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

Defining the local station board

From: Berthold Reimers
Date: Wed Apr 17, 2002 5:59 pm
Subject: Local Advisory Board/Station Board's function

As promissed from my previous e-mail, below is a vision of the Lab's function and how that can be related to the criteria for candidates to the Board. Please note this document was created before we took the network back from the hijackers.

Thank You

The New Station Board
Early tasks :
Pre-dissolution of the PNB
Organize itself :
1. Election of officers
2. Definition of role of officers
3. Formalization of meeting procedures
4. Schedules of events - Fund raising, meetings
5. Sub-committees
6. Arbitrate/monitor quality of programms with listeners

Temporary guidelines : pending development of by-laws by elected board

Self-Education :
1. Station issues
2. Outreach to listeners : e.g. Organize listener informationals
3. Evaluate election process and outcome
4. Redesign and conduct second election

Post-dissolution of the PNB
- Send two reps who continue to be members of the local board to the PNB
- Monitor decision making and process of the PNB
- Fund raising - no grants (specially from CPB)
- Hire and fire the General Manager in consultation with staff and listener/listener group
- Participate with staff and listeners in the establishment of a program committee and the hiring of the Program Manager
- Report to listener in unison sometimes with station's management

I - Station Board Composition and Term
- Listener vote for listener and staff vote for staff - Proposal for proportional representation for staff as well
- 17 Listener seats and 5 producer seats
- Three year term -term limit?

II - Job Description of a Local Board Member
(Derived from Pacifica By-Laws as of 1998)

The elected station board will act as the duly constituted local station advisory board for WBAI. Membership on the Board involves attending Board meetings at least bi-monthly as well as participating in committee meetings. The Board is designed to assist and advise the general manager: including input on approved plans and the budget; to be a bridge between the station and the listener community; to participate in fundraising activities; to participate in the search and evaluation of the station manager; and to perform other related tasks. Chief among these, and a central part of the Board function, is to assess the needs of the communities that WBAI was founded to serve and whether programming meets those needs.

Summary - Wishfull thinking
- Elect two members to PNB
- Attend board meetings bi-monthly
- Participate actively in a committee and attend its meetings
- Assist and advise the Station Manager
- Report to listeners and the community
- Evaluate the station's achievement as related to the Pacifica original mission :
  1. Meeting the programming needs of the community
- Actively initiate and participate in fundraising for the station
- Assess the needs of the community and make recommendations to program director (group) and review the assessment annually
- Actively assist in the expansion of the listenership, especially in the under-represented communites
- Liaison between WBAI and other signal areas
- Represent the station before the communities-world
- Receive and consider public input into planning and decision-making in developping programming which meets the needs and interests of the community
- To serve on a panel with listeners, who assist and the station board in the differentiation of hate speech from other speech, which panel to be convened if and when ever such consideration becomes necessary, arising from a crisis on or off the air
- Contribute expertise i.e. Law, accounting, organizing, ...
- Appoint a standing committee to prepare and present a report to the listeners, annually, for approval (a mission review). The mission review would evaluate the station's achievement in :
    1. Conforming to the founding principles of the Pacifica Foundation
    2. Meeting the programming needs of the community
    3. Meeting its programming goals
    4. Providing educational and cultural services to the community

Advisory Notes: Candidates should be aware of the history and current issues and climate of struggle surrounding WBAI, the Board, and the National Governing Board. Candidates not immediately seated to a two-year term in this election may subsequently be seated as vacancies occur. Until a by-law change in February 1999, the Board elected 2 of its members to the National Governing Board. Currently, the Board has taken on the additional task of democratizing itself.

III - Candidate Pledge
As a candidate for the WBAI station board, I pledge to observe the following in order to keep the process as open, accountable and fair as possible:
1. I will complete the ballot questionnaire in its entirety and make every reasonable attempt to participate in the official candidates' on-air forum.
2. If I have any access to the airwaves, at WBAI or elsewhere, or to mass communication outlets of any sort, not to use that access to promote my candidacy for this board, and to campaign only through use of the official media provided.
3. If I am participating in the election committees, I will fully disclose the nature of those activities, and desist from any that are, or are perceived to be, a conflict of interest.
4. I will disclose fully any organizations that are known to be supportive of my campaign.

This candidate pledge

Date _____________________________________________________________________

IV - Questionnaire and Statement for Candidates for Election to the WBAI Local Station Board Candidates:
Use a separate sheet to answer the questions below and for your statement; electronic submissions with hardcopies are welcomed. The Election Committee must receive a completed petition, pledge sheet, questionnaire, and statement by ______________. Please give honest, considered, concise and visionary responses to the seven questions below. Your responses will be posted on the Election website, will be mailed to the voters and will provide a basis for discussion during the planned forums. (Please make and keep copies of any documents that you send us.)

Questions : (Should all questions be optional?)

1. Please state your race, sex, ethnic background, your mother language, ...?
2. Please provide a brief background statement with the skills, experiences and connection with the station that you would bring to this Board as a member?
3. The impetus to democratize the WBAI Board has come from community recognition of the importance of preserving and protecting this station - now and into the future. Please describe briefly your perception of the value of WBAI to THE New York Metropolitan area?
4. Describe a program you would like presented on the air and why?
5. How could the station better serve its listeners?
6. What, in your opinion, is the proper role and responsibilities of a Board member?
7. Describe some actions you would take to increase the influence of the station in under-represented communities (linguistic, ethnic, cultural etc) and to increase the diversity of the listening audience?
8. How do you envision the station board working with Pacifica, WBAI, the community and handling internal issues?
9. What local communities have you been active in, if any ?
10. Did you pledge money to WBAI these past 10 years ?
11. Did you pledge to the movement against the corporate take over of Pacifica ?
12. What do you think of the struggle at WBAI ?
13. What do you think of the news at WBAI before the take over by Utrice Leid?
14. What do you think of the news at WBAI after the take over by Utrice Leid ?
15. List five favorite shows you listen to if any
16. Do you think candidates should be endorsed by Labor Union?
17. What constituency do you hope to represent ?
18. What is your definition of constituency?
19. What is your political platform if any?
20. What do you think of reparation and how do you feel about America's position vis--vis reparation?
21. How do you feel about the American Healthcare system?
22. In one word or one sentence, describe the role of the USA in the world today?

V - Candidate Statement

In addition, please provide a concise 150-word statement which will be included in the ballot materials mailed to all voters and posted on the website. Again, please use a separate sheet; electronic submissions with hardcopies are welcomed.

top of page | governance proposals | bylaws etc | home