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Matsimela email regarding the WBAI election

The email below from a public online discussion list is posted here for reference. It is a significant violation of the spirit of Pacifica and the WBAI/Pacifica campaign rules that prohibit negative campaigning and unequal use of WBAI/Pacifica facilities.
This website, wbai.net, is not an 'official' WBAI/Pacifica website and endorses no candidates or slates in the WBAI LSB election.


message# 12389
From: makemba@a...
Date: Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:10 pm
Subject: Urgent Call to Vote In Upcoming WBAI Board...

From: nellie hester <nelliehester@y...>
Date: Thu Nov 20, 2003 3:08 pm
Subject: Re: [repconinfo] Urgent Call for Progressives to Vote In Upcoming WBAI Board Elections
To: <repconinfo@yahoogroups.com>

"S. E. Anderson" <seanderson@m...> wrote:

NOTE: WBAI radio is for all the progressive forces thruout the world... not just the NY Metro area. You can listen to it at <www.wbai.org>. The website is also a network of information and analysis that is hard to find anywhere else on the web. So you don't have to be a New Yorker to put up $25 to become an active participant in the policies and programmins of the station. Racists & reactionaries come in liberal and progressive costumes even after Holloween! If they win the seats, progressive radio reflecting the struggles of the majority of the world as well as the Black Liberation Struggle will become, at best, an exotic backdrop to a futile attempt to give capitalism a "human face." And another vehicle for progressive communications will have been elminated. We don't want this to happen... do we?
Quoting <muntu@wbai.org:>

Folks please circulate ASAP to everyone in WBAI listening area that this upcoming election is extremely important because the forces at work in the oppositionif elected and they are mobilizing nationally will reverse the radical and visionary direction we have been fighting for.

This is a virtual lilly white core of liberals and outright white supremacists who are opposed tothe broad communities of color having theright to share power at WBAI. They have fought against our fight for self determination and diversity for more than 30 years and believe the station is too political. They have money and power and representthe old guard and new guard of phony progressives centralist who want to concentrate control in the national office and the Pacifica National Board which will be elected from this new election.

The List_prog slate and Carol Spooner in Berkley KPFA are at the center of this reactionary wing. They have used every anti-democratic, manipulation andscheme to beat back the movement for genuine power sharing. They are trying to put out a line that middle class white people are turned off because of the new programming and that middle class white people are the main financial base of thestation which is BS.

We are puttting together a very progressive slate of candidates,Juastice and Unity 2003 (immerged from the Unity Caucus, a multi ethnic racial diverse group, Community For Progressive Radio, and Black Pacifica Action Committee) that include myself, Michael Warren, Father Lawrence Lucas, Gil Noble, Latinos, youth, women (at least %40- 50) Gays, Arab/Muslim, Asians, disabled and labor activists. Oh yes and hopefully Mumia. But if people are not members they cannot vote in the election. This requires a payment of $25 or three hours volunteer time.

BUT THE DEADLINE IS Friday NOV. 21!!!!!. People can do this by credit card. They can have people with credit cards call-in and register as many people as they can. We can pay the cardholders back later. Will do funraisers etc, if necessary. See draft platform below.

Muntu Matsimela

We of the WBAI Justice and Unity 2003 Campaign are listeners and staff who believe that the urgent mission of WBAI and Pacifica must be to broadcast the facts, ideas, art, culture and dialogue that will inspire people to work for world peace and an end to worker exploitation, racism, sexism, homophobia, able-ism, and other injustices. We are progressive organizers, professionals and students from the many constituencies reflected in the rich tapestry of the WBAI community. We work daily on a wide range of social justice issues and movements, both local and global. In recent years, many of us fought successfully, along with thousands of others, to take WBAI and Pacifica back from the corporatist forces that seized our precious media institution. We envision WBAI as a progressive educational and organizing hub for the entire tri-state area, including all five boroughs of New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland and Connecticut. Particularly at this time of aggressive U.S. wars and assaults on civil liberties, there is an urgent need for peace and justice groups build a powerful mass movement. We believe that the Local Station Board should influence and support the daily work of WBAI to fully reflect these issues in its programming. We also want to see the harnessing of computer technologies, the Internet and video to expand WBAI's global reach and eventually transform the station into an international media center. The New York City area is bursting with talented thinkers, writers, journalists, laborers, teachers, organizers, musicians, poets, filmmakers, playwrights, actors, scientists, and healers from diverse communities who want to create a more just and peaceful society. We especially want to expand the access WBAI provides to people from historically and newly oppressed and disenfranchised communities--including, for example, diverse peoples of color, Indigenous peoples, undocumented workers and other immigrants, rank-and-file workers, women, lesbians/gay men/bisexuals/transgendered people, people in prison, people with disabilities, and youth. One way to grow our treasury is to build our listenership and membership by offering quality programming serving a large range of communities. We believe that direct participation in WBAI/Pacifica decision-making by members of these communities is key to creating genuine participatory democracy and community empowerment. To accomplish these goals, we stand for the following policies:

1. Affirmative Action and Outreach. Effective affirmative action policies must be established at every level of Pacifica, covering board and committee compositions, staffing, training and programming, via the broad inclusion of disenfranchised groups reflecting the signal area's demographics. We support Pacifica-wide training on overcoming racism, sexism , homophobia and able-ism. The Local Station Board should help establish a comprehensive outreach strategy that complements WBAI's efforts to build bridges and partnerships with the listening area's many progressive institutions and movements. We advocate comprehensive radio training courses and on-air placement of graduates to bring in new energies and talents, prioritizing people from disenfranchised groups, especially youth.

2. Programming. We support a thorough listener survey and broad community outreach to gather feedback and evaluation of WBAI's existing programming and assessment of unmet needs. Based on analysis of this data, we will encourage the station to remedy gaps in programming for particular populations, issues and cultural expressions.

3. Democracy, Transparency and Local Decision-making. Democracy and transparency must be practiced at every level of the Pacifica Foundation. We support full disclosure of information on station and network budgets and policies, and fair treatment of paid and unpaid staff and recognition of unions by management. We believe that the national office has a legitimate role to provide administrative support and to help develop national programming based on local needs. But we oppose interference in the local distinctiveness and decision-making of each Pacifica station that is fulfilling the network's mission. And we will fight against top-down processes, unjustified closed meetings, and small-group decision-making by the Pacifica National Board, which are unacceptable violations of the by-laws. We will insist on the right to active public participation in local and national board meetings. We support a simplified democratic process for amending the bylaws.

4. Fundraising. We believe that a primary part of the Local Station Board's mission is to assist WBAI in the hard work of fundraising -- particularly during crises such as the present one. We will immediately establish a Fundraising Committee to carry out this essential work and help develop a long-range plan. We will seek broad community input to work with station management and staff on innovative strategies for both on-air and off-air funding. We will protect Pacifica's longstanding tradition of rejecting corporate underwriting and keeping our airwaves free of commercial promotion.
WBAI--99.5 FM in New York---
Peace and Justice Radio
On the Web at <http://www.wbai.org>

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