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Proposed "Hybrid" elections model

I have been informed by the author that the below elections procedure proposal is still not the proper version of the "hybid" proposal. It is the substantially different than the the document presented to the interim Pacifica national board and approved to be circulated to the 5 local advisory boards. Yet, it is what was sent for distribution by Donna Gould and the WBAI "unity caucus", a small minority of WBAI staff and listeners who have been effectively holding up the bylaws revision process for the entire Pacifica foundation with their various demands.


Hybrid elections proposal - final version
"Original" version of Gould hybid model
analysis of this version


During the meeting of the Interim Pacifica National Board this past weekend we were offered something called the Hybrid Proposal. This was presented by Donna Gould, a NYC listener activist who has been involved in the bylaws revision committee in that city.

Below is a clarification/explanation of the proposal from Donna. She asked me to help circulate her memo so everyone can read it for themselves. Please feel free to pass this along to others.

Leslie Cagan


I am a longtime listener activist at WBAI, have been active with the Bylaws Revision Committee, and am unaffiliated with any of the bylaws-related advocacy groups. The following is a clarification of my "hybrid" by-laws proposal, which the iPNB has asked all LABs to review, along with the KPFA model. My proposal follows the KPFA elections model with the addition that it permits each outgoing Local Advisory Board, IF IT CHOOSES, to add - within set guidelines - other elected seats to insure inclusion of Listener-Sponsor Members from particular disenfranchised and geographic communities. These seats would be voted on by all Listener-Sponsor Members.

This is an important way of fulfilling Pacifica's mission to promote dialogue about the causes of racial and national antagonisms, by assuring that members of communities traditionally locked-out by society have a seat at the table of station governance. This plan is a compromise or "hybrid" between the KPFA election model and the "Constituency Model" which was proposed by the WBAI Unity Caucus.

Under this proposal:

1. The KPFA model - at-large elections via mail ballots for Listener-Sponsor Member and Staff Member seats, using proportional representation and diversity goals so that the results include at least 50% women and at least 50% people of color - is to be followed by all 5 stations as the foundation of their systems for electing Local Station Boards.

2. In addition, each outgoing LAB has the option to add other elected seats on the new Local Station Board to guarantee inclusion of Listener-Sponsor Members (according to the KPFA definition) from up to 13 disenfranchised communities and up to 4 geographic regions within the signal area. Candidates for such seats would be nominated by signatures of 50 Listener-Sponsor Members who self-identify with the relevant community or geographic region (but would not have to register with the station as such). These nominees then appear on the general ballot (grouped according to their community or region in a separate section from the at-large candidates). Listener-Sponsor Members would have the opportunity to vote in every category of communities and regions, as well as in the at-large category. Candidates who are part of a disenfranchised community may choose to run either for their community's designated seats or as at-large candidates.

3. Whether or not the above is adopted, each outgoing LAB could determine the size of the new Local Station Board, choosing a range of between 16 and 36. (The iPNB's straw poll supported granting LABs the choice of between 16 and 24 members.) I believe that the larger number should be available to those LABs who want to allow more leeway to maximize the diversity of Listener-Sponsors on the new Local Board. Experience of people serving on large non-profit boards (up to 50) shows that meetings of such boards -- if well-run under a clear set of guidelines -- can be both efficient and democratic, while providing many more committed people to do the important work of numerous committees. I would request that when each LAB votes on this, if a ceiling of 36 fails, the LAB also vote on ceilings of 32 and 28.

Please be aware that if any LAB expresses straw-poll support for this by-laws proposal, it is NOT necessarily agreeing to adopt either of these add-on provisions at its own station. Rather, it is merely supporting by-laws that authorize any LAB the OPTION to do so if it so chooses.

I think it's important that any LAB have the opportunity to try this approach at this time, knowing that we can all evaluate it and compare it to the KPFA model at the Pacifica by-laws convention (which the iPNB has recommended occur some time after the first round of elections). At that convention, a permanent Local Board election system can be recommended for a vote by the Listener-Sponsor Members.


I hope that LAB members will give serious consideration to the concepts behind these proposals. I am now formulating specific by-laws language which I will post as soon as I can. If you find particular aspects of this proposal problematic, please let me (and everyone, through the Pacifica bylaws listserve) know ASAP which parts you would change, and how, as I am open to modifications. You can send comments or questions to donnagould@earthlink.net

Looking forward to further dialogue, Donna Gould

Background info:

Example of constituencies that could be granted designated seats on Local Boards:
1. African Ancestry
2. Asian & Pacific Islanders
3. Latinos
4. Native/Indigenous
5. Arabs & Muslims
6. Immigrants
7. Rank-and-file Labor & Unemployed Workers
8. Youth
9. Women
10. People with Disabilities
11. Prisoners
12. Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered
13. Cultural Workers (Artist/Arts Community)

Geographic regions that could be granted designated seats on Local Board (examples, for illustration only, from WBAI signal area):
1. New York City
2. New Jersey
3. Long Island
4. Upstate New York/Connecticut

Hybrid elections proposal - final version

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