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A report of KPFK Bylaws Subcommittee meeting

From: Jonathan J. Markowitz
Date:  Sat May 25, 2002  2:23 am
Subject:  KPFK Bylaws Subcommittee meeting 5-11-2002 (limited report)

KPFK Bylaws Subcommittee meeting
A limited report including motions

(Note: this is not a complete minutes
of the meeting nor is this
a transcript of the meeting)


The following motions were passed by
majority vote of the KPFK
Bylaws Subcommittee 5-11-2002
(abstensions were not noted):

1. Affirmative Action

In order to insure diversity on Pacifica's boards, an
'affirmative action' structure (of some type) shall be required.
Vote count: 10 yes, 4 no.

2. Economic Class

'Economic class' shall be one of the criteria of affirmative
Vote count: 10 yes, 3 no.

3. Race

'Race' shall be one of the criteria for affirmative action.
Vote count: 10 yes, 5 no.

(Note: Unfortunately the category of gender was inadvertently
left off the motion. Also, the percentage or quota for
affirmative action was left for future discussion)

4. Elected Programming Council

The station Programming Council (whether the Council consists of
the elected Station Board members or is a separate body) shall be
an elected body, not an appointed body. Vote count: 11 yes, 4

5. Programming Review by the Programming Council

The station Programming Council shall have preview and review
power regarding programming decisions by the Programming Director
and the General Manager. Vote count: 15 yes, 0 no.

6. Veto power over programming decisions (straw poll)

A straw poll was taken whether the Programming Council should
have veto power over programming decisions by the Programming
Director or General Manager.

Straw poll count: 6 yes, 4 no.


On 5-11-2002, The KPFK Bylaws Subcommittee engaged in a 4 hour,
12 minute discussion concerning many issue topics. Some of the
issue points expressed by individuals participating include, but
were not limited to the following:

A discussion about qualifications to run for the Station Board
focused on how to insure diversity in terms of ethnicity and
gender on the boards and the PNB. Affirmative action structures
were suggested as a necessary component but that such structures
would be best applied to the election results, rather than
limiting who could run before the fact.

The proportional representation structure used in KPFA's election
process was suggested as a way diversity can be guaranteed if
adopted for the bylaws.

It was mentioned by a number of attendees that Station Board
members be elected to rotating three-year terms so that only 1/3
of the board be elected each year, thereby helping to protect the
boards from takeover attempts (from without and within).

It was expressed that there should be a bylaws provisions that
empowers listeners with a potential 'instant recall' of those
elected to the Station Boards if it became clear those elected
were disregarding or threatening the mission. The specifics of
such a provision was not detailed.

It was suggested that the bylaws include a listener's 'bill of
rights' provision (similar to the Pacifica Accountability
Committee's bylaws proposal) to include such powers as mandated
regular station/community town hall meetings, power to remove
station general managers and station board members through
special referendums.

It was suggested that Programming Councils be established and
that they be required to meet monthly at public meeting halls
throughout the signal area to facilitate significant input from
listeners regarding current programming, proposed programming, as
well as to address controversial issues regarding programming,
station and Pacifica policies. It was recommended that such
meetings be broadcast (if possible, live) in order for the
listenership and the community to be informed, thereby utilizing
the signal as a feedback mechanism to stimulate participation and
direct response.

It was suggested that special subgroups of the Programming
Council be established that would be designated to be in charge
of specific issues vis a vis programming such as African-American
programming, Latino programming, Asian programming, etc.

It was suggested that the key to success of ANY programming
determination structure be an opportunity for listeners and the
community to submit critique and provide feedback regarding
programming in an open and public process.

It was suggested by many that the Pacifica Mission be utilized in
a structural way regard to review of programming and
consideration of program proposals. Interpretation of the Mission
was suggested as a criterion for qualifying board candidates,
with no specific process stipulated.

A proposal was made that 2/3 of the Station Board members must
have a "one year history with Pacifica" or experience in the
freepacifica movement. A discussion followed regarding whether
an individual's 'history' could be determined or qualified. This
was called for a vote, was passed, then the question was called
again after much discussion leading to the general conclusion
that there was no way to qualify such a history. The motion was
then defeated in a second vote. Vote count: not available.

One participant submitted the essence of a written proposal that
stipulated a 'judicial review' structure re programming, giving
the Station Board the power with a 2/3 majority to override the
General Manager re a programming decision, the decision could
then be appealed to a special board consisting of the five
station General Managers and appointees by the PNB. To appeal
that decision, a 2/3 majority of the entire PNB would be needed.

It was suggested that there be a bylaws structure that inherently
contains a degree of 'checks and balances' to include:

Listener/staff elected (non-appointed) Station Board members
would also comprise the Programming Council with (preview, review
and veto) power over programming decisions by the General Manager
and Programming Director. That listeners would have the power to
remove General Managers and Station Board/Programming Council
members by vote. That the elected Station Board/Programming
Council have the sole power to ratify the selection and hiring of
a General Manager, but that the PNB would retain the power to
remove the General Manager should the need arise.

It was suggested that the PNB establish a 'programming vision'
and that the local application of that vision be in the hands of
the Station Board/Programming Council, that the Station
Board/Programming Council be elected by the listeners and staff.

It was pointed out that we are in a 'chicken or egg' situation
regarding feedback from the current audience having been shaped
to a certain degree by the current programming. That we need
programming changes now, in order to help facilitate structural
review and bylaws changes, such as the broadcasting of the bylaws
subcommittee meetings in addition to other meetings that concern
listeners and staff, etc.

It was expressed that IF the new bylaws empower Programming
Councils to review and if necessary, override decisions re
programming, Program Directors and General Managers would retain
the power to interrupt scheduled programs in the case of breaking
news events, or other programming situations that would
necessitate immediate action without preview by the Programming

It was expressed that Programming Council process be accountable,
and that such process not happen in secret, and that appointments
to such a body be prohibited. Secrecy regarding programming
policies and decisions was identified as a major factor that led
to the near destruction of the foundation.

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