KPFK Listener's Group
DEMOCRATIZATION and BY-LAWS COMMITTEE
PROPOSAL to ELECT A DEMOCRATIZED KPFK STATION BOARD
May 15, 2001
SECTION A: BOARD FUNCTION
A.1 The elected KPFK Station Board (hereafter Board) will replace and assume the duties of
the current, appointed Local Advisory Board (LAB) upon the conclusion of elections. The Board
is fully empowered to the same extent as the previous LAB to elect representatives to the Pacifica
Board of Directors, as authorized by the by-laws of the Pacifica Foundation.
A.2 The Board shall appoint an Election Coordinator who shall not be a station employee or
affiliated with the existing LAB/Board, and who shall appoint an election committee, including a
LAB/Board liaison, to assist him or her in the implementation of these following election
A.3 The responsibilities of the Board shall include the responsibility to ratify or dismiss the
station manager and the programming director, and to form a program council representative of the
A.4 The Board shall perform other duties not specified in this document.
SECTION B: VOTER QUALIFICATIONS
B.1 Qualified voters must be a station staff member (paid or non-paid) or a member of the
electorate as defined by the following categories. Staff will vote for staff seats. Listener/sponsors
will vote for listener/sponsor seats.
B.1.1 Staff voters are composed of all current programmers, paid staff and unpaid staff at the
station with at least 1 months' tenure. (Staff)
B.1.2 Listener/sponsor voters must be a natural person, as opposed to an organization and must
be one of the following categories:
B.1.2.1 Persons who subscribe or make a contribution in the preceding 12 months. (Subscriber
B.1.2.2 Persons who volunteer 3 hours or more in the preceding 12 months. (Volunteer Member)
B.1.2.3 Low income, disabled persons, and other listeners who are listeners but are unable to
B.1.2.4 Former staff of a Pacifica station who reside in the KPFK signal area.
B.1.2.5 Persons who contribute to an escrow account or an alternative fund for the support or
improvement of KPFK or Pacifica.
B.1.2.6 Member of a KPFK listener group active in the movement to free Pacifica.
B.1.2.7 Former subscribers within the past 10 years. This provision to apply only to the first two
B.1.2.8 Persons who have volunteered 3 hours or more in a single year within the past 10 years.
This provision to apply only to the first two elections.
B.1.2.9 Persons representing the larger community that is both KPFK and Pacifica's audience and
who are currently under-represented.
The larger community is composed of representative groups of persons of color and other groups
to be named in consultation with the current LAB and KPFK listener groups. The persons in these
groups will be voters in the listener/community election. Each of the organizations chosen is
responsible for presenting a list of qualified members to the Elections Coordinator for purposes of
Repeal of Section B.1.2.9:
Section B.1.2.9 is considered temporary, pending balanced programming that promotes wider
community involvement with the station and that reflects the demographics of the station, and shall
remain in effect until a simple majority of the board places the question on the ballot of a regular
election and the membership votes by a 2/3 majority that B.1.2.9 is no longer necessary.
SECTION C: NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR BOARD
C.1 A candidate must be a qualified voter as defined by the three above-described categories
(Subscriber Member, Volunteer Member, or Staff).
C.2 To be nominated, a candidate must be a qualified voter and must present a nomination
petition endorsed by 10 other qualified voters to the Election Coordinator by the close of the
Nomination period. Only Staff may nominate Staff candidates, only listener/community members
may nominate listener/community candidates.
C.3 Listener/community candidates shall indicate on their petition if they are male or female and
"of color" or not, and below 30th percentile in household income, for the purposes of the election
diversity goals outlined in Section E.
C.4 The nomination period shall last 45 days, during which time the Election Coordinator shall
arrange regional signature-gathering events in the Valley, East L.A., Central L. A., West Side, and
Orange County, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and other areas in the KPFK listening area and over
the Internet for on-line listeners. The Election Coordinator shall strive to ensure a full slate of
C.5 The Station General Manager will continue to be an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the
Board, and shall not run for an elected Board seat.
SECTION D: CAMPAIGNING & BALLOTING ("ELECTION PERIOD")
D.1 The election (official campaign & voting) period should begin/start one week after the close
of nominations (to allow candidate validation and ballot preparation time) and last 30 days until the
close of the election.
D.2 Any of the supporter organizations or other organizations associated with KPFK and
Pacifica may make candidate endorsements. However, KPFK and Pacifica, the current LAB, and
future seated Boards, as entities, are prohibited from endorsing candidates.
D.3 KPFK shall allot a programming slot at least once during the election period to host all of
the candidates for an on-air Q/A forum. A non-station moderator appointed by the Election
Coordinator shall administer questions. Each Candidate or their appointed representative shall
participate in at least one of the on-air Q/A forums.
D.4 Community groups, if they desire, may host additional public forums, again with all of the
candidates being invited to attend, although participation in these forums shall not be mandatory.
D.5 Any other on-air discussion of the election must be confined to encouraging people to vote
for the candidate(s) of their choice. Any on-air programmer who is running will be immediately
disqualified if they discuss their candidacy on-air and any candidate will be disqualified immediately
if they appear on-air to discuss their candidacy outside of an official Q/A session. The Election
Coordinator will be the arbiter of disqualifications with appeal to the non-candidate members of the
current LAB or Board, meeting as a body.
D.6 Candidates shall provide brief answers to a set questionnaire prepared by the Election
Coordinator and prepare brief statements of qualifications and vision. The current LAB or Board
shall appoint an Election Project Committee, which will provide a list of suggested questions.
These materials shall be used in the on-air forum, posted on an official election web site established
by the Election Coordinator, and mailed with the ballots.
D.7 The Election Coordinator shall solicit from the candidates and publicly report the following
D.7.1 To campaign only using/through only the above-described official media (as above: forums,
questionnaire, and web site)
D.7.2 To disclose those organizations known to be supporting the candidate's campaign.
D.7.3 Candidates who choose to not make either pledge will not be penalized but their decision
to not pledge will be posted.
D.8 Paper ballots will be used, and, if feasible, web-based voting will be used.
D.9 Write-in candidates will be counted. "None of the Above" will not be counted.
D.10 An impartial and reputable group whose primary purpose is not related Pacifica or any of
it's stations shall be appointed by the Election Coordinator to administer the balloting process.
D.11 The Election Coordinator will compile a list of qualified voters using the station's records
and any other materials appropriate to identifying qualified voters as defined in this document. If
these records are not made available to the Election Coordinator or the task proves otherwise
infeasible, then the Election Coordinator will publicize the qualifications for voting by available and
appropriate means. The Election Coordinator will advise qualified voters throughout the
nomination and election period that they must register (by phone, mail, e-mail, on-line, fax, or in
person) to receive a ballot by mail. Registration will close one week before the close of the election
period. Ballots may also be downloaded from a designated web site and then hard copies marked
and returned as paper ballots.
D.12 Voters will mail or hand-deliver completed ballots to the Election Coordinator by the close
of the election period for verification and counting.
D.13 While ballots themselves will be secret, completed ballots will not be accepted unless
delivered with accompanying voter identification: voters shall mail completed ballots in an envelope
with return address and voter name(s) clearly indicated, or shall report a name and address for
each completed ballot hand-delivered in the presence of an election official.
D.14 A two-thirds vote of the current LAB or Board must approve any election. For an election
to be considered valid, there shall be a minimum voter turnout of 10% of total subscribers. If the
required numbers of ballots have not been received after the close of the 30-day election period,
the Election Coordinator shall continue to accept ballots for an additional 30 days and, with the
help of the on-air personnel, publicize the ongoing election period until an adequate number of
ballots are received. This additional election period shall continue even if the 10% threshold is
reached before 30 days have passed. After 60 days, the Board shall vote and, with a two-thirds
majority, may validate the election regardless of total voter turnout.
SECTION E. BOARD COMPOSITION & ELECTION METHOD & CRITERIA
E.1 The Board shall have 21 members total and consist of 17 listener/community
representatives, 1 paid Staff representative, 1 non-paid staff representative, and 2 additional staff
representatives which may be paid or non-paid. Board members shall be elected for 3-year terms
staggered in annual elections of 7 members each year. The listener/community representatives will
be elected in groups of 6, 6, 5 in a three-year rotation. The staff representatives will be elected
with 1 at-large the first year, then 1 non-paid the second year, then 1 at-large and 1 paid, the third
year. For the first election, see Section F.
E.2 Voters will nominate and vote for candidates only within their category of
listener/community, or non-paid staff or paid staff, or overall staff for the at-large staff positions.
Within each category, voters will rank the candidates by preference and their votes will be counted
according to the Choice Vote (or Fractional Transferable Vote) method of proportional
E.3 Once seated, the Board may appoint up to three additional non-voting members for
three-year terms, to provide skills missing among elected members (legal, financial, media, etc.).
E.4 Staff is encouraged to ensure gender, minority, and union/non-union status diversity in their
elected representatives to the Board. This document does not prescribe specific rules to attain this
diversity and leaves that task to the staff.
E.5 A majority of the board may not be composed of white males. In addition, the board must
be composed of at least 6 male, 6 female, 6 "minority", 6 Anglo, 6 under 30th percentile in
household income (as defined by the bureau of labor statistics for the previous year). These groups
are called diversity cohorts.
E.6 Seats will be staggered three-year terms, each year's election will typically elect one third of
each diversity cohort.
E.7 The Election Coordinator will determine the winning candidates using the Choice Voting
method of counting preferential votes with fractional voting if practical, with the added criteria of
meeting the diversity goals. This modified system will elect the most-preferred candidates whose
addition to the board does not defeat that year's diversity requirements, skipping candidates if
necessary so that the requirements may be met.
E.8 If there are not enough candidates to fill a diversity cohort then that position becomes open
to all candidates for that election.
SECTION F: STAGGERING AND DIVERSITY FOR FIRST ELECTION
F.1 For the first Election to replace the existing LAB, and for each election thereafter until
resolution of the Adelson et. al. vs. Pacifica Foundation lawsuit, LAB members who are plaintiffs
will be grandfathered and the election will fill the remaining seats of the new Board until such
F.2 Any grandfathered LAB members will be seated for 1-year terms until resolution of the
Adelson et al vs. Pacifica Foundation law suit. When the "Adelson" suit is resolved, the
grandfathered LAB members will vacate their board seat and the Election Coordinator shall use the
most recent election's results and fill the vacancy with the next-ranked candidate whose election
does not violate the diversity cohorts
F.3 The first yearly round of listener/community representatives and staff representatives, as
defined in Section E will be elected. Diversity cohort requirements will apply to this election with
grandfathered LAB members counted.
F.4 If the Board is not up to at least the full 17 listener/community seats or 4 staff seats, then up
to 5 listener/community representatives and 1 at-large and 1 paid staff representative candidates
will be used to fill the remaining board seats. This will be based on the number of votes each
remaining candidate has accumulated, within the requirements of the diversity cohorts. These
candidates shall receive 2 year terms.
F.5 If the Board is still not up to at least the full 17 listener/community seats or 4 staff seats, then
the remaining candidates will be used to fill the remaining board seats. This will be based on the
number of votes each remaining candidate has accumulated, within the requirements of the diversity
cohorts. These candidates shall receive 1-year terms.
F.6 Subsequent elections will proceed as specified in Section E.
SECTION G: VACANCIES
G.1 If a Board member leaves the Board during their term, the Election Coordinator shall use
the most recent election's results and fill the vacancy with the next-ranked candidate whose election
does not violate the diversity cohorts. If that candidate declines or is unavailable then the Election
Coordinator will proceed through the election results, based on votes and diversity cohorts. The
appointee shall complete the remainder of the seat's term.
G.2 If no diversity cohort candidates are available then all candidates will be considered, in
order of votes won. If no candidates are available, then the seated board members will elect an
interim candidate, within the diversity cohort requirements. The appointee shall complete the
remainder of the seat's term.
SECTION H: RECALL
H.1 The Board in its entirety can be recalled through an initiative process.
H.2 Any qualified voter must collect signatures of other qualified voters (as defined in Section B)
totaling 15% of the total votes cast in the previous election to force a recall vote.
H.3 Ballots for the recall election should be distributed as described in section E. The election
shall be considered valid only if the number of ballots returned equals 50% of the number of ballots
cast in the previous regular Board election. The election period of 30 days may not be extended.
H.4 Recall would require a simple majority (greater than 50%) of the votes cast. If the recall
vote succeeds, a new election to replace the whole Board will be held within 90 days. Recalled
Board members would be eligible to be re-elected in this election after completing the normal
nomination and campaign process.