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Apportionment of powers
[ written last year, posted here 2-24-02 ]

Draft Proposal
for a sensible apportionment of powers amongst (a) the Pacifica National Board, (b) the Local Station Board and (c) the Station Staff and Listening Community

Because Pacifica was created to serve needs of its listeners, it is the listeners who should determine what those needs are, and how best to satisfy them.

It shall be a guiding principle that the National Board exists to serve the Local Stations, not the other way around. The powers of the National Board flow upward from the Local Station Boards, which in turn derive their powers, and their legitimacy, from the listening community they were created to serve.

The will of the listeners shall be exercised through Local Station Boards, directly elected* [see end of document] by each station's listener-supporters and staff. Seats on the Local Station Board shall be apportioned between listener-supporters and the paid and unpaid staff of the station.

The Local Station Board shall regulate the operation of the station, including programming, staffing and budget. It will do so primarily by selecting and appointing a Station General Manager, who will be directly answerable to the Local Station Board.

Each Local Station Board shall elect, from its own members, two who will simultaneously serve on the National Board as Directors of the Pacifica Foundation. The National Board shall be responsible for formulating network policy, developing national programming, performing miscellaneous administrative functions, and coordinating activities between individual local stations.

The National Board or its Executive Director may not directly intervene in the day-to-day conduct of local station affairs, nor overrule policy, staffing or programming decisions of the Local Board, except by a 3/5 majority vote of all the members of the National Board. This majority vote, however, may be appealed by the Local Board to a special plenary session of all the Local Boards (by phone or email if necessary), whose members shall vote as individuals, and whose 3/5 majority vote will be final. (Each Local Board should therefore have the same number of members.)

The Local Station Manager shall be empowered by the Local Board with full responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the station, including programming, staffing and budget. However, listener-supporters or staff may appeal decisions of the Station Manager to the Local Board, or, if necessary, even to the National Board, under an appropriate facilitating procedure to be created.

Local stations shall maintain their own bank accounts and prepare their own budgets, subject to oversight and professional revue from the National Board, under appropriate conditions and guidelines to be created.

Local stations shall be responsible for raising their own revenues, which shall be derived solely from the subscriptions of its listener-supporters and whatever additional donations may be contributed during fund-raising events or in other acceptable ways. A station may not accept any donation over $50,000(?) from an individual source, nor accept monies or support from any government agency, corporation, foundation or institution, unless so voted by a 3/5 majority of National Board members, and then only after full disclosure and open debate before the listening public.

The National Board shall prepare its own budget, which must be accepted by a 3/5 majority of all the Local Boards, whose members will vote as individuals. The National Board may not raise or solicit funds on its own, but rather will be dependant for its budget upon a subsidy remitted from each station. The amount remitted to the National Board by each station will reflect that station's resources and finances, and will be approved not by the National Board by but a 3/5 majority vote of all the members of all the Local Boards voting as individuals.

Local Station Board members, or, if necessary, the entire Local Station Board, may be recalled or removed by direct vote of the station's listener-supporters, under procedures to be created.

National Board members, or, if necessary, the entire National Board, may be recalled or removed, either by the Local Boards that appointed them, or by a combination of Local Boards, or - if ultimately required - by direct vote of listener-subscribers throughout the entire Pacifica network, under procedures to be created.

* Listener Elections
shall be conducted (a) to encourage maximum participation by the community, (b) to enfranchise and empower the disenfranchised, (c) to assure a selection of Board Members who equitably reflect the gender, color, culture and economic status of the community, and (d) to forestall any possibility that the elections could be "hijacked" by right- wing or anti-progressive elements hostile to the agreed-upon mission of the Pacifica Foundation.

[From Steven Brown, WBAI listener]

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