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DAILY REPORTS and Documents | iPNB D.C. meeting info
Proposed bylaws for Local Advisory Boards

Presented at the iPNB meeting in Washington D.C, October 13 - 14, 2002

BACKGROUND TO ITEM READ AT iPNB meeting Oct 13, 2002

My name is Jane Gatewood. I have been an active participant in the WPFW bylaws committee since March 2002. Since Jabari Zakiah, one of our representatives on the iPNB, mentioned a proposal of mine as the genesis of a motion he submitted, I felt compelled to read my original proposal to the iPNB and to provide it here, in its original form, for the record.

Jabari's motion met with rather stringent objections and some interpreted it as an effort to prevent the process from moving forward. I believe this to be a complete misinterpretation of his actions. I offer the following as background to clarify the intent of my proposal /his motion:

I have had a broad range of bad (really bad) experiences with boards of directors and tend strongly toward concepts of worker-owned enterprises. I am however, adamant in my belief that the Pacifica Board of Directors must be given strong fiduciary powers and responsibilities and that they must be accountable to the larger body of Pacifica supporters.

From the outset of our meetings, I have had serious reservations about the effectiveness of elections as a tool for promoting greater member involvement / greater accountability of management to members and to the Pacifica mission. As I read some of the complex proposals coming from other committees, my reservations deepened.

In July of this year, I developed the attached draft article to share with our committee, in which I proposed that any listener-sponsor who actively participates in fulfilling the functions of the LAB is, by default, a member of the LAB, but that elections are held for leadership positions within the LAB, simultaneously with the election of station representatives to the Pacifica Board.

(At that time, we were supporting the proposition of direct elections to the PNB. We have since altered our view on this matter)

Of the 12 or so people present, only one or two were interested in dialoguing on this topic. Most responded, "it's already a given – we have to have elections for the LAB members".

In our regular meeting immediately prior to the Oct 12-13 iPNB bylaws meetings, our committee was searching for helpful instructions to give to our representatives concerning our perspective on negotiable vs. non-negotiable matters. We became mired down (once again) in an extended discussion of "what is a member?" For some reason that escapes me now, the conversation came to a point where I exclaimed,

"That's why I proposed that all active sponsors should be considered members of the LAB! Why should the person who comes in every fund drive to answer phones have any less right or be any less qulaitfied to vote for the Pacifica directors than the (more assertive / sometimes aggressive) people who chose to compete in an election?"

Consider it the lateness of the hour or the quagmire of the process we find ourselves in, but somehow this idea rang a bell in the heart of Jabari Zakiah, one of our representatives on the iPNB. He somehow felt that this would help bridge the differences that were on the table and he attempted to codify it and introduced it as a motion at the bylaws meetings.


ARTICLE X "Local Advisory Boards"
(as proposed July 2002 by CJ Gatewood to WPFW Bylaws Group)

Within each Pacifica radio station listening area, there shall be a local advisory board (LAB) comprised of all listener-sponsors willing to volunteer and assist in fulfilling the LAB responsibilities, as set forth herein and as further described by each LAB. Each LAB shall identify a committee structure that will best serve the specific needs of their station and its aims, and periodically review the effectiveness of their structure and revise it as needed, but in all cases the structure shall include essential standing committees, as set forth below.

The primary functions of the LAB shall be to:

* facilitate effective dialogue among members on matters of governance, policy, and operations issues and to help maximize positive member involvement in these functions
* act as an agent of the Pacifica board of directors as otherwise specified from time to time
* (work with paid Pacifica staff) to uphold Pacifica and/or station mission
* ... ????????????????????

Finance, whose primary duty shall be to ensure that an annual station report is prepared and made available to all members on a regular basis, at minimum annually; and that the content of the report is informative, accurate, and understandable. The timing and format of the station report(s) shall be coordinated with finance co-chairs from other stations to allow for their compilation into an annual Pacifica report.

Membership and elections, whose primary duty shall be to ensure that an accurate (and confidential) database of members is maintained, and that this database accurately identifies the volunteer work that has been performed on behalf of the station. This committee shall also coordinate the annual election of leaders as further described below.

Operations, work in concert with Pacifica staff and operations committees in other listening areas to develop fair personnel policies, operations manuals, etc….

Program Council (among others duties– to act as mediator in the event of disputes between programmer and directors)

Outreach, whose primary duty shall be to recruit additional members to participate as needed in each of the committees;

Communications committee, whose primary duty shall be …


Each Pacifica member shall be entitled to vote in the election for the LAB leadership positions within their designated listening area. Each LAB shall hold elections on an annual basis for the selection of:

* two (2) LAB co-chairs, who shall ensure that all LAB meetings are run effectively;
* two (2) co-chairs for each standing committees, as set forth above, and all others that have been established locally; and
* two (2) directors of the Pacifica National Board

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