Report from iPNB conference call meeting
[ audio of this meeting at: http://radio4houston.org/ipnb.mp3 ]
From: Carol Spooner
"Technical Problems" at WBIX. Radio4Houston did webcast the meeting live & recorded it ... they will upload the recording to both Radio4Houston & Radio4All ... and will send me the web links to distribute to all who want to hear it.
Bottom line ... the board just voted "to direct the executive director to cease and desist from all action and planning to move of the national office to Berkeley until further direction from the board."
The vote was 7 for the motion to 4 opposed
Marion Barry was on the call and spoke for the motion, but got disconnected or something, and was not present for the vote.
Janice K. Bryant and Dick Gregory were absent from the meeting.
Subject: Request for Special Meeting
August 16, 2002
The February, 2002 report to the Board by Ross Wisdom of Kimerling, Margulies and Wisdom, Ltd., states on page 5, in sections 1.4.3 a-d:
The Board's Treasurer, Jabari Zakiya has repeatedly advised Board members against proposals to move the Headquarters until financial and management stability have been realized.
During last June's Pacifica Foundation national meeting, Mr. Wisdom was unequivocal in cautioning the Board not to move its financial offices before the process of financial restructuring is complete. He counseled the chair, specifically, when you asked if the process would be completed in six months that, " it will take as long as it takes."
Many of us took exception to the rushed and arbitrary manner in which the vote was taken on moving Pacifica's headquarters from D.C. back to Berkeley. It prevented the board from being able to consider and debate its fiduciary responsibilities in this matter and calculate the impact of the move. We need not remind you of the inflammatory language and rabid behavior that were necessary to browbeat members of the Board into taking this action - an action that even our independent accountant has cautioned the board against.
Now, it has come to our attention that members of the board are dangling offers by certain parties to loan or contribute large amounts of money to Pacifica in order to effect the move immediately. (The direct costs of a headquarters move have been estimated by the Treasurer as being in the $200,000 to $300,000 range - at a minimum.) Indeed, these offers appear very much like the familiar practices of offering "bucks-for-legislative-and-regulatory giveaways" that corporations use to co-opt national legislators, who should be doing the peoples' business here in Washington.
We are also concerned that Pacifica listeners for whom this move has become a causus belli may have established financial relationships with board members as a result of monetary contributions made to defray the costs of lawsuits, prior to December, 2001. If this is the case, we feel such financial transactions should be fully disclosed. It's also of considerable concern, if well-heeled listeners - no matter how well-intentioned - are indirectly influencing policy matters or are perceived to be determining critical decisions that belong under the sole jurisdiction of the Board.
Further, Dan Coughlin has circulated a memorandum to Pacifica staff in the national office, to the effect that, the move to Berkeley, which must be completed by January, must begin in September - in other words, staff must begin looking for other work mmediately. This has created an environment of tension and anxiety that has already led to the precipitous exit of at least one employee whose absence compromised the office's operations during the week of August 14th.
In sum, we regard attempts to press the Board into approving this move, without full consideration of its fiduciary responsibilities, as being in direct conflict with the Foundation's health and well-being. The offers of payment by "anonymous" parties to pay for such a move does not pass the "smell test".
Accordingly, we request that the board convene a special meeting to consider our proposal that the Board instruct the Executive Director to suspend all discussion of such a move until the Board has a chance to discuss the timing and conditions of such a move at the upcoming meeting in Houston.
Response to the above letter:
August 21, 2002
To Pacifica Board Members Rob Robinson, Jabari Zakiya, Teresa Allen, George Barnstone, James Ferguson, and Bertram M. Lee Sr.
We write in response to the letter that you emailed on August 16 to the other members of the Pacifica Board under the title 'pacquidproquo.doc'. For your convenience we attach that email to this one.
The ostensible purpose of your message is to request a special meeting of the interim Pacifica Board to reconsider the return of the Pacifica National Office to California. Your letter, however, goes well beyond the requirements of its nominal purpose. In it you accuse iPNB members and us of misconduct unrelated to the return of Pacifica's office to Berkeley.
Despite the fact that you make your accusations and implications in a letter that you did not share with us - hoping, no doubt, to spare yourselves the burden of having to face our defense - we insist that you and the other board members to whom you have sent them hear this point by point response.
There is so much innuendo in what you have written that we hardly know where to start our response. Let us begin with your incredible effort to pose as having only recently learned of our offer to fund the return of the Pacifica National Offices to Berkeley. You write: 'Now, it has come to our attention that members of the board are dangling offers by certain parties to loan or contribute large amounts of money to Pacifica in order to effect the move immediately'. And you write: 'The offers of payment by "anonymous" parties to pay for such a move does not pass the "smell test".
These two sentences are dense with false and misleading implications. We suppose you choose to depict yourselves as only 'now' discovering the offer to fund the return of Pacifica's offices to California in order to leave the impression that the information was unavailable when the board decided to return the office to California at its meeting in March. We can understand why you would want to create the appearance of a valid reason for dragging the board into still another reconsideration of this difficult and divisive issue. But your distortions go on to malign innocent people and for that reason they don't, to borrow your own deliberately insulting phrase, pass the "smell test".
A loan has never been at issue. And there has never been any suggestion of an offer to contribute large amounts of money to Pacifica in exchange for an agreement to authorize the move. An offer to cover the cost of returning Pacifica's offices to Berkeley was indeed made. It was made, not by the shadowy anonymous parties your letter manufactures, but by Barbara Lubin on behalf of Friends of Free Speech Radio in the presence of the entire interim Pacifica Board and in a room filled to capacity and beyond with triumphant Pacifica supporters in New York City last January. The meaning and the purpose of our offer was and is clear and there is no dangling involved: the cost of the move did not have to be a factor in the board's decision about whether or not to make the move. Your very odd statement to the contrary notwithstanding, our offer to raise the money is not even remotely like 'the familiar practices of offering "bucks-for-legislative-and-regulatory giveaways" that corporations use to co-opt national legislators, who should be doing the peoples' business here in Washington.'
'We are also concerned' you go on to say 'that Pacifica listeners for whom this move has become a causus belli may have established financial relationships with board members as a result of monetary contributions made to defray the costs of lawsuits, prior to December, 2001. If this is the case, we feel such financial transactions should be fully disclosed. It's also of considerable concern, if well-heeled listeners - no matter how well-intentioned - are indirectly influencing policy matters or are perceived to be determining critical decisions that belong under the sole jurisdiction of the Board'.
First of all, kindly admit that your coy reluctance to mention our names is crap. Everyone to whom this letter is addressed knows or will immediately find out that you are referring to us. No other Northern California non-board members raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the lawsuits and Rob Robinson has complained for years about what he claims is our pernicious influence to anyone who would listen. And kindly admit that the phrase 'no matter how well intentioned' doesn't and clearly isn't honestly intended to soften the callous defamation intrinsic to your suggestion that we are taking part in the selling and buying of influence.
You challenge us to disclose financial relationships which 'may have been established with board members'. Let's pass over, for a moment, the fact that you issue this challenge in a letter you never sent to us. Is there anyone among you who doesn't know that Friends of Free Speech Radio raised all of the money to pay for the lawsuit which had board members Cagan, Bramson, and Moran as plaintiffs? Most of us who were involved in the legal part of the free-Pacifica effort emerged from the long and trying period of litigation and negotiation with a deep mutual understanding, respect, and trust. Enduring relationships were, indeed, established at that time. They are not improper and no improper relationship has ever existed. The implication that our connection is based on hidden financial obligations is despicable and false. Shame on all six of you for so recklessly circulating this untrue and corrosive charge.
You caution the board about 'well heeled listeners' who you pretend to be too considerate to name and who you suggest may be determining policy with largesse. When some writers on the email lists began referring to Robbie as an 'unnamed' "well-to-do white man'" we trusted that their ad-hominem slurs would be seen for the inappropriate tactics that they were and chose not to rise to the bait. Sadly, your willingness to echo the same put-down confers the imprimatur of six members of the Pacifica National Board to this ugly and counterproductive tactic.
Your letter charges us with browbeating board members and with engaging in inflammatory language and rabid behavior. And you claim that the truth of this charge is so obvious that you need not provide particulars. Nonsense.
There were strong emotions and there was heated discussion around the issue of whether to return the office to California at the meeting in New York, at the meeting in Los Angeles, and during the time between the two. In these turbulent times in the life of this foundation members of the Pacifica Board should expect to find themselves at the center of intense debates and even conflicts. You have accepted leadership positions in a large and beloved organization which has hundreds, even thousands, of impassioned stakeholders who have sacrificed to defend it. In accepting your position you accept a responsibility to hear the thoughts and learn the feelings of those stakeholders. The return of the Pacifica National Office to California was one of the first rallying cries of our movement. The powerful feelings which came to be focused around our core demands helped us fight on through the three years of grueling and sometimes heartrending effort. We understand that you are discomforted by the strength of our feelings and that you very much would prefer us to make it easy for you to ignore them. But your claim is false; advocates of the return of Pacifica's offices to Berkeley did nothing which can fairly be characterized as rabid or even inflammatory.
Ironically, we are aware of only one example of what we believe an objective observer would describe as inflammatory behavior in regard to this issue. We have not brought it forward before and intended never to do so. But having wrongly and publicly accused us you must now learn about it. At the close of the board meeting in New York iPNB member Rob Robinson let it be known that he exulted in the success of his campaign to derail an immediate decision to return the National Office to Berkeley calling our disappointment 'payback (to Pacifica activists from northern California) for fucking me in the ass'. Board member Robinson made certain that we understood that he had exacted revenge for real or imagined offenses against him on other issues at other times. Such talk of 'payback' is calculated to inflame. It threatens to pollute future board deliberations and Pacifica-wide debates by bringing toxic personal vindictiveness into the foreground of discussions of issues that ought to be considered only from the perspective of the interests of and the mission of the foundation.
You gravely warn your comrades on the board that 'there is considerable concern' about outside influence. You clearly imply wrongdoing on our part but you fail to muster the integrity to make a plain and answerable charge. It is 'of concern', you say, that an unnamed but implied 'some' 'may be perceived' (by parties you don't identify and you're not absolutely saying even exist), to be in some way (which you fail to name) determining unspecified but nonetheless critical decisions! This is world-class fudging. Malice meets cowardice. When one sorts through this craven double-talk all that remains is your assertion that suspicion equals guilt. You don't even say that it is you who harbor the suspicion. We are left to imagine that it is just floating out there in space unattached to any human beings.
Unfortunately, our country and the world are entering into the era of George W. Bush and John Ashcroft. We can expect that there will be no shortage of unsupported and unsupportable charges issued from on high and in controlled venues plaguing progressives during the next period. We are saddened to witness you six members of the Pacifica Board bring the standards of that oncoming era into Pacifica's internal dialog. This is a time when progressive people have to hold fast to whatever truth we can find and put aside self-indulgent vindictiveness in the interest of creating an institution that can and will speak truth to brutal power.
Much as you don't like the decision to move Pacifica's offices back to California it was not, as you claim, made in haste. It was postponed at the New York board meeting to allow time for board members to consider and discuss the issue. If a history of heated debate about a question critical to Pacifica's future and a barrage of reckless charges and innuendoes such as those you level at us in your letter will suffice as grounds for invalidating decisions made by the Pacifica Board this unfortunate foundation can not count on ever being able to get past any difficult decision.
You owe us and you owe the members of the Pacifica Board who you have maligned an apology. We deserve to see that apology circulated in the same manner that you circulated your reckless charges. If no apology is offered we will ask the board to publicly disavow your letter, to censure you, and in so doing clear our names.
We founded Friends of Free Speech Radio in 1999 to fund and support the struggle to free Pacifica and over the years FFSR has provided financial aid to a fair number of individuals. On several occasions critical activists have become financially vulnerable as a result of their participation in the struggle. FFSR has paid health insurance bills for those fired by the old Pacifica, travel expenses to struggle related meetings and conferences, telephone bills and other movement related expenses for such people when they couldn't afford to pay for themselves.
In response to your demand that we reveal financial help that we have provided to Pacifica board members we submit the following information. We hasten to preface this information with the assurance that no quid pro quo was ever expected or offered. We provided help; there were no strings attached.
Before any lawsuits were filed board members Robinson and Kreigle were concerned that they may make themselves legally vulnerable by actions they were taking or considering as dissident board members. They wanted to consult an attorney for advice but were not able to absorb the cost. Robinson and Kreigle asked Friends of Free Speech Radio to help. The request amounted to asking for personal rather than foundation or litigation expenses but FFSR paid the fees. The bill was nearly $10,000.
We have never even imagined receiving a quid pro quo for providing this support. There is no reason to suppose that board member Robinson has been compromised by having accepted this financial help.
We are and always have been confident that Rob Robinson would never permit a sense of indebtedness for that aid to interfere with the independent exercise of his fiduciary duties as a member of the Pacifica National Board.
Anyone who says otherwise would be doing Mr. Robinson and Friends of Free Speech Radio a gross injustice.
From: Leslie Cagan
Please feel free to share this with others.
Why I will vote NO on Friday.
Tomorrow, 8/30/02, the IPBN will convene in a specially called meeting to discuss whether or not the issue of moving Pacifica's national office back to Berkeley should be re-considered at the board meeting in Houston the third weekend of Sept. I will vote no on this question, and want to explain some of my reasons for doing so. (The conference call/meeting will be webcast on www\.wbix.org beginning at 2 pm east coast time on 8/30/02.)
To begin, and very importantly, the IPNB already made this decision. At our meeting in NYC in mid-January the issue was raised, but because there was not enough time for the Board members to consider the issue and discuss it fully, the item was put on the March meeting in Los Angeles. There was open discussion of the issue at that meeting and a vote was taken. The decision was made to move the office as soon as it was feasible and no later than the end of this calendar year.
Some on the IPNB now say there was not enough time for a thorough discussion of the issue. In addition to the time at two meetings, any and all Board members were free to discuss their concerns between those meetings. Perhaps even more importantly, the issue of moving the national office back to its home in Berkeley was on the movement's agenda since January, 2000 when those formerly in charge of Pacifica packed it up one night and moved everything to Washington, DC.
In the year or so before the settlement agreement a series of "demands" were brought together. These demands had wide agreement and deep support throughout the five listening areas. One of those demands was the return of the national office to Berkeley. So, while the issue was on the IPNB agenda twice, it actually was on the movement's agenda a lot longer! One of the arguments now used to re-open the issue was that there was not full enough investigation into the costs and other details related to a move. I believe the IPNB does have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interests of the Foundation...and that does mean taking into account the financial implications of our decision. It also means grounding our projections costs in reality.
While I have not been able to investigate all of the specifics, here are some initial estimates I've gotten:
(a) Bekins, a bonded moving company estimates that 100 boxes of files & 8 computers should come to a total weight of about 3080 pounds. They would package everything and ship it via air for a total cost of $4,100. So, even if we end up with 200 boxes and 20 computers, the shipping would be no more than $10,000.
(b) There is no need to move office furniture - it is much more cost
effective to buy used furniture in the Bay Area. One distributor gave me
Yes, there are other costs related to a move - severance packages for present staff in Washington, DC, setting up new phone systems, etc. But there is no way this can come to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that some people are claiming.
By the way, we really cannot forget the commitment made by activists in the Bay Area to raise the money needed for the move. I assume they meant the immediate costs of shipping, etc. but this is a serious commitment and one that will certainly deal with many of the real expenses.
I also believe, very strongly, that our decisions must be guided by our political commitment. How does this translate to the issue of moving the office?
One of our responsibilities as the IPNB is to help right the wrongs that were committed in recent years, to help bring Pacifica back as a mission-driven network. In this context, it made perfect sense that we decided in January to return the fired and banned to WBAI in NYC and to call for the combining of the ILAB with the old LAB in Houston. It made perfect sense that we took action to change the managers at the radio stations. And it also makes perfect sense that we return the office to Berkeley. This is one more step in re-claiming Pacifica and undoing the wrongs so we can start out in a new, forward looking direction.
I believe we have a very competent national staff. I have no doubt that they will take every step possible to make sure the move is done in an orderly fashion with as little disruption to the ongoing work as possible, and as cheaply as possible. The IPNB made its decision - now we need to turn the implementation over to the staff.
Some have argued that we can move the national office to Berkeley, but we should leave the finance office in Washington, DC. I do not agree. I believe our financial realities bear on our programmatic decisions (not be confused with programming), and that our financial decisions must reflect our organizational priorities and commitments. While in the past the finance office was in LA and the rest of our national operation was in Berkeley, I do not agree that is the model for the new Pacifica. We need a more integrated approach to all aspects of our work and so keeping the various parts of the national office in one location makes the most sense to me. (That is not to say that all functions must always come out of one office - just that at this time in the life of Pacifica I believe the financial office and the executive office should be together.)
The IPNB meeting in Houston in three weeks will have to address several major, and most likely time consuming, issues: bylaws, FY03 budgets and other financial matters, work around the network on issues of race and nationality, etc. I believe our time should not be used re-visiting a decision that has already been made. We, the new Pacifica, need to make decisions and then implement them. We need to be forward looking and not always going back over items already discussed and voted on. Finally, the issue came up two weeks ago when several members of the IPNB sent me (and everyone else on the board) a memo requesting a special meeting to discuss this. When I became chair of the IPNB I promised everyone on the board that I would honor requests for special meetings, and have done so in each instance. That request came in the form of a memo which went much further than asking for a meeting...a copy of the memo is included below. That memo was riddled with innuendo and assumptions and the signers of the memo have been asked to both apologize for their attacks and be specific if they have charges to make against anyone. To date, neither of those has happened.
I raise this here because I think everyone should have a full picture of the context that tomorrow's conference call will take place in. No, I do not want to aggravate an already difficult process - but I do want to encourage honesty and directness as we discuss this issue.
For sure, I will not be the only member of the IPNB voting no tomorrow. I want to encourage those members of the board who are not sure to also vote no. Let's move on.
----- Original Message -----
To the Members of the interim Pacifica Board:
We write as individuals who have been dedicated to the mission of Pacifica.
There is not time to convene our LABs prior to the special iPNB meeting we just received notice will take place on August 30th to consider the proposal of board members "that the Board instruct the Executive Director to suspend all discussion of such a move [to Berkeley] until the Board has a chance to discuss the timing and conditions of such a move at the upcoming meeting in Houston."
The iPNB discussed the move of the national headquarters at the New York meeting in January and voted to proceed with the move in March at the Los Angeles meeting. The Berkeley, Los Angeles and New York LABs have passed resolutions in favor of the move. The Executive Director should proceed with the move of the national office.
The KPFA community built the Pacifica national office building because they
were asked to do so and its stealthy removal to Washington in the dead of night in January 2000 was a shameful and cowardly act by those who feared to face the thousands of passionate Pacifica supporters in the Bay Area who arose to defend and fight for Pacifica.
We respectfully request that this interim board keep faith with the KPFA community, and indeed with many others who fought this long battle, by returning Pacifica headquarters to its birthplace, to its home for most of 50 years, and to the community that will defend it from all foreseeable attacks on its founding principles. Ten thousand people took to the streets to in Berkeley to defend Pacifica. We wish this were the case in the other cities.
Actions at Berkeley helped to alert millions and spur thousands into action. It was the early, active, resolute and mass-based actions of KPFA listeners that helped get us to this point.
With equal resolve we ask that this board keep faith with the listeners of all other stations, especially WPFW. Each station must play an important role in Pacifica. WPFW in Washington -- with a uniquely oppressed population and being the center of power of many oppressive institutions -- must play a crucial role. Moving the headquarters to Berkeley will help insure the preservation of the Pacifica mission. Nurturing WPFW will be a major step in fulfilling the Pacifica mission.
With that understanding, members of Pacifica should look beyond their individual station, no matter how precious; realize they are part of a national organization with the potential for local, national and international progressive change. Each station brings different ways in which it can contribute to Pacifica's mission, we should find ways to make these strengths enhance each other.
As we help restore Pacifica and correct missteps, we have an opportunity to develop a renewed sense of solidarity between all Pacifica's stations as all five stations move forward. We trust the national board will choose this path.
Please feel free to share this with others ...
I want to thank my sister in struggle, Leslie Cagan, for her honest, honorable and straightforward statement. We have come a long and exhausting way together, and we have a long way yet to go.
I too will vote NO tomorrow on the issue of stalling the move of the National Office back to Pacifica's birthplace in Berkeley ... for all the reasons that Leslie has given, and a few more ...
I do believe it is important for Pacifica to remain an "outside-the-beltway" organization, not only because the fascistic agenda of the Ashcroft/Bush regime I believe poses a clear and present danger to Pacifica ... and we need to be quit of that place quickly ... but also as statement of our perspective as a news organization and political observer and live and kicking member of the Fourth Estate.
Some members of the Board have taken exception to this view, and have asserted that it is a insult to the good people who live in Washington DC, and Rob Robinson has even asserted that it is racist because Washington DC has a largely black population. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, and such inflammatory arguments do cause me grave concern as they occur with increasing stridency throughout Pacifica in places "high" and "low." But, of course, Pacifica is in deep sympathy with the goals of the good citizens of Washington DC for statehood, and the plight of a largely black population that is being driven from their homes by "gentrification." I believe Pacifica stations must make real commitments to the cause oppressed communities we serve in all of our five radio station areas.
But I am reminded of the comments our current ED, Dan Coughlin, made about his experiences as the Washington-based Pacifica Radio News Director to an audience in Berkeley in April of 2000 ...
"As Pacifica Radio News Director last year, I found myself in meetings with representatives from Microsoft, from Public Radio International, from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. [They were] telling Pacifica about news coverage or how to restructure the network or how to sell stations or how to subcontract out station management if a sale is not politically possible or why to receive corporate underwriting, or why to shift entirely to webcasting.
"Perhaps this might be shocking to some of you since Pacifica's whole ethos is independent noncommercial listener-sponsored radio with a distinct civil libertarian and anticorporate culture. But in fact, it is the Federal Government, Corporate America, and powerful broadcasters that were and are shaping many Pacifica policies. And I just want to be clear; I'm not talking about a conspiracy or that Pacifica is going corporate. What I'm describing is the political context within which senior Pacifica managers are operating today in this country under these kind of conditions. So, at the barbecues, at the cocktails, at the public radio conferences these are the people who you're meeting and talking with who are trying to shape Pacifica policies and what is happening with all of radio broadcasting in the country, not just public broadcasting.
"But there is, of course, an alternative for public broadcasters, for media workers and community activists. We do not have to become allied with private interests, with private corporations or with public agencies, or become Washington-centered."
I would also like to say what Leslie did not say about the nasty innuendo of the memo from the six directors calling for this special meeting tomorrow ... the implication is that our Chair, Leslie Cagan, has an improper relationship with the founders of Friends of Free Speech Radio, because as almost everyone knows, FFSR raised the money from the KPFA community to pay the legal expenses for directors Cagan, Bramson & Moran in the recently settled lawsuits. Barbara Lubin, Co-Founder of FFSR, stood up in a crowded to overflowing room in New York at the iPNB meeting last January and told the board that FFSR and the KPFA community would raise the money to cover the costs of the move back to Berkeley. This is hardly new information, nor is there anything improper about it ... No more improper than the community raising the money to repair the KPFK or WPFW broadcasting towers or any other legitimate need of the Foundation. FFSR has raised money by throwing public events, concerts, etc., supported by the KPFA community since 1999 and throughout this long fight. In fact, they raised the money to pay about $10,000 in legal expenses for Directors Robinson & Kriegel in 1999 when they first began studying their legal options. But there is nothing shady about FFSR and the Berkeley community raising the money to cover the costs of the move ... just as there was nothing shady about the Berkeley community raising the money to build the Pacifica headquarters building in Berkeley 10 years ago. And to make such insinuations lowers those who make them, not those at whom they are leveled who love Pacifica and have tirelessly raised money in its defense.
There are some pretty fantastic figures being bandied about as the "costs" of moving the office. As Leslie points out, Bekins has provided an estimated the air-freight shipping costs for the office files and computers at about $4,100. (Jabari estimated the packing and moving costs at $50-$100,000.) We will not be moving furniture, and can obtain used office furniture in Berkeley at a cost of about $3,500 per the estimate Leslie cited from a used office furniture dealer.
Pacifica Treasurer Jabari has estimated "Direct financial costs", with no
details as to how these figures were derived.
The question of severence packages for approximately 4-6 national office employees who will not be making the move ... may be $10,000 to $20,000 as Jabari estimates. That may be fair, and we should treat our employees fairly. However, the national accounting office has been seriously understaffed for months ... we need to hire a CFO, and we need to hire and train more accounting staff (whether in Washington or in Berkeley). There should be no increased training costs or salaries, whether new employees are hired in Washington or Berkeley. Delaying the move delays bringing our accounting staff up to full complement and full efficiency. Our current controller has agreed to stay on as a consultant through June 2003, so the dire predictions of loss of financial knowledge are unfounded. We do not need new computers in Berkeley as we will be moving the old ones from Washington. Some new phone lines will be needed in Berkeley ... but the national office/KPFA building is already "fully wired". What increased office operations? We will most likely make money on sub-letting the office space in Washington, and buying out the lease there will not be necessary. So, these estimates are simply way out of line and include costs that would be incurred with or without the move.
Dan Couglin and the National Office staff have been planning and preparing for this move since March, and they are highly competent people capable of orchestrating a smooth transition, at minimal expense and with minimal disruption to Foundation activities. The move will provide us with a great opportunity to structure and tailor national staffing to the needs Dan has identified over the past eight months ... and to put together a new team for the new Pacifica ... in the multi-cultural ethnic community of the San Francisco Bay Area.
We have not made a mistake, we have made a commitment to the vision of the new Pacifica our communities fought long and hard to win ... the vision Dan Coughlin articulated eloquently when we hired him for the permanent ED position and we placed our confidence in him.
Finally, the new Pacifica must keep faith with our base in the communities who support us ... we have kept our promises to the fired & banned at WBAI and to the Houston iLAB, we have replaced the station managers at KPFK, KPFT, & WPFW and are working to transform those stations to something better and stronger than the pre-corporate takeover days ... the move back to Berkeley is not merely "sentimental" ... it is keeping faith with the communities that built this Foundation over the past 53 years and that stand ready to support and defend it for the next half century ... so long as we deserve it. Let us show that we do deserve all that our communities have given us this past 3 years of struggle, and who placed us in this temporary office of interim directors during this momentous period of transition ... by answering their simple request that we restore Pacifica headquarters to the home we built for it.
From: Ted Friedman
At its meeting on September 4, 2002, the KPFA LAB unanimously passed the following resolution:
The KPFA LAB deplores the decision by the iPNB to halt the return of the Pacifica national office to Berkeley. We believe the decision was based on misleading financial estimates and undermines our ability to rebuild the network.
~ Ted Friedman, KPFA LAB
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