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Important motion regarding Pacifica bylaws
passed at Dec. 17 General meeting of Concerned Friends of WBAI
12-23-01


The motion:

NO PACIFICA NATIONAL BOARD OR STATION BOARD BYLAWS SHALL BE APPROVED THAT PERMIT MEMBERS OF THESE BODIES TO BE SELF-SELECTED, APPOINTED, OR TO TAKE THEIR SEATS BY ANY OTHER PROCESS THAN A DEMOCRATIC ELECTION BY THE LISTENER-SUPPORTERS, LISTENER-VOLUNTEERS AND THE STAFF AND PRODUCRES OF THE PACIFICA STATIONS.

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Larry Romsted's (of NJ Concerned Friends of WBAI) report:

From: lromsted
Date: Sun Dec 23, 2001 5:43 pm
Subject: Notes: Dec. 17, 2001 General Meeting of CF-WBAI

Notes on the Monday, December 17, 2001 Emergency General Meeting of Concerned Friends of WBAI.

I am writing these notes because I want to report on a motion that I made calling for no appointed seats in the new bylaws to be written Station Boards and the new Pacifica National Board. The motion passed (see section in all CAPS below). I have also tried to summarize what happened at the meeting.

This report is reconstructed from memory, so I almost certainly have left out important points and probably not characterized some correctly. I would appreciate others filling in the holes and correcting my mistakes. I did not take notes, but I have copies of most handouts that were passed out at the meeting.

The meeting was held at the Henry Winston Center, 235 W. 23rd St., between 7th & 8th. About 200 people were present at the beginning and over 50 remained at the end.

The meeting was divided into two sections. The first half to two thirds, approximately, was devoted to two reports on the settlement agreement of the lawsuits by Leslie Cagan and Miguel Maldonado, two of the plaintiffs followed by questions from the audience. The second half of the meeting was devoted to Discussion that included a number of motions made from the floor.

Leslie Cagan gave an excellent presentation of the strengths and weaknesses of the Settlement agreement. She noted that the dissidents, WE, are now in the majority on the board, that we will have access to the books, that voting process is complex and that many important. In the new interim PNB, five "bad guys', will be on the board, 5 dissidents will be selected by the dissidents and 5 members of Station Boards (one from each signal area) will serve on the board. In one year from the first iPNB meeting, elections for new Station Boards members are to be held and in 15 months there is to be a new election of the PNB. Many issues were not decided in the settlement, but postponed to be taking up by the newly formed interim PNB. Three types of votes may be taken by the iPNB. A motion may pass by a 2/3 vote. A motion may pass by a simple majority as long as there is one person from each group voting. Any motion that cannot be resolved this way will be set the judge who mediated the settlement for resolution (he promised fast turn around).

Miguel Maldonado explained why he decided to refuse to sign the settlement, which is now in force without his signature because the LAB plaintiffs agreed to go by majority rule. Miguel believed that the plaintiffs should have held out for simple majority rule and the immediate return of the fired and banned. He felt that if as much time had been spend on trying to win against the bad guys as was spend trying to get him to sign the settlement, that we could have won a stronger settlement. He was generally applauded for his principled position.

During the question period and in the Discussion that followed, many in the audience supported keeping the pressure on the new iPNB. There were repeated calls for keeping the boycott on until the fired and banned were returned at WBAI and the other stations as well, until the bad guy station managers had left, until decisions at iPNB meetings are made by simple majority votes, until the gag rule was lifted, etc. One hand out: "The Pacifica Settlement: Analysis" was circulated. The full statement is available at:

http://www.savepacifica/net.

Motions made during the Discussion Period.

Bob Lederer, circulated, summarized and received endorsement for a number of Resolutions.

1. Resolution by Concerned Friends General Meeting on the Terms for Ending the WBAI Boycott (Adopted Nov. 27, 2001). In brief, full financial disclosure of Pacifica finances, returned of the fired and banned at WBAI, settlement of the PNN stringers strike, remove the gag rule, removal of Utrice Leid (done!), removal of Robert Daughtry (not yet done!), right of unpaid staff to bargain collectively, amend bylaws of Pacifica to prohibit sale of any station and elimination of the 2/3 voting requirement for making decisions. The Coordinating Committee will consider establishing an escrow fund and the conditions under which we would call for an end to the national boycott.

2. A joint meeting of the WBAI LAB and the Coordinating Committee of CFWBAI on December 10, 2001 urged (vote of 14 to 0 to 0) that (a) remove general manager Robert Daughtry and establish a search committee for his replacement. Suspend the General managers at WPFW, KPFT and KPFK and conduct an evaluation of them by their respective station staffs and LABs. Restore the Fired, Banned and Suspended Staff at all five stations.

3. Reaffirmed the 18 resolutions passed by CFWBAI at their November 27, 2001 meeting.

Bob Lederer also introduced a Draft Resolution by the WBAI Progressive Producers Caucus on "Transition Plan to Restore WBAI to Pacifica's Mission, December 17, 2001. The purpose of the transition plan was to expedite the healing process of WBAI, to reverse the deleterious steps taking by Utrice Leid and Robert Daughtry: including violations of labor rights and the United Electrical union contract, imposition of illegal hires and the imposition of a climate of intimidation, defamation, surveillance and threatened and actual assaults. The draft plan called on the iPNB to direct the Executive Director to reinstate all fired, banned or suspended staff at WBAI since Dec. 22, 2000, discard management's position against the inclusion of the unpaid staff in the collective bargaining unit, that the gag rule be rescinded, that general manager Daughtry should be removed immediately, that LABs be permitted to hold their meetings at the Pacifica stations, and created the settlement-mandated iPNB committee on WBAI to hold public meetings to create a plan for carrying out the action steps in this draft document.

Larry Romsted (me) handed out moved the following proposal to the iPNB:

Whereas: The Settlement Agreement requires that after the interim Pacifica National Board (iPNB) serves for 15 months, all directors will resign in favor of directors to be elected pursuant to new bylaws (I quoted the exact language of the relevant sections of the agreement in my handout)

I move that the Concerned Friends of WBAI pass the following motion:

NO PACIFICA NATIONAL BOARD OR STATION BOARD BYLAWS SHALL BE APPROVED THAT PERMIT MEMBERS OF THESE BODIES TO BE SELF-SELECTED, APPOINTED, OR TO TAKE THEIR SEATS BY ANY OTHER PROCESS THAN A DEMOCRATIC ELECTION BY THE LISTENER-SUPPORTERS, LISTENER-VOLUNTEERS AND THE STAFF AND PRODUCRES OF THE PACIFICA STATIONS.

• Motion puts CFWBAI on record as opposing any appointed seats on Station Boards or the PNB and would provide a guide for the development of new Station Board and PNB bylaws

• Motion is completely consistent with the general terms of the Settlement Agreement

• A similar motion (different words, same intent) was endorsed by a straw vote at the previous Concerned Friends General Meeting

• Motion was tabled at the previous CF General Meeting because it came at the end of the meeting. The intent of the table was full discussion and voting at the next CF General Meeting

I also pointed out that the elected Station Boards and PNB would prevent the type of take-over that had happened in the past, that this resolution is in the spirit of the 19 resolutions demanded of the PNB and passed by CFWBAI at their previous meeting on Nov 27, 2001, and in the spirit of the settlement agreement that called for creation of station board bylaws that used the KPFA bylaws (including elections) as a model for the bylaws concerning elections at the other stations.

The motion passed, I believe by about 30 to 20 (I did not count the votes).

Finally, Vajra moved that a letter be written to Rabbi Kriegel asking him to step down from serving on the iPNB. Passed easily. And, Kriegel is not on the newly formed iPNB.


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