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WBAI area "Unity Caucus" request 2 hours at
upcoming Houston iPNB meeting

From: siddharta5 [ Fred Nyugen ]
Date: Tue, 03 Sep 2002 12:58:32 -0000
To: PacificaNationalBylaws@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Bylaws Message to iPNB by WBAI area organizations

The following is the attachment to a letter sent to Leslie Cagan, Ray Laforest and Janice K. Bryant in response to Carol Spooner "dealine" on model submissions. The document generally represents the concerns of the Unity Caucus, a diverse coalition of progressive community organizations, and the Community for Progressive Radio. The text was copied from attachment and I hope the format will be legible. Thanks.

Dear iPNB Members:

The Community for Progressive Radio (CPR) and the WBAI signal area's Unity Caucus (UC) request that the Board include the following two-part item on the weekend Agenda of the upcoming national meeting in Houston:

A two hour panel discussion and presentation by Pacifica activists from all 5 signal areas on:

1. the importance and appropriateness of a constituency-based approach to governance within Pacifica. This discussion will address the rationale for a constituency approach; its relationship to Pacifica's original mission (statement); and the distinct, yet complementary roles of its three basic constituent groups to an evolving Pacifica, etc. Time requested: 1 hour (includes 30 min. for Q&A)

2. two inclusion models which offer practical plans for conducting outreach and holding local and national elections. This presentation will also identify a selection of new and revised bylaws which would effectively protect Pacifica's mission and truly democratize its governance. Time requested: 1 hour (includes 30 min. for Q&A)

Members of the iPNB and Pacifica's "Global Family" will hear directly from proponents, and directly question them as well. Several FAQs and misconceptions will be addressed in the initial discussion and presentations.

Other legitimate concerns and ideas will be shared during the Q&A sessions. We call on the iPNB to facilitate this incredibly important opportunity for an unfiltered airing and unobstructed consideration of this issue. This forum is necessary, timely and, if conducted in a spirit of mutual respect, it could make an invaluable contribution to a new Pacifica.


Our understanding is that Pacifica's primary "reason for being" is political; and that its original (and evolving) mission has (and continues to be) centered on support of those who are oppressed, exploited and marginalized.

We recognize the oppressed and exploited, etc. to be the Foundation's central constituency. Under each of the three governance models proposed to date by iPNB members, we believe that Pacifica's central constituency is, at best, only marginally included. A more "democratic" role in policymaking and elections would only be assured to present staff and presently active"listener-subscribers". It is our contention that given the discrepancies in class, gender, race, national origin, color, sexual orientation, etc. between our central constituency and compositions of the station staffs and present core of active listener-subscribers, that the board and entire Pacifica Family must move to formally involve activists and communities of our central constituency. These listeners can and should be integral to all aspects of Pacifica-especially governance. Specifically, the three models all fail to adequately assure this involvement. This is a critical, yet still correctable error of omission on the part of the iPNB.

The "Inclusion or "Constituency" model(s) that we will present address this omission. They are premised on formal, structural inclusion, self-determination and empowerment, within Pacifica of those that have been victimized by war, oppression, and exploitation; those who are society's most discriminated against and marginalized.

For several months a growing Pacifica activists have called for a meaningful linkage between outreach to Pacifica's constituent communities, especially our central constituency; and for the development of truly democratic and inclusive governance structures (bylaws, elections and board). We are asking the iPNB to support this attempt to discuss this issue nationally.


E. Anthony Mackall
WBAI Signal Area

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