibility and authority for the Pacifica Foundation resides with the National Board of Directors (PNB) [Incorporate updated revised Spooner language]

Duties: (from annotated draft B – KPFA Diversity Comm./Blanchet language)
· The ongoing duties of the Board are to:
ensure that the staff of the Foundation, including its managerial staff, at the national and local levels is diverse consistent with national and regional signal areas' demographics respectively and that an atmosphere is maintained at all levels that is
free of discrimination.

· Ensure that national and local programming is instituted that addresses the concerns, needs and interests of the diverse communities the Foundation serves, especially those of marginalized and voiceless communities.

SIZE & COMPOSITION (2 alternatives)
Alternative 1: The National Board of Directors (PNB) is comprised of twenty-one (21) directors; twenty (20) Station Signal Area Directors and one (1) Affiliates Director. Details of PNB composition are as follows: two (2) Category One, one (1) Category Two and One (1) Category Three Directors, for a total of 21 Directors when the affiliate representative is counted.

Board Directors will also be considered members of the local Station Board, which elected them.

During the first three years of PNB operations under these revised Bylaws, there will also be one representative to the PNB and one alternate representative to the PNB elected by the Formal Organization of Pacifica Affiliates.

During Year 3 of PNB operations, this bylaws item (i.e., Affiliate participation on the PNB) will be reviewed by the PNB and the membership as well as by the Formal Organization of Pacifica Affiliates. After receiving the views of the Affiliate Organization and the PNB, this bylaw/article will either be permanently retained, extended for a specific period, revoked and/or amended. Such action(s) may occur either during new PNB elections by vote of the Foundation membership; or within two months after new station board elections by vote of a majority of the newly station boards.
Note: The Affiliates representative and alternate representative will have the same requirements of as other (station signal area) PNB candidates and elected representatives.

Alternative 2: Same as above but each Station Board elects two (2) Category One, two (2) Category Two and One (1) Category Three Directors, for a total of 5 Directors sent by each Station Board to the National Board and 26 National Board Directors when the affiliate representative is counted.

ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
PNB Directors will be members of the local station board and will be nominated and elected as follows:

General nomination requirements include the following: Every candidate (1) may only stand for election for one seat in the election. (2) articulate her/his specific views about, and grasp of the Pacifica Mission Statement and Pacifica Statement of Principles (incorporated above) in a writing of at least 100 words. (3) articulate in a writing of approximately 500 words her/his vision of the New Pacifica, its relationship to her/his local station and signal area, and how s/he proposes to help attain or implement that vision. (4) clearly articulate her/his ability and willingness to commit to the time, effort and performance/work requirements attendant to the position of PNB director. (5) Provide adequate and accurate information regarding her/his relevant technical, fiscal, fundraising, or legal or consensus-building skills; board, political and/or professional experience, work, progressive affiliations, etc.

The nomination and election of candidates for PNB Director seats will occur within one month after the seating of the station board. Each nominated candidate will be elected by his or her respective constituency category at a public meeting.

Alternative 1: Four representatives to the PNB (Directors) will be elected by the station board of each station signal area. The local Station Board members will elect two (2) members from Categories One (Mission), one (1) from Category Two (Geographic and At-Large) and one (1) from Category Three (Station Staff) respectively. The election of board Directors by the local Station Board will satisfy the Affirmative Action requirement of a minimum of 50% people of color and 50% women. Each Station Board will provide replacement to the vacated seats in accordance with the local Station Board member replacement policy or bylaw.

Alternative 2: Five representatives to the PNB (Directors) will be elected by the station board of each station signal area. The local Station Board members will elect two (2) members from Categories One (Mission), two (2) from Category Two (Geographic and At-Large) and one (1) from Category Three (Station Staff) respectively. The election of board Directors by the local Station Board will satisfy the Affirmative Action requirement of a minimum of 50% people of color and 50% women. Each Station Board will provide replacement to the vacated seats in accordance with the local Station Board member replacement policy or bylaw.

TERM LIMITATIONS
PNB Directors may serve up to two (2) consecutive terms. A former PNB Director must allow a minimum of one year before being elected to additional terms.

REMOVAL/RECALL OF DIRECTORS
PNB directors can be removed by a two-thirds vote of all directors.
During an election, PNB signal area representatives (directors) can be recalled directly by a two-thirds vote of the signal area registered members of the specific Constituency Category from which the director was elected. PNB signal area representatives can also be recalled at any other time by a two-thirds majority vote of the Station Board representatives of the constituency category, which elected the Director.

STATION BOARDS
The members of the Pacifica Foundation within each station signal area, will establish, elect and maintain a Station Board.

ROLE & AUTHORITY
Incorporate updated revised Spooner Draft language, along with diversity language from Annotated Draft B (KPFA Diversity Comm/Blanchet)

Station Boards will have the capacity to establish their own committees. The following are proposed as standing committees:
· Governance
· Constituent Outreach
· Folio
· Station Operations
· Fundraising
· Program Council (in conjunction with Station Staff)

This minimal list illustrates the importance of having a Station Board with sufficient members to take full responsibility for all of these functions. These committees would require work on a constant basis, not simply during meetings.

SIZE & COMPOSITION
The Station Boards are comprised of thirty-six (36) representatives; divided as follows:
1. Fifteen (15) Category One, Mission Constituency, Representatives;
2. Fifteen (15) Category Two, Signal Area Listener Constituency, Representatives
3. Six (6) Category Three, Staff Constituency, Representatives

There will be at least one representative from each of the sub-categories. The specific number of representatives for each Category and sub-category is presented below in parentheses.

Category One: Mission Constituency Sub-categories: (15)

A. (Historically) Oppressed & (Structurally) Discriminated Against Peoples (8):


a) African Ancestry (2)
b) Asian & Pacific Islanders (1)
c) Latinos (2)
d) Native/Indigenous (1)
e) Arabs & Moslems (1)
f) Immigrant (1)

B. Often-exploited and/or Marginalized Sectors of Society (7)


g) Rank-and-file Labor & Unemployed Workers (1)
h) Youth (1)
i) Women (1)
j) People with Disabilities(1)
k) Prisoners (1)
l) LGBT (1)
m) Cultural Workers (Artist/Arts Community) (1)

Category Two: Listener Constituency Sub-categories: These sub-categories are based on a division of each station’s signal area into distinct, relatively large geographic sectors. As an example, the following is the listing of the geographic sectors in the WBAI Signal Area: (15)


A. Geographic Constituencies (6)

1. New York City (3)
2. New Jersey (1)
3. Long Island (1)
4. Upstate NY/Conn. (1)

In addition, this category includes a number of at-large seats

B. At large seats (9)

Category Three: Staff Constituency Sub-categories: (6)
1. Unpaid (4)
2. Paid (2)

PRE-ELECTION "IN-REACH"
The iPNB will immediately authorize the Executive Director of the Foundation to work with all the Station Boards and stations, to enlist five full-time paid community organizers as inreach coordinator to link with community-based activists to support and help expand the constituent-inclusion work that is already underway. In order to meaningfully engage in this critically needed’, but grossly neglected work, the nominations and elections processes will be preceded by a three-month (October-December)
"In-reach" Campaign among our constituencies. Each station will publicly encourage (but not require) activist and progressive community groups in each constituency to meet together to begin discussing its proposed platform points and posiible candidates for the local Station Board elections – all in preparation for the "Big Tent" convention.

Thus an approximately, eight-week nominations and elections period would be completed around the beginning of March 2003.

Note: Based on a collaborative effort between Community for Progressive Radio (CPR) and the Unity Caucus, two WBAI area activist groups, "in-reach" efforts to involve more of Pacifica’s constituent communities is beginning to bear fruit. An iPNB commitment of resources to do "in-reach" nationally, is a bold, yet fundamentally sound strategy.
The general plan in each signal area calls for a coordinated series of forums, meetings, cultural events and teach-ins within different communities and among several constituencies. These would be coupled with an assortment of relevant in-station programs and remote (community-based) broadcasts.

NOMINATION OF STATION BOARD REPRESENTATIVES
There will be a one-month nomination period. Prospective candidates for the Station Board from Constituent Categories One and Two, must produce legible nomination petitions with printed names, addresses and signatures of at least fifty (50) Registered Voters, who are both from the station signal area and already registered as a constituency member of the candidates specific sub-category.

Prospective candidates from the paid and unpaid staff (from Category Three, Staff Constituency) must produce names and signatures on the above referenced petitions in numbers to be set by each Local Advisory Board.

General Nomination requirements include the following: Every candidate (1) may only stand for election for one seat in one subcategory. (2) articulate her/his specific views about, and grasp of the Pacifica Mission Statement and Pacifica Statement of Principles (incorporated above) in a writing of at least 100 words. (3) articulate in a writing of approximately 500 words her/his vision of the New Pacifica, its relationship to her/his local station and signal area, and how s/he proposes to help attain or implement that vision. (4) clearly articulate her/his ability and willingness to commit to the time, effort and performance/work requirements attendant to the position of Station Board member. (5) Provide adequate and accurate information regarding her/his relevant roots in the community and experience in constituent community organizing and struggles about programming issues, (6). Provide adequate and accurate information regarding her/his relevant technical, fiscal, fundraising, or legal or consensus-building skills; board, political and/or professional experience, work, progressive affiliations, etc. The nomination of candidates for Station Board seats will be overseen by the Election Board .

All this information will be compiled by the Elections Board into a Voter’s Guide to be widely distributed.

During the nominations process candidates, listeners and staff will be invited to participate in a "Big Tent" convention and mobilization. During the caucus period, each constituency could meet to debate and consolidate positions on either constituency-specific, station or network issues and to identify and endorse candidates. This could include sub-caucuses if there are major ideological differences within a constituency. Meanwhile caucuses among at-large constituencies could also meet for the same purposes. During the plenary session, there could be debate about a vision and major issues for the station and the network. Such an event would be a lively, entertaining and an informative public display of democracy that could be covered on-air by WBAI in the manner of a national political convention. It would bring together the entire listener community, and help stimulate the kind of debate, exchanges, and connections between people that are at the heart of the Pacifica mission. And such a "Big Tent" would represent a good symbol of what the model of inclusion is aiming to achieve.

The Election board should facilitate the overall convention and its members would also present important member registration requirements, election regulations, etc…The Big Tent convention will also complement in-reach and constituency organizing already underway.

ELECTION OF STATION BOARD REPRESENTATIVES
All listeners, including subscribers and volunteers will be required to register. The registration period will commence three months prior to the scheduled election and end two week before the election, with the provision that the total number of registered voter be at least 20% of the total number of subscribers. This provision is to ensure a minimum participation. The registration period will be extended until the minimum participation is achieved and the election will follow two weeks after the closing of the voter registration.

The nomination process will commence one month after the start of the registration period and will last one month. The nomination process will culminate in the Big Tent convention where each constituency will caucus and issue endorsements to any or all candidates in that constituency deemed to be viable. All candidates vested with the caucus endorsement will be permitted to advertise it.

The campaigning period will commence two weeks into the nomination period and end one week prior to the scheduled election (start of the cool-out period). There will be at least one organized public debates among all candidates – at least one for the at-large seats and then separate debates (in different locales) for the candidates from each constituencies. At least one debate for each contested election should be broadcast, preferably live and facilitated by the Election Board (see "Election Board" section) and allowing time for listeners to call in questions.

Station Board Members are elected for three-year terms. The election process will span a three-week period ("the election period"); commencing two weeks after the close of the Station Board nominations period. Like the nominations process, the election process will be overseen by an independent Election Board

During the election period, signal area registered voters will vote in person at officially designated and publicly posted and broadcast voting times and locations in geographically dispersed parts of the signal area. Each voter will be required to produce some proof of identification with their name and address on it (but not necessarily a picture I.D.). Waivers of in-person voting will be issued for the disabled and prisoner subcategories and, by the Election Board for other individuals on a case by case basis. The vote will then be allowed by mail, with the postage date acting as time of vote for the purpose of validity. At least one (3) members of the Election Board members will oversee voting at each polling site.

Separate, color-coded election ballots will be produced for each constituent categories. Each constituency ballot will be configured, if possible, as a single form anonymous ballot containing the name of the constituency and candidates in the format prescribed by the appropriate voting method. Voters will be allowed privacy and ballots will be cast into a lock box.

Each local Station Board will establish local election procedures that meet the specific requirements of its signal area. Each Station Board will have the right to develop and implement mission-oriented elections similar or in conformance with the Constituency model (a.k.a. Model of Inclusion).

The Pacifica Foundation will only establish election rules necessary to ensure minimal uniformity in elections rules and conformance with the Articles of Incorporation, and will refrain from establishing unnecessary rules which may infringe upon the rights of local signal areas to implement their own process. No assumption nor presumption shall be made about what is considered democratic and undemocratic but only what is consistent with a fair and equitable process in achieving the goal of implementing the mission of Pacifica.

ELECTION BOARD
The Election Board will be comprised of respected members of the local constituent communities with possible help of an independent activist legal organization with an established track record. The actual selection of Election Board members will be determined by the Station Board and the local iPNB members under guidelines determined by the iPNB. The iPNB guidelines will cover criteria for membership and Election Board composition. Election Board members will not be candidates.

The authority of the Election Board will be endorsed by the Station Board and it will be responsible:

a To ensure that the elections lists remain private and are not used for commercial purposes or otherwise disseminated for non-elections purposes.
b To address any irregularity or fraud and allegation of irregularity or fraud in an independent, fair and professional manner and issue determinations on what needs to be done to remedy the irregularity or fraud, if any, in accordance with the bylaws or existing policies established by the Station Board.
c To oversee the entire elections process through the registration, nomination, campaigning, voting and vote tallying processes and produce a report to the Station Board detailing its observations, actions and recommendations.
d To coordinate the in-reach activities and the on-air debates or interviews to ensure fairness and equal access.

VOTING METHODS
A. Each non-staff registered voter visiting the polling location will be given a ballot per constituency in which he or she has registered and will cast only these ballots. Staff voters will have their own ballot at the radio station during the election period.
B. Voters having registered in Category One (Mission) and/or Category Two (Geographic and At-Large) will be eligible to cast up to two votes, limited to the subcategories in which they have registered and only one vote per subcategory will be permitted.
C. Voters having registered in Category Three (Staff) will be eligible to cast up to one vote in the subcategory to which they belong and have registered into.

VOTE TALLYING METHODS
A. Votes in single-seat subcategories will utilize the Instant Runoff Method of voting
B. Votes in multiple-seat subcategories will feature a "preferential" ranking of candidates in that subcategory. A proportional or choice voting system2 will be used.
C. The Category Two B (At-Large) will be used to implement the "affirmative action" provision, which is consistent with the current methodology with KPFA LAB elections . This rule mandates that at least 50% of board seats should be occupied by people of color and at least 50% should be occupied by women. If, after the election of Category One (Mission) and Category Two A (Geographic) candidates (but not Category Three - Staff), there is a deficit in any or both people of color and women in the total of elected individuals and Station Board members, the ranked list of winners of the At-Large sub-category will be used to adjust the number of people of color and women until it reaches over 50% of the total, if possible.
D. The Category Three (Staff) election will be subject to the "affirmative action" provision.
E. Except for Category Three, the total ballots cast in a subcategory shall be at least 50 for the election in that subcategory to be official. If an election in a subcategory has insufficient voting, there will be a polling extension in increments of one week with polling location at the station until the 50-vote requirement is achieved. If at the end of a two week extension the minimum ballots cast are still insufficient, the seat for that subcategory will remain vacant until the following election year.


TERM LIMITATIONS
Station Board representatives can serve up to two (2) consecutive terms. A former Station Board representative must allow a minimum of one year before being elected to additional terms.

GRANDFATHERING
In the first election, the existing Local Advisory Board members will be offered to be grandfathered in the constituency of their choice. They will be required to obtain a petition of 50 members of the selected constituency to be officially grandfathered. This petition must be completed and delivered to the Election Board not later than the day preceding the start of the nomination process. The member with the most seniority on the Station Board will prevail in the selection of the constituency if seats are limited. The seat where grandfathering exists will not be subject to election until the grandfathering term has expired. The term of grandfathered members will be the smaller term available in the constituency, which they have elected. If member grandfathering occurs in a proportion exceeding 1/3 or 2/3 of the avai;lable seats in that constituency, the members with most seniority will be offered the lesser term. Staff members of local advisory boards will not be offered grandfathered seats

STAGGERING
All constituencies on the Station Board will be subject to staggered elections with ideally 1/3 of the Station Board seats be subject to election every year.

Alternative 1: In the first election, the Station Board members in each constituency with more than 3 assigned seats will be assigned terms according to the following criteria:

a Top one-third tier (or slightly more in uneven division) of elected members declared elected in the vote tallying scheme will receive a three year term
b Second one-third tier in the same vote tallying scheme will receive a two-year term
c The balance of elected members, if any, and the grandfathered members will received one-year terms.
d In all cases, elected candidates will receive a term equal or greater than a granfathered member. Grandfathered members with least sceniority may receive terms higher than one year, as long as all elected members have been assigned terms.

In the first election, the Station Board members in each constituency with 2 assigned seats will be assigned terms according to the following criteria:

a Elected member first declared elected in the vote tallying scheme will receive a three year term
b Elected member last elected in the vote tallying scheme or grandfather member will receive a one-year term
c If the two seats are granfathered, the member with least seniority will receive a two-year term and the other member a one-year term

In the first election, the Station Board members in each constituency with 1 assigned seat will be assigned terms according to the following criteria:

a All seats regardless of constituency will be ranked according to the voting participation index (ratio of constituency voters versus constituency registered voters).
b Top one-third tier (or slightly more in uneven division) of elected members declared elected with the highest voting participation index will receive a three year term
c Second one-third tier of elected members in the same constituency scheme will receive a two-year term
d The balance of elected members, if any, and the grandfathered members will received one-year terms.
e In all cases, elected candidates will receive a term equal or greater than a grandfathered member. Grandfathered members with least seniority may receive terms higher than one year, as long as all elected members have been assigned terms.

Alternative 2: In the first election, the Election Board will randomly assign terms for constituencies with less than 3 seats ("drawing straws"). The assignment of terms for constituencies with 3 seats or more and for grandfathered members will follow the rules set above in Alternative 1.

Aternative 3: There will be no staggering of constituencies with less than 3 seats. All members from these constituencies will be elected for 3 years and elections for these seats will occur every three years.

REMOVAL/RECALL OF STATION BOARD REPRESENTATIVES

A Station Board member can be removed by a vote of 2/3 of the Station Board on adequate grounds. Process and ground for removal needs to be established by a policy vote of 2/3 of the Station Board.

During an election, a Station Board member can be recalled directly by a two-thirds vote of the signal area registered members of the specific constituency category in which the Station Board member was elected. A special recall election can be triggered by a petition gathering signatures equal to 20% of the registered voters of the last election in the constituency in which the Station Board member was elected.

BYLAWS CONVENTION
A national bylaws convention will be convened one year after the first election to review the impact of the bylaws revisions and make appropriate changes.

Categories not examined in this draft: ABSENCES OF A STATION BOARD REPRESENTATIVES, AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS, AMENDMENTS OF ARTICLES OF INCORPORATIONS.

wbai staff chart


top of page | bylaws revisions process info page | governance proposals | bylaws etc | home