wbai.net Pacifica/WBAI history   events   links   archive   bylaws etc   gov. proposals
PNB   LSB   elections   contact info   opinion   search

Proposal for periodic bylaws review

From: Eve Moser
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 14:29:21 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: The bylaw to end all bylaws

Pacifica's bylaws will establish how the Foundation governs itself. It is essential to get them right. I believe the only way to do that is to assume we won't get them right the first time. In dealing with the bylaws we are disdvantaged by a rigid time constraint; our newness to issues of governance; listener-communities effectively deprived of on-air information about this process and consequent lack of broad participation in bylaws subcommittee work; a settlement agreement that has a small number, mostly unelected, mostly absent from the bylaws subcommittees, decide the bylaws and the rules for electing the very offices they hold.

Even if there were plenty of time, good knowledge of governance issues, abundant opportunity to hear them on the air, participation in bylaws work by a broad spectrum of listeners informed and inspired by what they were hearing on the radio, a decision process that included all interested members of Pacifica's station communities...

...we would still need The Bylaw to End All Bylaws--a bylaw that stipulates a bylaws review every, say, four years, the initial review to take place two years after the adoption of the new bylaws.

A standing bylaws review committee could be initiated by the new PNB and open to any Pacifica voting members interested. (By voting member I mean individuals eligible to vote for members of the PNB and local station boards. Board members are included by [my] definition.)

The bylaws review committee would invite input from the membership on an ongoing basis, as well as making its own evaluation. Three months, say, before the bylaws review convention (or whatever the mechanism), any Pacifica member, group of members, or Pacifica body (e.g., the PNB) could submit proposed bylaws changes to the review committee, which would organize them for dissemination to the whole membership. The membership would vote the proposals in person at the bylaws review convention, or by mail or email or whatever the mechanism. All proposals for bylaws changes, whether from the PNB, from a group of members, or from a single

Pacifica member, would have to be put before the entire membership for ratification (by whatever formula).

In case it isn't obvious, I believe we should respect the bylaws enough to regard them as a work in progress. We need flexibility to fine-tune them over time. The greatest safeguard to their integrity is participation in that process by the greatest number of people who have a commitment to Pacifica and its mission. They and the bylaws deserve no less.

Who's with me here? Comments welcome. Support even more welcome.

Eve Moser

top of page | governance proposals | bylaws etc | home