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KPFK bylaws subcommittee report

The Pacifica KPFK ByLaws Subcommittee met on Sunday June 9th at the Loyola Law School Student Lounge from 1 to 5pm. There were 22 people who signed in, including four new people with email addresses and two new people without.

This is my attempt to succinctly summarize the actions taken by the Subcommittee up to and including 6/9/02 along with some of my own comments. This is not a report on all the discussions that took place - only some significant results.

[Note that where votes are known, they are shown in the order of for-against-abstain so that the reader can get the sense of the Subcommittee on each issue. Please be aware that some of these votes were taken at prior meetings where the attendance was either more or less than the attendance at the 6/9 meeting and that's why you'll see different totals.]

A. Subcommittee Issues

1. A discussion of the major points of contention within the KPFK ByLaws Subcommittee should be broadcast on KPFK. (18-0-1) [My comment: Three people volunteered to work to contact the station.]

2. The KPFK ByLaws Subcommittee shall have rotating chairs. (21-0-0)

3. That the KPFK ByLaws Subcommittee present the consensus and significant minority opinions for the iPNB representative to take to the iPNB. (20-0-1)

B. ByLaws Issues

1. The finances of Pacifica at National and Station levels be open and posted monthly. (21-0-0)

2. There shall be no appointed seats whatsoever to any Board. (30-2-0) [My comment: This obviously implies elections at every level. The sense of the subcommittee was that there be absolutely no appointments for any seat on any board or committee, not even for so-called non-voting "skill" seats. It was stated by the subcommittee that needed skills could be acquired by volunteers or by hiring the required expertise. It is clear to me that this would preclude all constituency models because some person or group would have to define (i.e. appoint) the relevant "constituencies" and then appoint the representative group from among many who might vie for the honor of representing their constituency. As has been stated by many others in the movement, this is tokenism at best and cronyism at worst. The constituency model, whether it is Dittmann's L.A. model or Rosenberg's N.Y. model are both forms of appointment systems.]

3. There shall be a Station Board (SB) with governing powers. [My comment: This is sometimes called Station Governing Board (SGB). The exact structure for the power that would be allotted to a Station Board SB are not the main concern, the main idea is that the SB must have a governing voice in the management, programming, policies and procedures at the station level. Perhaps the SB would be a standing committee of the National Board.]

4. National bylaws mandate the election of the Station Program Council (PC) at each signal area. (16-6) The PC shall have preview, review and veto power over programming. The primary function of the PC is to connect the programming to the mission. There will be quarterly programming reviews. [My comment: Whether the PC should be a function of the SB, or of a separately elected body has not been established by our Subcommittee, but the fact that a PC is to be elected is the key issue. The PC's veto power, on the order of a 60% super majority, was discussed.

5. A candidate for an elected office should be asked to confirm their commitment to the Pacifica Mission in writing. [My comment: The subcommittee felt that having something in writing would be a stronger tool for organizing a recall should an elected person stray from the mission.]

6. All elected positions in Pacifica should be subject to recall. [My comment: The principle is one of accountability to the electorate. The details, such as whether only electors could recall those who they elected (this could be a legal requirement), how many would be needed on a recall petition, whether an individual or a segment of an entity elected at the same time would be subject to recall, how many votes would be needed to remove those from elected position, etc. are all to be worked out.]

7. Affirmative Action shall be a criteria for SB elections. Affirmative Action shall be implemented by a quota system that includes the criteria of class, ethnicity, and gender. [My comment: This is a principled statement of the Subcommittee. The details are to be worked out.]

8. SB terms of office shall be three years with staggered annual elections . [My comment: The prominent version of this is that the first SB elections would be for three different terms of office: one, two and three years with three year terms of office for all subsequent annual elections.]

9. The Pacifica Foundation shall be a membership organization not restricted to National Board and Station Board members. [My comment: The sense of the Subcommittee is that Foundation membership must include "subscribers and others who qualify". Exactly who "qualifies" is under intense discussion at the moment. See next point for more details.]

10. Pacifica Foundation members shall include the following:

a.) Subscribers who contribute station dues (22-0-0)
b.) Volunteers, where the minimum hours worked is calculated as follows:
(the minimum non-low income station dues) divided by (1.5 times the minimum State wage)

[note that in California the minimum is $6.75, in D.C. it is $6.15, and in N.Y and Texas it is the Federal minimum of $5.15]

For example, if the minimum wage is $6.75 and the minimum non-low income station dues are $50, then the calculation is: 50/675=7.4 hours.

voting for the above - 13
voting for more hours than defined above - 6
voting for less hours than defined above - 1

c.) Hardship (23-1-0) [My comment: this category includes those unable to contribute to the station and unable to volunteer for whatever reason. Whether such membership should be by affidavit or simple declaration/request has not been decided.]
d.) Prior Subscribers (4-14-3) [My comment: There are some freepacificans who do not believe that their stations have returned sufficiently to the Pacifica Mission. They believe that there are too many programs on the air that are not in harmony with the mission or which are produced/hosted by people who either supported or were instruments of the old regime. In Los Angeles, this includes the supporters of Schubb/Cooper, the many writers of the L.A. Weekly, and nationally, the Nation Magazine and their supporters as well as our local "liberal" and "ethnic" tokens who remain on the air.]
e.) Paid Staff who are not otherwise eligible for membership (8-8-1). [My comment: This is a pretty contentious issue, as you can see by the tie vote.]
f.) Contributors to Lawsuits (13-4-1) [My comment: Of course, we mean the anti-takeover lawsuits, but the method for implementation was not discussed. Should it be by simple declaration? By copy of check?]
11. Qualifications for candidates for elected positions
a.) must be a qualified voter
b.) must agree to support, uphold and promote the mission in writing (20-8-0) [My comment: a motion to have an inquiry into a candidate's background was defeated (4-21-0) and a motion that a candidate sign an affidavit of disclosure for a 10 year period was defeated (12-13-0)]

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