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Proposed revisions to KPFA elections/LAB procedures

[ Edward Taylor - KPFK area ]



Revision 1 --- 3-29-2002
(My changes in parenthesis, in Bold and Italics. These are from
my readings of the KPFK Listener's Group, the KPFT iLAB, the Pac
Bylaws, Carl Gunther's comments, and mine, especially in the
replacement of the computerized Choice Vote method with my
district election method of obtaining diversity and a programming
appeals procedure)

5/8/00 ((KPFA) Approved 5/17/00 with two amendments in Sections
B and I )
DRAFT Proposal Guidelines for KPF(K) Elections KPF(K)


(The Pacifica Foundation and Pacifica Radio Stations are dedicated to
providing programming and content to support the diverse needs and
opinions of the communities in which they broadcast, always in concert
with the Pacifica Mission Statement which is the driving philosophical
document of Pacifica. Elected Local Advisory Boards shall be organized
in each station community to provide local oversight and advice to
to Station Management at each station and to act as a conduit for
community input and community empowerment to the station and to the
Pacifica Governing Board.)

(The KPFK Local Advisory Board shall have duties, responsibilities
and powers as derived from the Pacifica Mission, the Pacifica by-laws,
and policies or other statements of the Governing Board. No actions may
be taken by the KPFK Local Advisory Board that would pre-empt, in whole
or in part, the authority or responsibilities of the Pacifica Governing
Board or of the Mission or By-Laws of Pacifica.)


A.1 The KPF(K) (Local Advisory) Board (hereafter Board ) will
(be an elected Board which will) replace and assume the duties
of the current, appointed Local Advisory Board (LAB) on the
conclusion of elections.

(A.2 The Board shall hold at least 4 open meetings each year to
which the public is invited. These meetings shall be publicised
on the station and elsewhere. Other meetings shall be held as
needed. All meetings shall be public unless they are for specifically
authorized reasons. Written notice shall be given to all Board members.
A quorum for any meeting shall consist of more than 1/2 the duly
elected members)

(A.3 The Board shall perform the following functions )

(A.3.1 The Board shall propose, review and approve overall station
programming guidelines that coincide with the Pacifica Mission, and
the needs of the local communities within the station's listening
area. It shall provide the primary forum that the community uses
to influence station policy and content.)

(A.3.2 The Board shall elect representatives to the Pacifica
Governing Board as authorized by the by-laws of Pacifica Foundation.)

(A.3.3 The Board shall review and provide comment to the Pacifica
Governing Board on the performance of the station in general and the station manager
in particular on a regular basis.)

(A.3.4 The Board shall act for the community as an appeals body for
programs, programming content, and programmers whose programs (or
potential programs), or points-of-view are alledged to have been wrongly
rejected or slighted by station management and where satisfaction
cannot be obtained within station management hearings. Any Board
Member (after a personal investigation) can call for a Board hearing
where all relevant parties (including the public) can be called to
testify. A majority vote is required to call a hearing but a 2/3rd's
majority vote is required to overrule an existing station decision.)

(The Board's decision can only be reversed after an equivalent hearing
and 2/3rd's vote by either the Pacifica Governing Board, or a national
body representing all stations appointed by the Governing Board.)

(A.3.5 The Board shall appoint an)
Elections Coordinator who shall not be a station employee or
affiliated with the existing LAB/Board, and who shall/may
appoint an election committee (including a LAB/Board liaison)
to assist him or her in the implementation of these following
election procedures.

(A.3.6 The Board shall select its own officers as needed.)

(A.3.7 The Board shall perform other functions as needed by the
station or as directed by the Pacifica Board.)

(A.4 Limits of Authority: In no case shall the Board have any
authority to exercise control over the day to day management or
operations of the stations.)

(A.5 The Board shall not be paid a salary or stipend.)

(A.6 To minimize conflict of interest, paid staff members shall
not vote on items that concern Staff finances such as salaries, or
personnel decisions they have a inside interest in.)

(A.7 Paid or Volunteer staff shall not be disciplined, fired, or
harassed by Management due to their Board statements or decisions.)

(A.8 The powers of members of the Board may not be exercised by proxy
or the like.)

(A.9 Actions required or permitted to be taken by the Board may
only be taken without a meeting, if all members of the Board shall
individually or collectively consent in writing to such action. Such
written consent shall have the same force and effect as a
unanimous vote of such Directors.)



B.1 The Board shall have (23) members total and consist of 8
Staff representatives and (15) listener/community

"The Board may appoint up to three additional non-voting
members for (3)-year terms, to provide skills missing among
elected members (legal, financial, media, etc.). If possible, such
appointed members should be drawn from among the
candidates who received votes but were not elected."

(B.2) Board members shall be elected for (3)-year
terms staggered in annual elections of (5) members each year,
making (2 or 3) Staff and (5) listener/community representatives
elected annually. For the First election see Section F below on

(B.3) Voters will nominate and vote for candidates
only within their constituency (staff or listener). Within each
constituency, voters will rank the candidates by preference and
their votes will be counted according to the Choice Vote (or
Single Transferable Vote ) method of proportional representation.

Staff Seats:

(B.4) Staff Seating should ensure gender, minority, (unpaid vs paid)
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 (except that balloting
shall be secret and supervised by a disinterested party)

Listener/community Seats:

(B.5) (The Pacifica Mission Statement calls for Pacifica Stations
to be the "Voice for the Voiceless". Thus the goal of the KPFK
LAB is to ensure that as many as possible of the Voiceless Communities
in the listening area are represented in the listener members of
the Board.

The best way so far invented to ensure this goal is via district
elections of candidates. The districts boundaries selected should
maximize the influence of the major racial or ethnic group residing
in that district (See explanation below).

Candidates for election in each district must either reside or work
within that district or reside or work within a specifed distance
(ie. 2 miles) of that district's boundary. These persons have the best
"feel" of the community and are "available to" the community.

The Board will define districts for each of the available listener
seats. Districts will be assigned by ZIP code, by Congressional
Representation and by distance from the station. Voters will vote
only for members within their district.)


(C.1) Qualified voters must be a station staffer or a member of
the electorate as defined by the following four categories:

(C.1.1) Any natural person (and/or the spouse of that person)(as
opposed to organization) who has subscribed to KPF(K) with a $25 or
greater donation in the previous (2)years), defined as the period 1-
months prior to the close of the nominationstart of the campaign
period (Subscriber Member )

(C.1.2) Any natural person who has performed 3 hours of
volunteer work at the station in the previous year, defined as
the period 1-13 months prior to the start of the campaign close
of the nomination period ( Volunteer Member )

(C.1.3) All current programmers, paid staff and unpaid staff at
the station with at least 1 months' tenure (Staff )

(C.1.4) Deleted.

((C.1.5) A long term listener who due to incarceration, disability,
homelessness, or other specific reason beyond his/her control
cannot pay the minimum donation required, and who submits proof
of these facts to the Elections Coordinator or his delegate may
be awarded a ballot for that election only.)

(C.2) In advance of any election and during the Candidate Qualification
Period the KPFK listening public shall be informed of the pending
LAB Elections by at least 6 spot announcements a week which should
include a listing of how to qualify to vote and to qualify to become
a candidate.)


(D.1 Any person with an interest in the mission and goals of Pacifica,
KPFK, and the Los Angeles Community and who has an ability to aid
in its development and in the conduct of its affairs is eligible
to become a candidate for the Local Advisory Board.)
candidate must be a qualified voter as defined by the
three above-described categories (Subscriber Member,
Volunteer Member, or Staff).

(D.2) To be nominated, a candidate must present a nomination
petition endorsed by (25 listener (3 for staff)) qualified
voters to the Election Coordinator by the close of the Nomination
period. Only Staff may nominate Staff candidates, only Subscriber
and Volunteer Members may nominate listener/community candidates.
(In addition a listener candidate must appoint at least 1 endorser
as a contact person and character witness for the public and to work
with the Elections Coordinator on literature, speeches, appearances,

(D.3) Listener/community candidates shall indicate on their
petition if they are (or are not) male or female and "of color" for the
purposes of the election diversity goals outlined in Section (B).

(D.4) The nomination period shall last 45 days, during which
time the Election Coordinator shall arrange (district)
signature-gathering events in ( each election district area); and
over the Internet for on-line listeners. The
Election Coordinator should strive to ensure a full slate of
diverse candidates.

(D.5) The Station General Manager will continue to be an
ex-oficio (non-voting) member of the Board, and
shall not run for an elected Board seat.

(D.6) Deleted.

(D.7) Members of the (Existing non-elected) LAB (only) will be
(allowed to waive the district residence/work requirement for the
first election and only after meeting the petition requirement.)

(D.8) On-Air Personalities (defined as persons who have appeared
more than once a month on KPFK - due to their high profile) shall NOT
be allowed to run for any listener elected seats.)


(E.1) The election (official campaign & voting) period should
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.

Campaign Features:

(E.2) Any of the supporter or other organizations associated
with KPF(K) & Pacifica may make candidate endorsements.
However, KPF(K) & Pacifica, the current LAB, and (in the
future) the seated Board, as entities, are prohibited from
endorsing candidates. (Candidates themselves may NOT purchase
on-air time on any station for endorsement purposes. All
time allocated will be shared fairly and equally between
candidates. Candidates shall NOT accept free campaign air-time
on KPFK or any other stations who does not fairly share the time
between all. No candidate nor any organization supporting
a candidate or slate of candidates shall spend more than
two thousand dollars in advertising to support that candidate
or slate.)

(E.3) KPF(K) 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. Questions should be administered by a non-station
moderator appointed by the Election Coordinator. Each
Ccandidate or their appointed representative shall participate in
at least one of the on-air Q/A forums.

(E.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.(These forums can either be district wide or full
listening area wide. Campaign Information on ALL running candidates
shall be available and prominently displayed at EACH public
forum, even if the candidate is not present.)

(E.5) Any other on-air discussion of the election must be
confined to encouraging people to vote for their 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 meeting as a body.

(E.6) Candidates shall provide brief answers to a set
questionnaire prepared by the Election Coordinator (The LAB
Election Project will provide a list of suggested questions), and
prepare brief statements of qualifications and vision. These
materials shall be used in the on-air forum, posted on an official
election website established by the EC, and mailed with the

(E.7) The Election Coordinator shall solicit from the candidates
and publicly report the following pledges:

(E.7.1) To campaign only using or through the above-
described official media (as above: forums, questionnaire,
and website )

(E.7.2) To disclose those organizations known to be supporting
the candidate's campaign.

(E.7.3 However,) candidates who choose to not make either pledge will
not be penalized.


(E.8) Paper ballots (must be mailed out to all having mailing
addresses and will be mailed out to all eligible voters in each
district on the first day of balloting. The ballot will contain the
names of each candidate in the district. Households containing 2
eligible voters may make and submit 1 copy of the ballot for the
spouse needing the ballot if one is not provided. If a copy is made,
then both ballots should be returned in one overall envelope with
appropriate ballot privacy provided inside. The copy should be marked

(To maximally inform the listener as to the purpose of the Elections,
Pacifica, and the KPFK Local Advisory Board, the ballots shall
contain a statement of the Pacifica Mission and a short statement
as to the functions of a LAB Board Member as well as a list of
candidates. Thus each voter will become fully aware of the
solumnity of his/her vote.)

(E.9) Write-in candidates will be tabulated (but not counted unless
significant and unless directed to by 2/3rd approval vote of the
present Board.)
"None of the Above" will not be an option.

Ballot Distribution:

(E.10) An impartial and reputable group whose primary purpose
is not related to KPF(K) or Pacifica shall be appointed by the
Election Coordinator to be in charge of the balloting process.

(E.11) The Election Coordinator will compile a list of qualified
voters using the station's records. If these records are not
made available to the Election Coordinator or the task proves
otherwise infeasible, then 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 website and then
hardcopies marked and returned as paper ballots.

(E.12) Voters will then mail or hand-deliver completed ballots to
the Election Coordinator by the close of the election period for
verification and counting. (Voters may hand official ballots to persons
specifically appointed by the Elections Coordinator at the station
or at the community sponsored public forums. No copies or
facsimilies will be accepted except as stated above.)

(E.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 & voter name(s) clearly indicated, or shall
report a name & address for each completed ballot
hand-delivered in the presence of an election official.

(E.14 The Elections Coordinator shall make a Formal On-Air Final
Report to the Listeners at the Conclusion of Elections, listing
the Results and any important deficiencies, errors, or open
items resulting. This Report shall be published on the Internet
by the station)

(Swearing In and Approval:)

(E.15) Each elected Board member shall publically swear (or affirm) at
his/her first public board meeting after election that he/she shall:
1: Support and Uphold the Pacifica Mission
2: Consult With and Represent His/Her Community and
His/Her Planet with the Best that He/She can Provide.

(E.16) A two-thirds vote of the (new) Board must ultimately approve any
election. A minimum turnout of 10% of (voters in each district) is
required for (that district's) election to be valid. If the required
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, either validate or invalidate the election (and
elected candidate regardless of total voter turnout.


So that future Boards will be elected in (three) diversity-balanced
staggered cohorts of (3)-year terms, for this first election only, (3)
staff representatives and (5) listener/community representatives
will be seated for 1-year terms (and 3 staff and 5 listener
representatives for 2-year terms)
according to the processes
described in Section (B). (Current LAB members will be seated for
the shortest terms and new members seated for the longest terms
until all seats are filled. Selection shall be by random drawing
except that new members that balance the diversity of the
current lab members shall be preferred.)


(G.1 Board Members can leave due to resignation, incapacitation, or
removal-for-cause. If a Board Member resigns the Board may
appoint a replacement using the guidelines of Section G.3)

(G.2 The Board may replace a member for incapacitation or for cause.
A member that misses (or will miss) 3 sucessive meetings due to
incapacitation may be replaced on a 2/3rd's vote of all Board Members.

A member that does miss 3 sucessive calendar meetings may also be
replaced for cause by a 2/3rd's vote of all Board Members.

A member may be removed-for-cause by a 2/3rd's vote of all Board
Members for "Actions Prejudicial to the Good Standing of the Board"
provided that the the grounds for such removal are submitted with
the notice of said meeting and provided further that the said member
shall have a reasonable opportunity to protest his/her removal.)

If a Board member leaves the Board () during their term (of
office, the Board)
shall consult the most recent election's results
and try to fill the vacancy with the next-ranked candidate in
correspondence with the Board diversity criteria. The
appointee shall complete the remainder of the seat's term.


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 described in Section B) totalling 15%
of the total votes cast in the previous election to force a recall

H.3 Ballots for the recall election should be distributed as
described in section E above. 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 (two-thirds) majority (greater than 67%)
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



Board by-laws may be amended, altered or repealed in whole or in part at
any meeting, provided that the proposed changes have been submitted to
each member of the Governing Board with the notice of the meeting and
provided further that the right of waiver of notice of meeting shall not
apply. In order to be adopted, any proposal must receive the vote of
two-thirds of all members of the Board present and voting or voting by
signed ballot received before the meeting at which the proposal is voted
upon convenes. The Directors voting by mail ballot must attach an
exact copy of the proposal being voted upon to their ballots.)

(Language to be verified from 5/17/00 LAB minutes) Changes
to () election rules can be adopted by a (2/3) vote of the
Board, except those changes which would affect the voting
rights of groups defined in section B, in which case the changes
must be approved by a full vote (referendum) of the


The Election Project was evenly split on including the following:
( Included - "Board may appoint up to three additional non-voting
members ...)

(Deleted - The Election Project was evenly split on removing ...)

(Explanation of "District" Voting Plan

Another way of implementing the "DIVERSITY" requirement
in the KPFK (and other Pacifica) Local Advisory Board
Elections Rules. This method gives the diverse listeners
their choice of candidate without muddying their vote
choice with a computer selection.


All U.S. Congressional Districts within 10-15 miles of
the KPFK Headquarters elects one LAB delegate.

Congressional Districts between 15 and 30 miles away
be combined 2 districts for one LAB delegate.

Districts greater than 30 miles away get one South LAB
delegate and one North LAB delegate.

If this results in an even number of delegates then
an AT-Large delegate is elected.

Finally the station and special candidates get added in.

The government has already fought out this
"MINORITY" debate by creating Congressional Districts
that allow minorities to assert their voting power
by electing "their" choices.

This eliminates the need for a complex and not easily understood
or appreciated computerized method of ensuring "MINORITY" balance
for "ELECTED!" delegates. The balance rules should still stand
for "SELECTED" delegates.


A simplification to using actual Congressional Districts
could be using ZIP Codes instead. Since KPFK has ZIP Codes
for all listeners they can verify these easily but verifying
Voting districts would be harder. Thus even if the listener
may be in a certain voting district he still may Vote for another
delegate slate because of his ZIP code.

Then the Elections Committee can send out "POST CARD" ballots
that are have pre-paid return addresses (they are cheaper). These
"Post Cards" shall ONLY list the candidates in the listerner's
district for him to vote on. Thus the listener pays "Nothing" to
vote and if he doesn't want someone else to see his ballot he
can put it inside an envelope with stamp and send it. The Post
Office is VERY unlikely to "STEAL" or "FORGE" his vote I believe!

Finally to run in a district, a candidate must either live in the district
OR live outside but within 1 mile of a district. This allows a
small amount of "poaching" (i.e. the candidate rich "West Side"
to "loan" some of their largess to neighboring districts) but
ensures that one district cannot "GOBBLE UP" all the seats. And
the chosen outside district candidate is still "close enough"
to his district to know what's going on!

Thus maximum "Listener Diversity!" with minimum "Hassle!".)

Edward Taylor

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