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WBAI LSB slates and candidates - who's who

[posted 1-12-04]

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- Wbai.net DOES NOT endorse any candidate or slate in the WBAI LSB election.

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Below, in alphabetical order by group, are sections covering the 4 slates involved in the WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) election. Independent candidates are listed as well. There is a brief overview of each slate which may apply to the group's longer-term associates, but not necessarily to newer people recruited by the slate. The slate platforms have been posted lower on this page. Individual candidate statements are available at wbai.org.

Complaints and comments about this page may be sent to and will be published on a page adjacent to this one.

This website endorses no candidate or slate in the WBAI LSB elections. ALL candidates and slates are equally represented on this page. The purpose of this page is to fulfill a common expressed desire of voters to know what the candidates associations are - to post essential information that is not being posted elsewhere.

From Pacifica Fair Campaign Provisions Extended to the Internet - Adopted 9/18/2003:
Website endorsements: All members and programmers that maintain a website utilizing Pacifica or station logos or call letters and/or references to their own Pacifica or station programming that could be mistaken for an official web site, are subject to and shall be bound by these rules: a. Endorsements of candidates on such web sites are not permitted. Any such Website reference to a specific candidate or slate of candidates is not permitted, either explicitly or via hyperlink to another web-page.
This website endorses no candidate or slate in the WBAI LSB elections.

WBAI/Pacifica Elections links:
Wbai.org elections section:
Listener seat candidate statements:
Staff Seat candidate statements:
Pacifica.org elections section:

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WBAI Local Station Board 03/04 election slates

The "Gary Null Slate"
[This slate does not give an actual title]
Comments from website lower on page

Past and other WBAI/Pacifica related associations and identities of founding/key members:
Gary Null Productions, WBAI staff 2001 and before.

Has 4 people running - 3 of them Null employees. Organized by Gary Null producer Paul DeRienzo - a former WBAI producer and reporter.

From The "Gary Null slate":

"WBAI LISTENERS, take note that, since the court has ordered Pacifica to hold elections, you now have the opportunity to elect Local Advisory Board (LAB) members. Please honor this democratic process by backing the people who will represent the best interests of the station and its listeners."
Continued lower on page

* Null employee, ** Null associate

Paul DeRienzo *
Robert Dean
Luanne Pennesi **
Harry Lichtenstein *

Listeners and Staff for Progressive Elections for WBAI (List-Prog)
(212) 465-7562
Platform lower on page

Past and other WBAI/Pacifica related associations and identities of founding/key members:
Save Our Station (SOS - WBAI Listener group, 1996), Coalition for a Democratic Pacifica - NY (CdPNY - new name for SOS, 1999) - owners of wbai.net, Concerned Friends of WBAI (WBAI "fired and banned" staff and listeners during 2001) - elections committee, WBAI Local Advisory Board (LAB) - predecessor of upcoming LSB.

Various Members of List-Prog have a reputation for demanding elections and transparency at WBAI/Pacifica. Several were part of the "Listeners Lawsuit" against the old Pacifica National Board towards those ends.

From List-Prog:

"LIST-PROG is an ad-hoc coalition of listeners and staff who are organizing to run candidates supportive of Pacifica's mission and democratic, accountable governance. LIST-PROG candidates agree to a set of principles on what needs to be addressed for WBAI to reach its potential.

We also agree that WBAI and Pacifica are an irreplaceable resource. We will work for WBAI to continue as an progressive, alternative voice.

List-Prog's candidates are independent listeners who are not closely associated with any of the power cliques at the station. What List-Prog candidates have in common is a history of years of activism to protect Pacifica from a corporate takeover and to transform the foundation to a democratic, membership organization.

Three of our members -- Patty Heffley, Carolyn Birden, and Miguel Maldonado -- were plaintiffs in the big lawsuits against the old national board. It was the settlement of these lawsuits that brought these elections.

List-Prog includes 2 Haitians, 3 Latino/a's, 1 transgender, 4 women, 1 disabled, 2 queer, 1 youth, 1 ex prisoner, 2 multi racial families - 'diverse in ideas as well'."
(Platform lower on page)

* regular participants in earlier and related groups

Carolyn Birden *
Steve Brown *
Chris Farrell *
Patty Heffley *
Miguel Maldonado * (former LAB chair)
Jean-Claude Marcel
Steffie Brooks (staff) *
Bernardo Palombo (registration pending)
Berthold Reimers *
Alma Rodriguez (registration pending)
Eric Romsted
James Ross *
Randi Steele *
Alex Steinberg*

The People's Radio! Slate (PRS)
Platform lower on page

Past and other WBAI/Pacifca related identities and associations of founding/key members:
NJ Concerned Friends of WBAI (listener group), Concerned Friends of WBAI (WBAI "fired and banned" staff and listeners during 2001), Leafleting and Outreach Campaign, WBAI "Unity Caucus" (A group of WBAI staff, management, Local Advisory Board members, that participated in Pacifica bylaws revision - P. Surovell resigned from this group)

Organized by WBAI listener/volunteer Paul Surovell. A main plank in the PRS platform is the idea of rebroadcasting Democracy Now! PRS supports the vision of WBAI Station Manager Don Rojas.

From The People's Radio! Slate:

"Re-broadcasting Democracy Now! in the evening is an immediate step that will increase WBAI's listenership, strengthen our fund-raising and improve our message of peace and justice.

Democracy Now! is our strongest program with the broadest audience appeal across all demographic groups. Its re-broadcast in the evening would attract tens of thousands of new listeners -- especially workers and students -- who cannot listen in the morning.

GM Don Rojas has also proposed the re-broadcast of Democracy Now! and the People's Radio! candidates will work with Don to make it happen, in accordance with Pacifica bylaws Article 7, Section 3, which requires the Station Board to work with management to ensure that programming responds to the needs of the listeners.

The People's Radio! Slate will also work to ensure inclusion of all communities in programming, staffing and governance, as well as inclusion on the air of all viewpoints within the Pacifica Mission of peace and justice, culture and the arts.

(Platform lower on page).

*regular participants in earlier and related groups

Ken Bauzon *
Frederica Azania Clare
Fran DePalma-Iozzi *
Ed Lewinson *
Bob Owens *
Alice Shields *
Paul Surovell *
Herb Williams *

The WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign
Platform lower on page

Past and other WBAI/Pacifca related associations and identities of founding/key members:
WBAI "Unity Caucus" (A group of WBAI staff, management, Local advisory board members, and listeners that participated in Pacifica bylaws revision), WBAI Local Advisory Board (LAB) - predecessor of upcoming LSB, interim Pacifica National Board (iPNB), WBAI "fired and banned" (2001), current WBAI staff, Concerned Friends of WBAI (WBAI "fired and banned" staff and listeners during 2001).

The WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign is organized by members of the WBAI "Unity Caucus" who were instrumental in delaying the adoption of the new Pacifica bylaws in their campaign for more involved affirmative action provisions. This slate also includes a host of people who haven't been as directly involved in the Pacifica struggle in recent years but have activist credentials.

From the WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign:

"The Justice Unity Slate actually has 3 people under 30 years old as well as:
GENDER: 11 women, 10 men
RACE: 16 people of color (8 African-ancestry, 4 Latino/a, 3 Asian, 1 indigenous), 5 whites
OTHER: 1 person with disability, 1 gay man, 3 people under 30".

The Justice and Unity Slate pledges to:

"- Make WBAI a community center for the tri state area, to build a powerful mass movement

- Harness WBAI programming, the Internet and video to expand WBAI's global reach, with partners such as the NYC Indypendent Media Center

- Include in programming and governance diverse peoples of color; Indigenous peoples; undocumented, immigrant, and rank and file workers; the unemployed and homeless; the poor; women; lesbians/gay men/bisexuals/transgendered people; people in prison; people with disabilities; youth and elders."

(Platform lower on page)

* regular participants in earlier and related groups

Vicente "Panama" Alba * (member of current WBAI LAB)
Anne Boylon
John Choe
Kym Clark
Diane DeVeaux
Marie Hall
Zara Khan
Ray Laforest * (member of current WBAI LAB and iPNB)
Yvonne Liu
Father Lawrence Lucas * (disqualified 1-13-04)
Esperanza Martell
Jacqueline Mestre
Evan Tobias
Michael Tarif Warren
Frieda Zames *

Margareth Dominique *
Tiokasin Ghosthorse
Vajra Kilgour *
Bob Lederer *
Muntu Matsimela *
Louis Reyes Rivera

Independent, quasi Independent Candidates:
All candidate statements at http://wbai.org

Rachel Barr
Andrea Fishman
Mariana Gaston
Tami Gold
Robert M. Goldberg
David Goldman
Kathy Goldman
Joel Meyers
Cesar Quiroz
Aroni Saunderson-El
Paul Slazinski
Harald Wacker
Joshua Wolinsky
Paul Zulkoitz
Listener seat candidate statements:

Ken Gale
Reggie Johnson
Dred-Scott Keyes
Susan Lee
Sally O'Brien
David Occhiuto
Roger Manning
Steve Marshall
R. Paul Martin
Shawn Rhodes
Cerene Roberts
Staff Seat candidate statements:


("Gary Null slate")

From: http://www.lookingforward.com/wbai/

You Must Take Action

WBAI LISTENERS, take note that, since the court has ordered Pacifica to hold elections, you now have the opportunity to elect Local Advisory Board (LAB)** members. Please honor this democratic process by backing the people who will represent the best interests of the station and its listeners.

At a time when radio stations are being snapped up by greedy conglomerates, a progressive station that speaks for the people is a precious commodity. The value of a station like BAI should be honored and its potential realized. WBAI needs leadership that is strong, idealistic and competent. The people elected to the Local Advisory Boards (LABs)* must be able to provide the spiritual, humanistic and professional input that will ensure that BAI fulfils its mission with persistent values, a clear message and a strong voice.

If you became a WBAI member on or before 11/21/03, you may vote:

All qualified voters will receive an elections packet by mail 30 days before ballots are due, with candidates' statements and a paper ballot Ballots and candidates' written statements will be mailed to the members on January 5, 2004. To be counted, completed ballots must be received by the Elections Supervisor no later than February 5, 2004 (the "Election Close Date"). The ballots will be counted and the results certified by the Elections Supervisor no later than February 12, 2004. The following candidates bring multi-dimensional qualities, insights and expertise to these very important positions.

Paul DeRienzo
Robert Dean
Luanne Pennesi
Harry Lichtenstein

** Note: The name, Local Advisory Board (LAB), will soon change to Local Station Board (LSB).


Listeners and Staff for Progressive Elections

From: http://www.list-prog.org

What LIST-PROG Stands For

Listeners and Staff for Progressive Elections (List-Prog) is not a political party with a common platform. Each member of our coalition who chooses to run has an independent vision for the future of WBAI and his or her plan for working on the Board to realize that vision.

What the members of List-Prog share is a history of working together-for years, in some cases-to bring democratic governance to the members of the Pacifica Foundation. We believe that by encouraging candidates with a diversity of opinion but a commitment to mutual respect, we can play a valuable role in the historic elections at WBAI.

We also share a commitment to some general principles that we believe are crucial to the mission of WBAI and Pacifica. We believe that, currently, WBAI does not consistently live up to these principles and that representatives elected to the Local Station Board should make them a priority in their oversight of the station.

These principles are:

Community Radio: WBAI should celebrate the cultural diversity of the listening area, recognize our common humanity, and avoid setting groups against each other.

Sound Governance: WBAI should be accountable to its members (listeners & staff) and provide timely disclosure of fiscal information.

Fair Labor Practice: WBAI should provide paid and unpaid staff with comprehensive labor policies that include systems for settling grievances. WBAI should practice affirmative action in staffing, programming and governance.

Easier Access to Programming: WBAI should use the resources made possible by the internet to increase the variety of the programming, develop new programs for broadcast, and make archived programs available.

Train the Next Generation: WBAI should demonstrate a commitment to training a new generation of producers that includes a special outreach to youth and regular programming for children

Free Speech Radio: WBAI's programming should comprise a variety of challenging political viewpoints, while maintaining its progressive focus, and a serious interest in culture and the arts.

Community Participation: WBAI should build structures to involve members in the work of the station, including a preference for volunteer labor and a role for listeners on the Program Council.

Pacifica's Mission: The allegiance of LSB members shall be first and foremost to the mission of WBAI/Pacifica, and not to any special interest or special-interest group.


The People's Radio! Slate

From: http://www.peoplesradio8.com


Protect and Build "Peace and Justice Radio"


WBAI is fortunate to have Don Rojas, a general manager who has dedicated his life to Pacifica's mission of peace and justice. The People's Radio! Slate endorses Don's vision of WBAI as "Peace and Justice Radio," as articulated in his Statement to the Listeners on 12-30-02.

We support Don's goal of 1 million listeners, and we endorse his proposal to re-broadcast Democracy Now! in the evening -- to enable workers and students to hear Pacifica's most popular program on peace and justice, as a first step toward that goal.

In addition to the re-broadcast of Democracy Now! in Prime Time, we believe that Don's proposal for News Briefs at the top of each hour will give an extra incentive for listeners to tune in to 99.5 FM each day.


The modernization of our telephone answering system, is imperative if we want to increase the amount of listener input and involvement in station activities. The current answering system, which is more likely to announce "Message Box is Full" than to take a message, is absolutely unacceptable.


The People's Radio! Slate proposes the creation of an Outreach Committee of the Local Station Board and a Fund-Raising Committee to help the WBAI Outreach Department involve more listener volunteers in promoting WBAI at busy streetcorners, progressive events, and in progressive organizations.

We will recommend that both of these committees study the dynamic and successful models for outreach and fund-raising created by Gary Null and Democracy Now! and we will recommend much greater cooperation in outreach and fund-raising between Democracy Now! and Pacifica.


The Local Station Board will be responsible for approving WBAI's budgets and for reporting on spending and income on an ongoing basis. The People's Radio! Slate believes that progressive financial professionals should be recruited to help the Board make financial decisions. Milton Zisman, a former WBAI and Pacifica treasurer from Springfield NJ, and a member of Accountants for the Public Interest, has agreed to serve in such a capacity.


As Station Board members, the Bylaws require us to assure that WBAI programming reflects the Pacifica mission in politics, culture and the arts, in alternative health and lifestyles, and in providing a voice for voiceless communities in our signal area. We believe the time has come for a one-hour weekly program in Spanish, addressing the needs of hundreds of thousands of immigrant families, to give a voice on WBAI to the largest voiceless community in our signal area.


Regarding the issue of diversity, we again invoke the vision of Don Rojas and especially his call for solidarity among the diverse communities of the WBAI family. We note especially Don's words (statement 12/30/02) that:

"Any manifestation of racism, racial profiling, race-baiting, sexism or anti-Semitism should not be tolerated within the WBAI family."

The Pacifica bylaws empower the Local Station Board, through the mandated COMMITTEE OF INCLUSION, to monitor diversity in station programming, staffing and governance, and to assure that management has taken action to redress underrepresentation of any community served by WBAI in programming, staffing or governance. The People's Radio! Slate is committed to an active and forceful COMMITTEE OF INCLUSION.


When differences of opinions arise among board members, staff and listeners, we must engage each other with humanity and mutual respect, being mindful of the love for humanity, free speech and justice, so beautifully exemplified in the philosophy and vision of Pacifica's founder, Lew Hill. We will actively encourage positive, respectful and constructive dialogue among members of the Station Board, the staff and the listenership.


The WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign

From: http://www.justiceunity.org


We of the WBAI Justice and Unity 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, anti-disability discrimination, religious bigotry, age-ism, and other injustices. We are organizers, workers, 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 to 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 in partnership with other progressive outlets such as Independent Media Centers.

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 (including by producing, recording, and reporting) 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, the unemployed, the poor, women, lesbians/gay men/bisexuals/transgendered people, people in prison, people with disabilities, youth and older people. One way to grow our treasury is to build our listenership and membership by offering quality programming produced by and serving a large range of communities, neighborhoods and regions. We believe that genuine participatory democracy at WBAI and Pacifica requires direct involvement in decision-making by members of these communities, which constitute the vast majority of the people in the tri-state listening area. To accomplish these goals, we stand for the following policies:

1. Affirmative Action and Outreach. Effective affirmative action programs must be established at every level of Pacifica through bylaws amendments and policies covering board and committee compositions, staffing, training and programming, to provide for the broad inclusion of disenfranchised groups reflecting the signal area's demographics. We support Pacifica-wide training on overcoming racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-disability discrimination. One of several pressing priorities is redressing the gender imbalance in programming and staffing.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. We support requiring full access for people with disabilities to all station events and meetings.

2. Programming. We support the development, in consultation with the WBAI staff, of changes in the programming decision-making structure that will increase involvement of listeners from diverse communities. We will carry out a thorough listener survey and broad community outreach to gather feedback and evaluations of WBAI's existing programming and to assess 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. In addition, we call for fair treatment of paid and unpaid staff, network-wide recognition of unions, and respect for collective bargaining agreements. We believe that the national office has a legitimate role to provide administrative and fundraising support and to help develop national programming based on local needs and direction. But we oppose interference by that office 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. We call for a national Pacifica bylaws convention within 18 months to especially re-examine issues of diversity, democracy and accountability.

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. 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.

We are committed to an ongoing network-wide dialogue by the entire Pacifica community aimed at forging a common vision and a long-term plan of action on these and other issues.

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