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Bylaws revision committee chair comments on Inclusion Model
7-20-02


From: aintmyrtle [ Carol Spooner ]
Date: Tue Jul 23, 2002 1:43 am
Subject: Re: Why the Inclusion Model is the best model for grassroot radio

Essentially, I see little difference between the "inclusion model" and the way LABs have been chosen for years.

At KPFA the LAB members looked around for people who belonged to organizations they thought would be good to "connect" to KPFA ... Latino organizations, African American organizations, Peace & Justice organizations, Alternative Media organizations, etc., etc. Those people were "invited" to join the LAB. I have heard the same from the KPFK (Los Angeles) LAB.

It just didn't work very well. People were brought onto the LAB because of their "constituency" group connections ... not because of their commitment to KPFA or KPFK or Pacifica. Many of them didn't show up for meetings or do any LAB work ... because they were too busy with their other political constituency work ... and serving on the LAB was NOT their first priority. In fact, a lot of arm-twisting went on to get these busy people to agree to serve on the LABs. This is not to say they weren't good people ... many of them were very good people, and some of them (about 20 around the country) joined in bringing the FIRST lawsuit to stop the hijacking in July 1999.

Even so, I watched the KPFA LAB dwindle to less than 8 members before our Fall 2000 LAB election ... because people just didn't show up, didn't want the hassle of a big fight with Pacifica. That is one of the main reasons why things went from bad to worse over the past 10 years at Pacifica ... the local boards and the national board members elected/nominated by them, just were NOT watching the store ... and so things got way past them before they woke up and took notice.

Presumably, only people who WANT to serve will run for election to a LAB seat. Presumably, if the LAB does sufficient (on and off air) outreach ... people from the constituencies the proponents of the "inclusion model" want to include will be persuaded to run for election and many of them will, in fact, be elected. Because, presumably most voters DO want diverse boards, ARE committed to race and gender affirmative action ... that's why they support WBAI, or KPFA, or KPFK, WPFW or KPFT.

(Mike -- I'm not worried about Houston ... they've made amazing strides in program changes over the last 6 months and have attracted lots of new listener-sponsors. It's not just the "country music" crowd any more. Also, apparently, the "country music" crowd were also big supporters of Democracy Now! ... so, they're not all that conservative.)

I do disagree with Steve and others, however, that minimum diversity criteria are not needed as a backup ... that will insure that strenuous candidate recruitment takes place, and will correct for the fact that at least some constituencies just don't have the money to be listener-sponsors in large numbers, and we do want to be certain that those views are represented on the LAB.

But, like Steve, I have great faith in the listeners ... who I believe in the aggregate are pretty damn smart, can figure out what's going on so long as the information is made available to them ... and will do a better job overall in electing boards to oversee and preserve these stations and fulfillment of Pacifica's mission.

--Carol

P.S. I apologize to all for not yet getting the "roug draft" bylaws out ... family illnesses, bar exam next week, Democracy Now! contract controversy, etc., have caused delay ... I am still hoping to get a draft out for review and comment by the end of this week.


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