Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 11:03:20 -0700
From: Dave Fertig [iPNB, DLC]
Subject: Pacific[a] Supporters Deserve Elections Now
(Feel free to forward)
Many of us hope to have a set of Pacifica bylaws approved by the end of
That could put us in sync with the election dates stated in the currently
proposed bylaws: Open nominations July 25, close nominations September
25, Ballots issued October 15, with an initial closure date of November 15,
or later if extended by two-week intervals as necessary to achieve more
diverse candidate pools.
What's the "hurry"? After 18 months of interim and unaccountable boards,
many urgent issues still face Pacifica: policy issues relating to
personnel, programming, limitations upon on-air speech, funding, etc.,
etc., current and potential litigation, and other ongoing organizational
policy and strategy decisions.
We supporters of Pacifica deserve to have these issues addressed by
accountable and properly elected board members.
With elected board members we can have accountability, which leads to
trust, to community, communication and hopefully understanding. At least
more of it.
Without elections, we have no accountability, little trust, fractured
community, miscommunication and little understanding. And worse.
Many of the one-hundred-plus people that comprise our current unelected
boards, local and national, are working very hard to advance what they
variously feel to be necessary for the foundation. But these people,
including myself of course, are all unelected, are mostly unaccountable and
are usually overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done. This is
compounded by the uncertainty of our future, the financial burdens, the
political conflict and the burdening baggage many carry from many years of
That's why the boards are currently unable to get very much done, leaving
our overworked staff to manage nearly everything while we argue amongst
ourselves (a scene some are gleefully enjoying.)
The currently proposed bylaws drafts are the result of more than 15 months'
work by hundreds of people in open meetings - indeed, many years of work by
many people throughout the network. The proposed bylaws drafts arise from
the combined efforts of many different folks from different places,
temporally, culturally and philosophically. Many compromises were made,
many safeguards written, many procedures revised, many unities found -and
many divisions exacerbated.
Some would have us wait until July or August, or later, to vote on bylaws,
pushing elections back and again extending the interim boards' terms.
Some object to holding a teleconference vote, as agreed openly and without
substantial objection by the iPNB in LA in March, 2003.
Some would prefer us to fold and go back to court (Judge Sabraw is
expecting to hear we have finished by June 30, what will we say, how will
Some would have us fail in general and see the network taken over by others.
Some would accept any bylaws asap, and some would have the proposed bylaws
written very differently. I imagine all would, actually.
But at some point, we have to pass bylaws and get to the next step:
Elections. The question is why delay? Further delay only brings more
fractiousness and less communication, more frustration and less trust, more
burn-out and less progress, more problems and fewer solutions.
Who's afraid of elections? Who is eager for them? I spell relief:
Date: Tue Jun 10, 2003 7:02 pm
Subject: Pacific Supporters Deserve Inclusivity and Democratic Process Now
Please read this carefully. It raises
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 14:43:09 -0700
To: Dave Fertig
Subject: Pacific Supporters Deserve
Inclusivity and Democratic Process Now
Your argument here is for accountability. But to do so, you have to
assert that you chose not to be accountable. The price we'll pay for
elections later is transparency and openness now. The settlement
agreement charges this iPNB to accountability and urges that "there will
be public comment at the meetings of the Interim Board (including the
possibility for call-ins)." There is no good reason to abandon that
directive at this critical juncture. You need not be elected to be
accountable: you can take that upon yourself. Start by passing the
Bylaws in public forum.
Thursday, June 5: Coincidentally, I suppose, the Chair receives notice
from the Treasurer that the audit will not be ready for the announced
June meeting on the same day that the DLC concludes its work (a meeting
which you left early, Dave).
Friday, June 6: The DLC's written report appears, in plenty of time for
the announced June 20 meeting.
Saturday June 7: Leslie Cagan releases the Treasurer's report and
announces a telephone conference with the expressed intent of delaying
the public meeting.
Monday, June 9: Without proper notice, the iPNB votes to delay the
public meeting until August. On that same day, you take it upon
yourself (there is no mention of a telephone conference in the draft
minutes) to announce that the Bylaws vote would be by telephone.
The iPNB met without proper notice and voted to delay the regular
meeting, just two days after the DLC's report. Were some on the iPNB
hoping that the DLC wouldn't have a report for the June meeting, and
when they managed to do so, the iPNB pulled out a ready-made excuse for
holding the meeting without the listeners' participation?
The announced meeting at the end of June would have been fine, the DLC
report was ready, but the iPNB chose to save itself public accountability.
The iPNB could just as easily have decided to post the audit, which
listeners can do little about, and discuss that by teleconference.
Instead you are asking the listeners to turn the Bylaws process over to
For months, I and many others have urged our LAB to go forward with
KPFA-style elections but have met with no support from you or the iPNB.
Why the rush to elections now? I fear that now, by teleconference and
listener dialogue, is politically expedient, and an open forum in New
York City isn't. Prove me wrong: vote for the Bylaws in the historic
manner they deserve, in front of the listeners, some who've struggled
for years to see that day.
On the other hand, I've been relatively quiet while waiting for
financial accountability, but well over a year has passed and we have no
public disclosure. Carol brought Kimerling, Margulies & Wisdom, LTD to
Pacifica through an anonymous grant in January 2002 for the February
2002 preliminary report. The iPNB retained them in April to do a
complete audit. Was their retention a condition of that grant, or were
bids from other firms solicited? What has Pacifica paid Kimerling,
Margulies & Wisdom to date? Why the repeated, unfulfilled promises of
disclosure promising posted budgets and actuals long before now? Why has
it taken Pacifica longer to get an audit than it did for the U.S.
Congress to get a report on Enron? What new assurances do you have that
a report will really be ready by August 1? Answers to those questions
would go far to demonstrating your accountability.
The iPNB waits with inexplicable patience for an accounting firm, at a
significant cost in dollars and credibility, but you want to rush to
conclude the Bylaws. Are you hoping for LSB candidates to announce
their willingness to assume financial responsibility for the Foundation
without such a report? Or is the auditor's report going to be that
devastating to the iPNB, that you must have the election process up and
running before you reveal it?
You can prove me wrong on all of this, simply by holding the Bylaws vote
and the auditor's report in public fora, with listener participation.
The iPNB has determined that the finances of the Foundation, for which
we are waiting as long as the Bylaws, must be discussed in public. Are
the Bylaws worth less?
KPFK Local Advisory Board