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Who gets to vote?
Defining Pacifica may be the key

From: Carol Spooner
[iPNB secretary and chair of the bylaws revision committee]
Date: Mon Apr 15, 2002 1:41 pm
Subject: What is Pacifica Radio?

I think there is a real issue concerning what Pacifica radio is.

Is it "public radio" or "state radio" or "peoples' radio" or "community radio" or "a voice for the voiceless" or a "political experiment" or a "cultural experiment", is it a "news medium" or "advocacy journalism" or a "political activists' forum", is it "entertainment" or "education" or "propaganda" or "information" ... or some combination of some or all of these ???

Depending on the answers to these questions, the answer to the question of who should vote for the governing bodies of this organization could be very different. And I know that different people answer these questions differently ... and that some ... probably all ... of us want to change Pacifica from what it has been to something different that might or might not be "better."

For me, the ultimate question is: How can we best safeguard Pacifica's _political_ purposes?

Pacifica was formed by war resisters during the McCarthy era. It has for 53 years been "listener-sponsored" radio in opposition to war, racism, poverty & injustice ... Our country is devolving into fascism at an excellerating rate. We can expect the full power of the corporate state to use any means possible ... stealthy or open ... to silence Pacifica and its message.

We have seen the corporate state undermine Pacifica from within ... through unaccountable boards and managers who were indoctrinated in a "public radio" (read "state radio") philosophy that was created by government propagandists and that was antithetical to Pacifica's purposes. So, many of us formed the objective of creating an accountable system of governance. The question, then, is: "Accountable to whom?"

I seriously question the idea that we must enfranchise every listener ... potentially every person within reach of a Pacifica signal over the air or on the internet ... in order to be "fair." Rights come with responsibilitites. The voters must be ultimately responsible for the preservation, support, protection of Pacifica and its purposes. There is no perfect system of identifying who will responsibly exercise the franchise in a manner that will preserve and protect Pacifica and its mission.

But, if it is not the "listener-sponsors" and the staff, who built this network into a rare and threatened national treasure over the past 50 years & passed it down through 3 generations ... then who ????


ARTICLE II of the Pacifica Foundation Articles of Incorporation reads as follows:

That the purposes of this corporation shall be:

(a) To establish a Foundation organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any member of the Foundation. [*3]

(b) To establish and operate for educational purposes, in such manner that the facilities involved shall be as nearly self-sustaining as possible, one or more radio broadcasting stations licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and subject in their operation to the regulatory actions of the Commission under the Communications Act of 1934, As Amended.

(c) In radio broadcasting operations to encourage and provide outlets for the creative skills and energies of the community; to conduct classes and workshops in the writing and producing of drama; to establish awards and scholarships for creative writing; to offer performance facilities to amateur instrumentalists, choral groups, orchestral groups and music students; and to promote and aid other creative activities which will serve the cultural welfare of the community.

(d) In radio broadcasting operations to engage in any activity that shall contribute to a lasting understanding between nations and between the individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors; to gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between any and all of such groups; and through any and all means compatible with the purposes of this corporation to promote the study of political and economic problems and of the causes of religious, philosophical and racial antagonisms.

(e) In radio broadcasting operations to promote the full distribution of public information; to obtain access to sources of news not commonly brought together in the same medium; and to employ such varied sources in the public presentation of accurate, objective, comprehensive news on all matters vitally affecting the community.


*1 Original Articles filed on august 24, 1946, as amended through the last amendment filed with the Secretary of State on February 2, 1976. Certified copies of the Articles of Incorporation and subsequent Certificates of Amendment may be obtained directly from the Secretary of State of the State of California.

*2 Article II was amended in whole on August 19, 1948.

*3 Article II Subsection (a) was amended March 6, 1971, filed April 9, 1971, and corrected amendment filed May 5, 1971.

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