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Minutes from 4-11-02 WBAI bylaws committee meeting


Of the second public meeting of the WBAI / Bylaws Revision Committee

April 14, 2002

By Thomas R. Gregg, note taker

[Please note: This is not a verbatim account, except for passages enclosed in quotation marks. Please do not quote the non-verbatim parts as if you were quoting people's exact words. Ellipses (...) in verbatim accounts indicate words that I left out of the quotation. I have included a few clarifying comments in square brackets. Speakers are indicated by the name or description of the speaker and a colon.]


IN ATTENDANCE: Marian Borenstein, Janice K. Bryant, Rashida Ismaili Abu-Bakr, Ray Laforest, Leslie Cagan, Andrew Norris, and approximately 45 other listeners. Ray Laforest and Janice K. Bryant are the chairs of the subcommittee and were acting as co-chairs of this meeting.



Ray Laforest: A professional facilitator will not be used today because there still seems to be no need, and the service would cost between $5,000 and $10,000



The initial agenda for the meeting was as follows:

1) Review of minutes from 4/2/02 Bylaws Revision Committee (BRC) meeting.
2) Discussion of role and functions of bylaws
3) Review of national time frame for discussions.
4) Proposal for schedule of topics for discussion for this subcommittee. B5) Substantive issue: what is "membership" in the Pacifica Foundation?
6) Announcements.
However, this agenda was modified during the course of the meeting (Item #3 was truncated and item #4 was omitted because of time restriction).

Ray Laforest: Tom Gregg will be the note taker for this meeting.


FIRST AGENDA ITEM: Review of the minutes of last meeting. Fred Nguyen's minutes from the last meeting were accepted, with one correction.

Correction to minutes: Ray Laforest points out that Bylaws changes require, both, a 2/3rd vote of the PNB, and a 3/5 vote of the LABs ONLY IF the change refers to something relating to voting or elections for LABs or National Board.

Leslie Cagan comments that it is important that listeners read the minutes beforehand, if they wish to adequately participate in the proceedings of this subcommittee. Copies will be made available on Internet and printed copies will be made available at the radio station.


SECOND AGENDA ITEM: discussion of role and function of the bylaws

Leslie Cagan: Even though we are starting the meeting late, it is worth saying a little about what bylaws are and what the role of bylaws are in an organization. The Pacifica Foundation is required to have bylaws, according to California laws. Bylaws are guidelines to describe the governance structures of the organization. They are not detailed. Bylaws should not prescribe what to do in all possible scenarios. Bylaws should describe 1) how decisions are made, 2) who has what authority, and 3) what the relationships are between the different decision-making bodies. They should be able to stand over time. They should be able to be amended, but not easily. We should have bylaws that give "transparency" [that do not allow secrets to be kept from listeners by those in power] and clarity, plus flexibility.

Floor is opened to questions from listeners.

Listener: Many emails were sent to Leslie Cagan regarding bylaws, about a year ago, as a reaction to John Murdock’s action. What happened to those emails?

Leslie Cagan: I will look into it.

Leslie Cagan: Bylaws can serve as a legal basis for action to force an organization to stay in compliance with its mission. For example, all 4 lawsuits [against the "hijacked" Pacifica National Board] referred to the fact that the hijacked Pacifica National Board (PNB) acted contrary to the bylaws.

Ray Laforest: Bylaws also are an expression of relative balance of power between the various elements of an organization, or of political intent. E.g., Gregory Wonderwheel's proposed bylaws [http://snow.prohosting.com/wbailab/ or http://home.pon.net/wildrose/bylawsrevision.htm] say that there will be 2 PNB members from each area, one elected by listeners, whereas, the current bylaws say that only the LABs will select the PNB.

Janice K. Bryant: The settlement states that the iPNB will revise bylaws "to conform with legal requirements".

Ray Laforest: This does not mean that the bylaws are not presently in compliance with legal requirements, but that the iPNB will have to ensure that the final bylaws are in conformance with legal requirements.

Listener (Mike Beasley): The new bylaws should specify the powers of the Executive Director (ED), General Manager (GM), and staff people.

Listener: We should structure the new bylaws to prevent a takeover, like what happened in the past.

Leslie Cagan: In the past, Local Advisory Boards (LABs) were not elected, but the LABs chose PNB-- they either selected or elected them, as they chose. Her opinion is that the LABs should be elected.

Janice K. Bryant and Leslie Cagan: In 1996 or 1997, at the prompting of the Pat Scott (former ED of the Pacifica Foundation), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) wrote a letter to PNB saying that, to comply with CPB guidelines, a person cannot be a member of both an LAB and the PNB. This was not really a statement of legal fact, but a statement of opinion/interpretation. The PNB then said that from now on, the LABs would not send their representatives to the PNB, but the PNB would become self-selecting.

Listener: Why didn't the LABs object to this?

Andrew Norris: Under California law, a "member" is anyone who has the authority to elect people to the National Board, and this authority cannot be revoked except with their consent. One reason that the lawsuits against the hijacked PNB were on a strong legal foundation was that the hijackers unilaterally revoked the LAB members' rights to elect national board members. Now, we should increase the number of members still more, so that there would be many more people whose rights would have to be revoked in order to hijack the board again.

Listener: I want to make a historical point about elections. WBAI staff members in democratic elections elected staff members on the LAB (?).

Listener: As early as 1995, PNB was looking for ways to change the governance of Pacifica. One of their proposals was that one person from each LAB and one person from each "signal area" would become a member of the PNB. LABs were hostile to this idea because they thought it would remove the power from the LABs.

Mike Beasley: www.Pacifica.org and www.WBAI.net are websites where you can read this history.

Leslie: I was on the WBAI LAB from 1987-1990. At the time, everyone was "very laid-back about the national board”, and this opened the door for problems to crop up, as we have recently seen.

Ray Laforest: Agendas for these meetings are going to be posted on the Internet, 4-5 days before the meeting, on Internet listserves such as Newpacifica, Concerned Friends Elections Committee, Coordinating Committee, Freepacifica, etc.


THIRD AGENDA ITEM: review of national timeframe for discussions of bylaws revisions. This timeframe is stated in the resolution passed by the Pacifica National Board on March 10. [The text of the resolution, including the schedule, is available at http://www.pacifica.org/bylaws/index.html.]

Ray Laforest:

1) Elections must be finished by Dec. 29th, 2002.

2) By March 20, 2002, subcommittees will be formed; one for each listening area, and the committee chair(s) will draft an initial list of issues to be discussed by the subcommittees.

3) By April 15, each subcommittee shall distribute written statements of various points of view to the other 4-subcommittee chairs for distribution to all subcommittees.

Washington is even further behind schedule than WBAI. KPFA is on schedule, having just had their 3rd meeting. KPFK is at the same point as the WBAI subcommittee.

4) By May 31, the national bylaws revision committee shall circulate one or more rough drafts of proposed bylaws. The subcommittees should try to consolidate the rough drafts as much as possible. The rough drafts will be circulated to the IPNB, LABs, and legal counsel and posted to the Pacifica Foundation web page. This does not preclude individuals from proposing their own sets of bylaws.

5) By July 15th, a revised draft of proposed bylaws will be written, circulated to all PNB members, LAB members, Pacifica legal counsel, and will be posted to www.pacifica.org.

Listener (Jo Kay): Are individuals allowed to submit separate proposals?

Ray Laforest: Yes.

Listener (Jo Kay): Will the people present at tonight's meeting vote to decide on the official proposals of this subcommittee?

Leslie Cagan: No. No binding votes will be taken during these public meetings of the WBAI area bylaws revision subcommittee. Non-binding votes or straw polls (shows of hands) may be taken, which may be reported. The only votes with a direct impact on the bylaws will be the votes of the iPNB and LAB.

Listener: Regarding the non-binding votes, will there be an opportunity for listeners who are not present tonight to participate in the non-binding votes? Will there be a larger meeting during which the issues will be presented to a larger group and their reactions recorded?

Ray Laforest: That is the function of the Town Meeting happening next Tuesday, to which we hope many people will come. We hope to have an even larger Town Meeting, later. Furthermore, we have to include the LABs views and bylaws proposals. We are not interested in an abstract version of bylaws that would later be rejected by the LABs. Remember, 3 of the 5 LABs must agree on the bylaws.

Listener: What will happen if 3 of the 5 LABs reject the bylaws?

Ray Laforest: I just want to clarify that the LABs will only vote on the bylaws relating to elections of the LABs and the National Board, not the whole set of bylaws…

Leslie: If 3 of the 5 LABs do not agree, then there are two possibilities: 1) The lifetime of the iPNB will be extended and the iPNB will receive an extension of the deadline, or 2) the matter will go back to court, to reactivate the listener and LAB lawsuits.

Listener: Who is going to write up a document based on tonight's meeting to submit to a central committee?

Ray Laforest: My opinion is that we can't start writing yet. Right now we are just collecting ideas. When we have enough to start writing, the PNB and the LAB will write it.

Leslie: I think the minutes for these meetings are crucial. I think that we should send off a compilation of the minutes of the meetings to the other committees, perhaps with some additional written statement.

Listener: I propose that we now try to write the bylaws so they comply with legal requirements.

Ray Laforest: It is not the right time for that yet. There are 4 stages of the bylaws revision process [as explained in the March 10 resolution], and we are only at the first stage.

Listener: I propose that all votes for tonight's meeting should be taken before 9 pm.




FIFTH AGENDA ITEM: Discussion of the question, "what is membership, in the Pacifica Foundation?"

Leslie Cagan: The members are the only people who have rights in the organization. Who should the members be? What is a member? Who is eligible to be a member? What are the rights and responsibilities of members?

Listener (Larry Romsted): (reading from Gregory Wonderwheel's proposed bylaws)

"Article 3, section 2, part A. Listener members:

A) Any listener, including any staff person, who sponsors a Pacifica station, shall be a listener-member. To sponsor a Pacifica station, the listener shall have contributed either 1) the minimum annual membership dues (subscriptions) as defined and determined by the Board of Directors, or 2) not less than the number of volunteer hours within the previous 12 months, equal to the amount rounded to the nearest whole number of the minimum annual member dues, divided by the minimum wage of the state or district in which the station is located. For a paid staff person to qualify as a volunteer contributor, the hours counted toward contribution must be for hours toward activities not in the paid position."

My personal opinion is, if a person works as a volunteer for the LAB, or some other organization that is officially associated with Pacifica, that person also should be able to become a member of WBAI without paying money.

Listener: The idea has been expressed that volunteers be given free memberships in Pacifica. That idea is bad because it is opened to corruption. For example, a board member could get 25 or 100 people together and claim that they are volunteers, and obtain voting rights for them, and thus, in effect, stuff the ballot box. To prevent this, either the number of free memberships given to volunteers must be limited (to 200 per year, for example), at least for the next few years, or else the idea should be dropped, and membership privileges should only be extended to people who pay $25, and this may be waived for people who are prisoners and maybe people under 18.

Listener (Carolyn Birden): 1) We should extend membership to loyal, longstanding listeners who gave money to WBAI before recent events, including the Christmas Coup, and then stopped giving because they objected to these events. To achieve this end, for the first election only, we should extend membership to anyone who has been a paid member-subscriber of WBAI anytime during the past 3 years. 2) Someone should "vet" the volunteers and verify that they are actually doing their volunteer work.

Listener (Berthold): In the past, WBAI's core of givers has been rich, white middle class people who had the money and time to participate, and if we open up membership, then poor people can participate, which would be good. But we need to keep track of volunteers so that nobody takes over the station.

Listener (Sylvia): I agree with Larry's idea [above]. In my opinion, volunteers should be able to become members, and also, people who work for other community organizations whose goals are in line with WBAI's should also be given membership. This would allow WBAI to reach out and include more people from diverse groups in governance. For example, some people cannot speak English-- this would be a way they could be included.

Ray Laforest: But how can fraud be prevented in organizations not under direct control of WBAI?

Sylvia: I had not thought of that. I was thinking about, for example, Vieques activists or immigrants rights activists who are too busy to go and work at WBAI.

Listener (Mary Lynn): I am in favor of volunteers getting membership, but I think it should be at the $50 level, which would mean 10 hours of volunteer work.

Janice K. Bryant (interrupting): What about people who are working mothers and cannot spend the time and cannot spend the money on WBAI?

Mary Lynn (continuing): I am in favor of "one person, one vote." We should not make voting regulations that allow organizations to have a special "organization vote". Only individual people should be able to vote.

Listener (Tom Gregg): I agree that we should try to be inclusive, as Janice K. Bryant suggested, but when the bylaws are written, they need to be legally defensible, and stand up under different kinds of scrutiny, and withstand attempts to take over Pacifica, or attempts at abuse.

Ray Laforest: I believe that the KPFA model allows members to put in, as little as, 3 hours per year. This may be a good idea for WBAI also.

Listener (Steve Brown): In order to become a member, a person should make a sacrifice. This can be a monetary sacrifice or volunteer work. There are many kinds of volunteer jobs that can be created, to allow more people to do volunteer work. WBAI has 14,000 members now. If they were subscribing at a $25-$50 rate, that would raise only $300,000 or $400,000 per year, but the station's budget is actually around $3 million. What is really happening is that people who have lots of money are paying all year round.

Listener (Roger Manning): People need to be educated about the major issues involving the station. We could send out a pamphlet to all the people who will vote, to educate them.

Listener (Pat): Two types of people should automatically be able to become members, even if they cannot volunteer for WBAI or pay money: 1) incarcerated people 2) people who receive public assistance [food stamps, welfare, social security, etc.] or WEP workers [people on public assistance who are required by the government to work for a certain number of hours per week]. Also, I disagree with Sylvia's proposal.

Listener (Donna): We could have a 6-month subscription, or a subscription at a lower rate. I support Carl Gunther's proposal that certain categories of people should become members if they show up at a "candidate's night event" and sign up at the end of it. Such people include the unemployed, welfare recipients, welfare-to-work-program people, people who earn less than 125% of the minimum wage, people on disability payments, and 14-to-18-year-olds.

Janice K. Bryant: Many listeners are poor.

Fred: We need to remember who the listeners are and who are the potential listeners. I know people who are 70-80 years old, who make $800 per month. They do not listen to WBAI because there is no Radio Van Dong anymore, no Gray Panther senior citizens' program anymore. If we continue on the path we are following, where we ask that people donate in order to vote, then the people with the money will determine what programming will be on the air, and the people we are supposed to serve will not be served. I propose that people who make 120% or less of the Federal Government's poverty wage should automatically be made members.

Listener (Jo Kay): When people talk about "sacrifice," it means the sacrifice of the poor. The history of the station is that it arose out of a white left of the 1960's, and the listenership is still largely white. This is a racist pattern. Our accountability is not to the listeners, but to the people of this city. The mission is progressive social change. We have to address ourselves to those communities that have an interest in social change. Unfortunately, the makeup of this meeting, and all other similar meetings, is mostly white and middle-class.

We have to go to the communities, outreach to them, and empower them, so they can participate in the governance of WBAI and WBAI can truly represent the city of New York.

(Scattered applause)

Listener (Mike Beasley): First, I'd like to just say to Jo, I am a black person, a first-generation Northerner, my family is from the South, and we came from slavery. I take exception to white people telling me what my problems are, so I want to disagree with a lot of what you said. Second, in most elections, there is a low participation rate, so if you wanted to be inclusive, the quickest way to do it would be by requiring that people merely sign a registration card. However, I believe that this is not enough. I come from the South Bronx and they have a thing called Tough Love. Rights = Responsibility + Respect. I am not going to give you the right to vote unless you are going to take the responsibility of doing something for it; it's not an entitlement. I have been around homeless people, students. I've been poor. They can get money. If they don't have it, they'll hustle it if they have to. So "not having money" is not the problem. The question is, how many people *want* to participate in the so-called governing process? Most listeners don't want to participate in elections. That's why they're not here. So the first problem is that the LAB elections are going to have small turnouts, and the candidates elected in those elections may not be truly representative of what all the listeners really want. [And furthermore,] "What is the purpose of the elections? Will elections stop your candidate from screwing you? Whether they're self-selected, self-appointed, or nominated, or anointed, there is no way in the world the process that you're talking about here, and wasting all this time on, is going to change anything without putting restrictions on the people once they are in office, no matter how they got there." What we should do is to, first, go out in the community and ask people if they want to be a member of the process first, and why they want to be members, and then you can find out what kinds of radio programs they need.

Listener (Eve Moser): We have been talking for a long time and we still have little consensus on the minimal requirements for membership.

Listener (Dave): First, we should have only individual membership to the stations, not membership for organizations [two people applaud]. Second, I absolutely agree that prisoners and people on welfare should be members, "but about the people on welfare, I think there oughta be a limit, I think on that. It should not account Enron, Occidental Petroleum, Halliburton, because they are on public assistance/..." To me, the most important thing is that we want people to vote who know the issues, and to do that, they need to listen to the station. Maybe there ought to be a requirement of 5 hours of listening to the station per week. Maybe we can have two kinds of members: non-voting members and voting members.

Listener: We need to avoid abuse. We need to think about how to verify income levels, volunteer hours, and membership in various categories.

Listener (Vajra Kilgour): I am in favor of checks and balances [Note: I believe Vajra is talking about a modified "constituency model" of governance of Pacifica, which may be contrasted with the "pay to vote" model of governance]. We have three groups of people who are strongly interested in the station: staff, listeners, and the various constituency groups that Sylvia and Fred spoke about. We should give each of the three groups some power, some "say" in governance, and this would help to reduce the chance of a takeover.

The problem with a model in which you have to pay to vote is as follows. If there were some cult, for example, that wanted to take over the station, and they were very motivated and produced a high turnout at the election, and only 5% of the regular listeners turned out for the same vote, they would cause problems.

We need to prevent this kind of problem, and the way to prevent it may be to adopt a system like Sylvia's [whereby people in various organizations could count volunteer hours in their particular organization towards membership at WBAI.] But we would need a way to determine which organizations were genuinely progressive and which were rogues. We would need a way to "vet" the organizations [to find out if they are truly progressive]. I believe this would not be very difficult, because we, as progressives in the New York City area, know which are the good groups are and which are the "rogues".

As Jo (Kay) said, the natural constituency of the station is under-served, and we need to find a way for that natural constituency to have some say in governance. I'm not in favor of anything that limits, by any means.

Listener (Nan): On average, 160,000-200,000 people listened to WBAI during the course of a week. Out of that, there were about 15,000 subscribers, and the average subscription was $100. We should consider every listener to be a member. If we sign up people, we can get their name and address, and what program they listen to, and we can thereby get good marketing information from them. And we have to re-register them every year. There is very high turnover in listenership. People listen for an average of 3 years before they even contribute to the station, and then they move away. There are very few people who have been listening for 25 years. We should freely allow and encourage all listeners to vote. We could potentially have 200,000 people voting, and the 100 volunteers at the station would not be able to dilute that. It would really be a very interesting exercise in democracy. (Loud applause from several people)

Listener (Steve): People who do not listen to the station are not interested. And people who are not interested should not be involved in the running of the station. Therefore people who do not listen to the station should not become members. Certain models have been proposed by which anyone who is a member of certain designated left-wing organizations or organization "X" should be given free membership in Pacifica, and this is ridiculous. Only if they are listening should they be allowed to be members. How can this be done? Perhaps people could become members simply by calling the station and asking to become a member.

Listener (Carolyn Birden): KPFA model had outreach barbecues and parties ('"candidates events") where people presented the issues and speeches were made, and they signed up as listeners, face-to-face, in person. That is a good idea.

Janice K. Bryant (interrupting): What about people who are housebound?

Carolyn Birden (continuing): And the subscription signup time had to end 30 days before the election, as a safeguard against fraud. This 30-day period gave the committee in charge time to vet the subscriptions, to cross-check and make sure, for example, that the voters did not all sign up under the same address. If many voters did give the same address when they signed up, this would indicate that they were engaged in fraud.

Listener (Berthold): I am against the "constituency model" where an organization, such as a labor union, could come in and have all its members sign up even if they were not listeners, and be able to vote. Instead, we should adopt the idea, stated earlier, of having events like barbecues where listeners could show up and sign up to be members in person. Such events could be held on weekends and childcare could be provided.

Listener: I agree that people should sacrifice in order to become members. If we decide that people who put in a certain number of volunteer hours can become members, there are a lot of ways people can volunteer to support WBAI. For example, people could go out on a street corner and try to sign up people as members. WBAI can co-sponsor an anti-KKK rally in response to the KKK rally that is held in New Jersey every July 4th, and people could come to that as part of their volunteer hours.

Listener (Paul): We need to make an effort to get new people as members.

Low-income people do not necessarily want to be given a free vote. They could, for example, work at home or work on the phone or hand out flyers in their apartment building.

Listener: I am against the idea that organizations should be given membership en masse.

I am in favor of volunteers being members. I am in favor of a $5 membership fee.

Listener (Hal): We have consensus in this room, that we should have listener-members as a new category in the bylaws, and that people who give a certain amount of money or work for the station should become listener-members. Our only disagreement is about whom else should become a listener-member, in addition to those two categories.

Listener (Bill): I have been involved with many corrupt organizations, so I know how power works. The danger here is that there are organized groups out there, who will sign up people as WBAI members and tell them how to vote, and these people will vote as they are told. Therefore a listener should be defined as someone who has contributed within the last 3 years.

[Note: Bill meant that there are corrupt, organized groups who would be able to get a group of poor people to join WBAI and vote, and all of them will vote however the leader tells them, especially if the leader pays them or gives them free gifts. The history of electoral politics in American cities (for example, the Democratic political machine in Chicago) shows that this was common in the past, in elections for governmental office. Bill gave the example of an organization targeting a group of homeless mothers and signing them up to be listener-members of WBAI, and then, Bill said, the organization would control how they voted, because "they're not gonna have independent minds like we're assuming". This comment created commotion in the room. I think Bill did not mean that homeless mothers do not have independent minds. Instead, he meant that someone who does not know anything about WBAI, and who is only voting because he or she has been approached by a corrupt organization that gives gifts, would not be able to judge the candidates fairly. Tom G.]

Listener (Sylvia): I support a combination of my proposal and Nan's proposal [see above].

Listener (Tom Gregg): If an organization like the Christian Coalition wanted to buy Pacifica, they could give thousands of people $20 each, then each of those people could pay their $5 to become a member and vote the Christian Coalition people into power, and they would get control over a multimillion-dollar radio network for a few hundred thousand dollars.

Ray Laforest: One way to counteract such fraudulent attempts is to hold elections for only 1/3 of seats at a time, therefore preventing them from wining more that 1/3 of the available seats.

Listener (Mary Lynn): Another idea is that everyone who wanted to vote could be required to sign a statement saying that they were in accordance with the Pacifica mission. But this, as well as all the other situations which have been proposed, is open to corruption and abuse. In order to prevent a takeover, we ought to think ahead. We ought to imagine scenarios in which Pacifica could be taken over. Then we could do what's necessary to prevent those imaginary scenarios from happening.

Listener (Fred Nguyen): Tonight we have been saying that the listeners have to support Pacifica. We should be saying instead that Pacifica has to serve the listeners. Perhaps we need to screen candidates for office to ensure that they are in conformance with Pacifica's mission. If we don't do that, then the middle-class people with money will control which programs are broadcast, and the station will change in a way that we don't like.

Leslie Cagan: We don't necessarily need people to sacrifice for the station, but we do need people to be involved with the station. We do not know who is listening to WBAI. "Every right-wing nutcase in this city, or in this listening area, could be listening. That doesn't mean that that's the community that we are servicing. And I don’t know how to get around this; I don't have a particular proposal to make. But I do think that... it doesn't answer the question to just say that our membership here is every listener, or, even further, every potential listener...There has to be, I think, some measurement of involvement with the station and whether that's giving money, which I think is a minimal form of involvement (even though, in this culture, you can have great influence if you give money...), it could be volunteering, it could be asking somebody from the station to come and speak to your organization, and tell them about the station, and get more listeners that way. There are lots of ways to be engaged with the station. That's what we need, is engagement..."

Listener (Maninja): Our fear is that Pacifica is going to be taken away. They might have a 5-year plan to take it over. We have to think of takeover scenarios and figure out ways to prevent them, while not excluding anybody.

Listener: We should go to organizations for outreach, but not for voters. "People listen to the radio as individuals; they don't listen as organizations." The ballots will need to be mailed; we can't have a huge meeting where everybody votes. The minimum requirement for voting membership in Pacifica should be that the member gives his or her identifying information and demographic information, so we can use that information for marketing purposes.


SIXTH AGENDA ITEM: Announcements.

Ray Laforest: Relevant websites are www.wbai.net, www.pacifica.org, and snow.prohosting.com/wbailab. Listserv email address is WBAIBylaws-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Gives schedule for upcoming events (All begin at 6:30 p.m.).

A) Tuesday April 16 - Town Meeting at the Henry Winston Center, 235 W. 23rd St., between 7th and 8th avenues, 6:30 pm sharp.

Agenda for April 16 meeting:

The topic is: "The Electorate: Who votes?"

I. Introduction

II. Presentations

1) Berthold Reimers will present the listener / subscriber model.

2) Paul Surrovel will present a hybrid, "mission-driven model".

3) Mimi Rosenberg will present the constituency model.

III. Break into groups and discuss the issues, with facilitator, presenter, and note taker.

IV. At the end we meet and put it together.

B) Tuesday, April 23rd, meeting at DC 1707, AFSCME, 75 Varick Street, corner Canal Street, 14th floor. (6:30 p.m.)

Topics: LAB functioning, power of the lab, elections of LABs, LAB terms of office, and how many people should be members of the lab, etc.

C) Tuesday, April 30th, meeting in Maplewood Memorial Library, Baker Street Maplewood, NJ. (More info to be given subsequently).

Announcements of various programs and fundraising events.




From: wbailab [Andy Norris - LAB member]
Date: Tue Apr 16, 2002 1:24 pm
Subject: Re: MInutes of WBAI / Pacifica By-Laws Revision Committee - 4/14/02

Tom - thanks for the tremendous job!

Ray - I have a few corrections below, after snips from the full minutes.

Andy Norris

> Listener: Many emails were sent to Leslie Cagan regarding bylaws, about a year ago, as a reaction to John Murdock's action. What happened to those emails?
> Leslie Cagan: I will look into it.

correction - more precisely:
Leslie Cagan: Hundreds were received, most were general denunciations with few specific suggestions. About a dozen did give detailed suggestions, and I will look into them.

> Ray Laforest: Bylaws also are an expression of relative balance of >power between the various elements of an organization, or of political intent. E.g., Gregory Wonderwheel's proposed bylaws [http://snow.prohosting.com/wbailab/ or http://home.pon.net/wildrose/bylawsrevision.htm] say that there will be 2 PNB members from each area, one elected by listeners, whereas, the current bylaws say that only the LABs will select the PNB.

Wrong - the current bylaws (1999) do not say that the LABs or only the LABs will select the PNB. I suggest delete "whereas, the current bylaws say that only the LABs will select the PNB."
> Ray Laforest: This does not mean that the bylaws are not presently in compliance with legal requirements, but that the iPNB will have to ensure that the final bylaws are in conformance with legal requirements.

The LAB lawsuit was premised on the basis that the current (1999) bylaws are illegal under CA law. This lawsuit is NOT resolved and may yet go to court. I object to the minutes providing any credibility to a contested set of bylaws. Suggestion: strike "This does not mean that the bylaws are not presently in compliance with legal requirements, but that"

> Listener: As early as 1995, PNB was looking for ways to change the governance of Pacifica. One of their proposals was that one person from each LAB and one person from each "signal area" would become a member of the PNB. LABs were hostile to this idea because they thought it would remove the power from the LABs.

Listener = Nan Rubin

> Listener: I propose that all votes for tonight's meeting should be taken before 9 pm.

Listener = Paul Surovell

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