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

The "hybrid model for elections of local station boards

From: Leslie Cagan
Date: Fri Nov 29, 2002 7:14 pm
Subject: message from Donna Gould

Please share this memo with others.

Members of the IPNB
LAB Chairs - please distribute to your LAB members
Executive Director
Several listseves

FROM: Leslie Cagan

DATE: November 29, 2002

Below is a memo that Donna Gould has asked me to forward to everyone who received her memo dated 11/26. (By the way, Donna asked me to forward these because she did not have the email addresses for the LAB chairs and IPNB members and she is only on one list.) Please note that the second half of her message is the text of what she presented to the IPNB during our meeting in Houston last weekend.

You will also notice that Donna's memo points to several places where her hybrid model is out of date or no longer compatible with where the IPNB stands on a number of issues. She did not mention one very important issue. That is, there was strong (I do not recall right now if it was unanimous but I know it was very strong) support for one election model being established for all five LSBs...we rejected the notion that each station could have it's own election structure.

I also want to take this opportunity to clarify one issue. That is, the LABs were asked by the IPNB to discuss both the KPFA model and the hybrid model and let us know where they stand when the IPNB convenes again in Washington the weekend of Dec. 6,7, 8. Just as the IPNB has taken straw polls and not yet made any binding decisions, what the LABs do during their meetings this week will not be their final chance to vote on this important bylaw matter. There will be another opportunity for the LABs to cast their actual votes on this matter. Although the time line on all of this is not yet worked out, I believe that will happen after the IPNB has completed this phase of its work and is able to pass along to the LABs the whole package, a complete draft of new bylaws.

Finally, I want to thank the LABs for responding to our request to meet before the Dec. meeting in DC. We know this is not easy for everyone and we appreciate the flexibility and spirit of cooperation in making these meetings happen.

from Donna Gould 11/29/02
Response to Critiques of 11/26 Posting of Hybrid Proposal

I feel people are due an explanation of why I presented a hybrid election proposal at the recent IPNB meeting in Houston and an apology for the version that Leslie Cagan posted on 11/26 at my suggestion.

As I stated in the meeting, I presented the model because I hoped that, when considering bylaws relating to the election of LSBs, the IPNB would leave room for this possible compromise proposal to be adopted by WBAI. I was careful to acknowledge that my proposal had not been presented to nor discussed by the WBAI LAB, the WBAI bylaws committee, or the WBAI Unity Caucus. In my view, strong arguments have been made for both the Constituency and the KPFA election models. I think both have strengths and weakness. Recently, the WBAI LAB chose the Constituency Model over the KPFA Model in an 8-3 straw poll with one abstention. The WBAI Bylaws committee most recently chose the KPFA Model over the Constituency Model in a 28-10 straw poll with 2 abstentions. All together, 52 people expressed their preference in these straw polls - a very small proportion of the listener sponsors!

The 500 or so signatures supporting the KPFA Model on the petition circulated by the WBAI Committee for a Unified Membership are some indication of people's preference but they do not necessarily represent choice made in response to thoroughly explicated and discussed presentations of the two models. Were we able to have discussion among a larger number of listeners of these two models and the compromise I offered, we might be able to agree on a compromise which could be supported by a larger number of listeners than either the KPFA or the Constituency Models.

I did not suggest sending the Hybrid Model to the LABS, and I am not sure it was a good idea to do so since it has perhaps not been sufficiently worked out to be ready for their consideration. I merely hoped that the IPNB would not foreclose on the development and considerations of these models in the WBAI listening area by their decisions at the Houston IPNB meeting.

The proposal that Leslie posted was worked on by Bob Lederer, of the Unity Caucus and myself. Our goal was to give the proposal greater clarity and bring it up to date in terms of recent IPNB polls defining membership and staff/listener ratios and the changes that I made when orally presenting it. However, I agree that what we drafted is different from what I presented at the IPNB meeting in both tone and substance.

I believe I was in error in passing on a proposal that differs so from my original proposal. Therefore I am withdrawing the recent version of my proposal entitled "Clarification of "Hybrid" Proposal For Constituency Inclusion in Local Station Boards" and posting the version that was distributed at the Houston IPNB meeting entitled "Hybrid Election Proposal Based on Unity Caucus and KPFA Election Proposals" However, I want to point out a number of ways that it is out of date or incorrect:

1.Paragraph 2 is no longer relevant because in the meeting I verbally accepted the definition of membership selected by the IPNB in Houston. So wherever the text reads "listener-member" it should now read "listener-sponsor member".

2.I said 6 seats would be allotted to staff, but this differs from the IPNB's position on listener/staff ration. According to their current thinking, for a 36 seat board, 9 seats (1/4) would be allocated to staff. Notice I have not adopted their 24 seat limit for LSBs.

3.Paragraph 4 is no longer applicable since there are no subclasses of listener members. Rather, people seeking a constituency nomination could be nominated by 50 listener-sponsors members who declare themselves to be members of the same constituency as the nominee. Under this stipulation, listener sponsor members would not need to register in constituencies. (I have stayed with the 50 signatures instead of 15). This does leave open question of what method, if any, would be used to verify that those nominating a constituency candidate are members of that constituency.

4.Likewise, the section "Quorum and other minimum requirements for registration and voting" is not applicable because there are no longer subclasses of listener members in this proposal. It might still be desirable, however, to specify the minimum number of votes necessary to seat a nominee in a mission constituency.

As you can see, neither I, nor anyone else, has worked out all of the questions that need to be addressed by this model. I apologize for the confusion and consternation I caused by posting the 11/26 version of the Hybrid Model. I hope this posting clarifies the confusion. If you have any questions or comments you can e-mail me at donnagould@e... or better still, call me at (212) 366-9279 as I am not an avid-emailer.

As a final note, I would like to reiterate that the LAB's are not now being asked whether they want to institute these add-on seats for constituencies at their own stations, but merely whether they support authorizing any LAB the option to do so if it chooses.

- By Donna Gould (presented to IPNB meeting 11/23/02)

Because I see advantages and potential problems and shortcomings in the election models of both the KPFA and the WBAI Unity Caucus bylaws proposals, I am offering a hybrid proposal that, in my opinion, combines the best aspects of both proposals. Put simply, it keeps the nomination process of the Unity Proposal but alters its election process to make it more like the KPFA election process. Members of constituencies would nominate constituency representatives. Seats would be set aside for constituencies but all voters would take part in choosing who of the constituency candidates for each seat would fill that seat.

As in the Constituency Proposal, there would be two classes of members: listener members and staff members. "Listener members" would be any natural persons who self-identify as listener and register with the station. "Staff members" would be any natural persons who meet the qualifications for either paid staff or unpaid staff and who register with the station at which they work.

There would still be 36 Local Station Board seats. Fifteen of these would be allotted to the 13 Mission Constituencies described in the constituency proposal. Fifteen would be at large* and 6 would be allocated to staff.

Nomination of Election of Listener Representatives
Nominations for listener representatives to the Local Station Board shall occur during a nomination period which shall include a member's convention at which members may either, in general session or in smaller groups, discuss and pass resolutions on Pacifica issues and encourage or endorse the nomination of members for board seats. Any listener members may be nominated for a board seat by the signatures of 50 listener members who are members of the same subclass as the prospective nominee (either one of the 13 mission constituency classes or the at-large class).

There would be only one election. All listener sponsor members would vote at the same time. The ballot would contain 14 boxes, one for each mission constituency and one for the at-large constituency. The nominees in each constituency would be listed in the box for their constituency. Each listener sponsor member may vote in all of the constituencies. For the mission constituencies in which there is more than one seat, and more candidates than there are seats, voters can indicate their 1st and 2nd choice and the instant runoff method would be used to determine the winners. In the at-large category, if there are more nominees than seats, voters would rank their preferences and the single transferable vote method of proportional representation would be used to determine the winners.

Once the votes were tallied, the same process as used in the KPFA model would be used to ensure at least 50% people of color and at least 50% women are seated.

Nominations & Elections Of Staff Representatives
Any staff member may be nominated for a staff seat by the signatures of 5 staff members who are members of the same subclass (paid or unpaid staff) as the prospective nominee. The staff members for each station area shall elect six representatives who shall sit on the Local Station Board, according to the following breakdown by subclass:
Unpaid staff (4)
Paid Staff (2)

One third of the staff representatives shall be elected annually by the staff members of each radio station area by in-person, secret paper ballot, subject to diversity criteria. The proportional representation "single transferable voting method" shall be used. There shall be a three-week period for balloting and the ballots shall be counted and the election results certified by the Election Board not later than December 29th of each year.

Quorum and other minimum requirements for registration and voting

A. If at the close of the voter registration period, any subclass of listener sponsor membership has not been selected by at least 50 members the registration period will be extended for any such subclass until the day before the start of the election period. If by the start of the election period, a subclass has still not been selected by at least 50 members the Delegate seat or seats assigned to that subclass will remain vacant until the following years election.

B. For purposes of any election or written ballot, a quorum of the members shall be as follows:

a. For the "At large" subclass of listener sponsor members, 10% of those entitled to vote
b. For each of the other subclasses of listener sponsor members at least 50 registered voters
c. For each of the two subclasses of Staff Members, one third of those entitled to vote

C. If an election for any subclass has not fulfilled its quorum by the end of a two week extension, and the minimum ballots cast are still insufficient, the seat(s) for that subcategory will remain vacant until the following election.

top of page | governance proposals | bylaws revisions process info page | bylaws etc | home