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Amended Proposed Statement of Principles

From: Bob Lederer
Date: Tue Oct 8, 2002 1:20 pm
Subject: Amended Proposed Statement of Principles

Here is the latest version of the Statement of Principles for the by-laws proposed by the WBAI Unity Caucus. I will be presenting this for a series of straw polls at tonight's meeting of the WBAI Bylaws Revision Subcommittee. This is very similar to the version I presented at a WBAI by-laws meeting back in May, with some modest wording changes. Note that in recognition of Carol Spooner's observation during the recent I-PNB meeting that it is not legal to include an outright prohibition on selling a Foundation asset, the Unity Caucus has agreed on the modified version of #9 included below.

Bob Lederer


STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES This Statement of Principles reflects the deepening of the Pacifica Foundation's understanding of its mission as it proceeds into the 21st Century. Having been born more than fifty years ago amid war and rumors of war, it has been tested in every decade from within by bad ideas and policies as well as by opportunism. Similarly, there have been many serious challenges from the outside by reactionary forces.

However, due to the resolve of many listeners and the stewardship of the iPNB, Pacifica has regained its focus and is now reclaiming its mission. Coupled with the Mission Statement in the Articles of Incorporation, these principles are intended to be unifying tenets by which the Foundation and its membership can more effectively continue to struggle for social change. They will also become a key part of the standard by which all candidates for Station and National Board can be evaluated by voters.

Thus, we propose adding the following language to Article 1, Section 2 - Purposes.

The Pacifica Foundation will maintain a strong noncommercial radio network that:
a. is committed to peace with social justice
b. offers progressive political information and analysis as a tool for positive social, political, economic and cultural change;
c. promotes the most progressive currents of culture, arts and ideas and provides a venue for non-mainstream artistic presentations that are rarely heard on other electronic media;
d. exposes injustice and inequality of all types, both nationally and internationally;
e. educates about the fundamental role of capitalism, corporate globalization and global apartheid in the ecological, social, political and economic devastation of this planet;
f. recognizes the critical importance and provide an outlet for the global grassroots movement for human rights, social and economic justice and sustainable development to the survival of this planet;
g. advances the self-empowerment and self-determination of exploited, oppressed and/or disenfranchised communities, populations and nations;
h. respects the rights of all workers to be treated equitably and respectfully;
i. encourages the free expression of controversial, marginalized opinions; and
j. seeks to involve in its governance and operations individuals committed to these broad principles.

As such, the Foundation commits to the following fundamental guarantees:

1. The Foundation and all of its local stations, in the selection and treatment of staff, national and station board members and appointees to various bodies, and in all programming, shall operate with equity, nondiscrimination, and (where appropriate) affirmative action in terms of race, nationality, language, religion, citizenship status, class, gender, gender identity, sexuality, age, appearance, and ability/disability.

2. Recognizing the centrality of racism in U.S. society and given Pacifica's stated mission "to engage in any activity that shall contribute to a lasting understanding between between nations and between individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors", the Foundation shall foster leadership in all of its national and local management, decision-making and advisory bodies, of people of color from a diverse range of races and nationalities.

3. The Foundation shall strive for gender parity and shall promote women's leadership in all of its structures and programs.

4. All Pacifica facilities, meetings and public events shall be accessible to people with all types of disabilities, as determined by standards including but not limited to those set by applicable local, state and federal laws.

5. Pacifica broadcasters shall have the freedom to discuss, and invite others to discuss, the internal business of the Foundation, with the only permissible limitations being any reasonable, clearly-defined policies the Foundation may establish to restrict personal attacks on anyone and hate speech on the basis of race, nationality, language, religion, citizenship status, class, gender, gender identity, sexuality, age, appearance, and ability/disability.

6. The Foundation recognizes paid and unpaid staff as employees and their right to seek union recognition under a common collective bargaining unit and to contract for their rights. Whenever the paid and/or unpaid staff of any Pacifica unit chooses to be represented by a union, the Foundation shall engage in good-faith negotiations with that union to contract for the terms and conditions of work at that unit.

7. All meetings of the National Board of Directors and the various Station Boards, and any committees thereof, shall be open to the public, except for discussions of personnel, legal or proprietary matters which are permitted to be discussed in executive session, provided that a statement of the reason for the executive session is made public.

8. The Foundation shall accept no funding from for-profit corporations.

9. The Foundation shall not sell any of its radio frequency licenses except upon a four-fifths (4/5) vote by the National Board of Directors and a two-thirds (2/3) vote by four of the five Station Boards and a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all Foundation members in a regular or special election.

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