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WBAI unpaid staff call for new representative on LAB

Response, response to response and counter petition below


As unpaid WBAI producers and staff, we are entitled to representation on the WBAI Local Advisory Board.

We do not believe that we are currently being represented by a duly elected representative.

The current term of Mimi Rosenberg has expired on December 31, 2000.

There was no election to extend this term.

We call upon the WBAI Local Advisory Board to immediately stop recognition of Mimi Rosenberg as the duly elected unpaid staff representative;

We call upon Mimi Rosenberg to cease and desist from representing herself as the duly elected staff representative of the WBAI unpaid staff and producers;

And we call upon the Unpaid Staff Organizing Committee to organize an election as soon as possible to elect a new duly elected unpaid staff representative to the WBAI Local Advisory Board.

Signed as of 8/16/03

John "Sirius" Almeleh, CCC Players
Barbara Nimri Aziz, Tahrir
Marle Becker, Out-FM
Phil Beder, The Largest Minority
Sandy Boyer, Radio Free Eireann
Steffie Brooks, Joy of Resistance
Eliza Butler, Radio Free Eireann
Janet Coleman, Cat Radio Café
Vanessa Cooper, Women's Collective
David Dozer, Cat Radio Café
Sir W. Henry Eccleston, Midnight Ravers
Bill Farrar, Jazz Sampler
Bob Fass, Radio Unnameable
Mike Feder, Hard Work
Jim Freund, Hour of the Wolf
Ken Gale, Eco-logic
Fred Geobold, Light Show
Ibrahim Gonzalez, In the Moment
Ann Marie Hendrickson, Moorish Orthodox Crusade
Jeannie Hopper, Liquid Sound Lounge
Claude Horvath, Tuesday Arts Magazine
Hank Kee, The Personal Computer Show
Mark Kehoe, CCC Players
David Kenney, Everything Old Is New Again
Joe King, The Personal Computer Show
Mark Laiosa, Tuesday Arts Magazine
Susan Lee, You and Your Money
John McDonagh, Radio Free Eireann
Darrell McNeill, Creative Unity Collective
Prairie Miller, Tuesday Arts Magazine
Brian Moore, Radio Free Eireann
David Occhiuto, Eco-Logic
Bill Propp, Radio Unnameable
Shawn Rhodes, Midnight Ravers
Nancy Rodriguez, Ritmo y Ache
Max Schmid, Golden Age of Radio
Toni Short, Person to Person
Sidney Smith, Carrier Wave
Peter "Rocky" Smith, Cosmik Debris
Beth Sopko, The Largest Minority
Christopher Zguris, CCC Players
Linda Zises, Women's Collective

Subject: Backlash & Why The Recall Should Be Quashed

Mimi Rosenberg
August 17, 2002

Repudiate the Backlash * Why the Recall Petition Should Be Quashed

Sisters & Brothers of the Pacifica Community,

My service as the unpaid staff representative on the WBAI Local Advisory Board (LAB) is drawing to a conclusion and I am fully committed to and welcome the new era of elections to what will be called Local Station Boards (LSBs) and the advent of the new Pacifica governance structure. And when the first election is held shortly and the entire LAB, almost all of whose terms have expired and who will be replaced, including myself are held, I will happily step down and devote myself to other forums of expression and activism within the network.

However, recent ad hominem attacks, culminating in an effort by some to unseat me as the unpaid staff representative to the LAB, rather than stimulating me to withdraw, compel me to explain and reassert that part of my activism in Pacifica. The politics underlying the recall that reared its head at this critical juncture present a challenge to my core values and those of the overwhelming majority of the LAB members. It is essential therefore that I reaffirm my commitment to work for bylaws that include greater participationand accountability and contain maximum assurances that groups carrying the albatross of discrimination have the fullest representation in the governance of Pacifica that can be secured at this time.

It is understandable with the passage of time after retaking Pacifica following the December 2000 seizure of WBAI, which represented the culmination and consolidation of neoliberal politics and control over the network, that meetings on restructuring the governance apparatus have become ever more sparsely attended. Energy has waned; personal responsibilities and new political commitments have dissipated individuals' focus on rebuilding Pacifica.

While participation in restructuring Pacifica has shrunken, from the inception of the crisis too few staff were sufficiently immersed in or even attentive to the details of preserving Pacifica's future. Absent direct involvement in and attention to the policies that affect our network, one may be susceptible to misinformation and distortions of information, such as in this instant case from a few individuals who fiercely oppose the positions of the LAB, of which I am but one member, and who have initiated the pivotally timed recall petition.

Why I Agreed To Seek Election to the LAB

I became alarmed during the reign of Pacifica Foundation Chairperson Pat Scott that the network governance structure was being subverted to facilitate implementation of a political agenda that fundamentally altered the network's mission as defined by its founder Lewis Hill. Thereafter I immersed myself in the struggle to safeguard, preserve and finally to revitalize Pacifica. In 1999 I co-authored "Pacifica's Crisis: Underlying Causes And Prescriptions For Renewal," offering analysis of the conceptual and structural framework for and process by which the network was being transformed as a radical alternative to mainstream broadcasting. Since then I have distributed many strategic and tactical treatises on the evolving crisis and suggested remedial action to reclaim the network, some of which were offered as testimony during congressional and city council hearings that I helped initiate as a LAB member.

The WBAI LAB, the most diverse in the five signal areas and whose members represent actual constituencies, consistently challenged efforts to mainstream Pacifica in its quest for audience growth for its own sake. And it vigorously opposed those who viewed Pacifica as an asset whose licenses could be used to secure loans or be sold to the highest bidder.

The LAB was no less hostile to insidious plans to break up the network, sell the commercial licenses and instead purchase smaller stations in the South essentially to garner votes for the Democratic Party. For their efforts, especially after the "Christmas coup," LAB members withstood arrests, threats of litigation and investigation of its members by the intelligence division of the New York City Police Department. The staff representatives on the LAB were barred from the station as was the LAB itself.

Subsequent to retaking the station, the LAB distinguished itself by being a consistent advocate for creating a structure to facilitate participation at all levels of the network by a broader, more representative population. The LAB never sidelined itself, hurling barbs from a safe distance, but rather was an active, constructive participant, actually a leader in the effort to (among other things) introduce methods to redress discrimination. The LAB supported models of representation in voting that encompassed concepts of self-determination for those groups subject to discrimination. The dialectics of the election debate in the Pacifica signal areas forced the LAB to revise its proposals, while it continued to advocate for the principle of an enforceable and inclusive affirmative action plan. While the LAB kept returning to the drawing board to redraft its proposals for affirmative action, the essential fact is that it unequivocally championed its implementation.

Affirmative Action With Teeth

The LAB continued to debate in the national arena and was forced to alter its proposals and plans for a comprehensive affirmative action bylaw with real teeth and an enforcement mechanism. While hardly ideal, the LAB ultimately supported at a minimum methods to secure a diverse candidate pool for the elections and a post-election remedy to similarly ensure the representation of "minorities" on the new Local Station Boards.

The pre-election remedy for insufficiency of diversity in the candidate pool consisted of a two-week postponement to recruit minority candidates, and if that proved insufficient a second two-week delay after which in any event the election would proceed. The post-election remedy primarily consisted of adding five seats to the LSB reserved for members of minority groups if after the election the new board proved to consist primarily of white males. The recipients of those seats would come from the candidate pool and the seats would be given to the next highest vote recipients of the minority groupings who received a minimum of ten percent of the votes cast.

The LAB remained politically constant in its advocacy for people of African ancestry, Latinos, Asian Pacific Islanders, Indigenous people, woman, the LGBT community, the physically challenged, new immigrant groups, particularly those of Arab and Mideast descent and those subject to persecution due to religious persuasion to have equal representation in governance enshrined in the new bylaws. Essentially the LAB was always a part of the process, up to and including this past weekend, when a mediation/facilitation process in Chicago was held (at the LAB's suggestion) to resolve the remaining issues inhibiting passage of the bylaws.

Further, in so far as the mediation process goes, our LAB endorsed a letter submitted by three members of the interim Pacifica National Board (Ray Laforest, Janice K. Bryant and Jabari Zakia) to Chair Leslie Cagan critical of her unilateral cancellation of the national board meeting scheduled for August in New York. The letter pleaded the case for the meeting to progress and to use it as an opportunity for creative mediation to conclude the bylaws. The meeting could have provided an opportunity to solicit broad participation from staff and listeners at discreet intervals and to articulate and shape the issues for mediation and further to provide for a rich debate on democracy and inclusion, the two remaining unresolved bylaw issues.

While Leslie rejected the terms under which the iPNB members sought mediation, the fact remains that it was our LAB who raised mediation amongst the parties rather than court action as a mechanism for resolution of the disputes, a route that has been followed by others. The LAB felt that mediation would resolve the current logjam, allow the passage of the bylaws and shortly thereafter theelections process would ensue.

With the conclusion of the Chicago mediation, a three-person committee has agreed to formulate the proposals advocated during the weekend, which of course will soon find their way into the public arena for discussion. Apparently there has been agreement on a bylaw convention, as our LAB advocated, eighteen months after the elections are completed to assess the success of the new bylaws precepts. And the pre-election process our LAB and others advocated to enhance diversity if the candidate pool requires it seems to be agreed upon. Indeed, there even seems to be consensus on the concept of additional seats added to the LSBs as a post-election remedy to facilitate diversity if needed. Who will fill those seats and by what mechanism is still to be resolved. The station staff will have five seats to fill, which have not been parsed out into paid and unpaid staff categories. Obviously, all of the above is still to be voted on. But in any event, the process of adopting new bylaws is drawing to a conclusion and after the iPNB national meeting in September it is likely that the elections will proceed almost immediately.

Full & Equal Involvement, Not Tokenism

In April 1925, in "Worlds of Color" (Foreign Affairs, III), W.E.B. Du Bois wrote: "The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." Du Bois' admonition haunts the 21st century as well. White supremacy is the cornerstone of US geopolitics and similarly dominates domestic policy. The institutional nature of racism fosters xenophobia and discrimination and results in persistent social, political and economic disparities. Neither we or are our organizations impervious to this weed, which must be rooted out of the body politic again and again. Growth in the Movement and class unity to accomplish a fundamental shift in the power paradigm in this country is dependent upon making substantial progress within peoples' movements towards addressing the culture of white supremacy. This premise motivates and informs my programming and political endeavors within Pacifica.

Within Pacifica there exists either a laissez faire attitude to discrimination, beyond an immediate eruption of interpersonal dynamics. And if Blacks step out of being merely individuals and make demands on the system as a group, there is a manifest insecurity and insistence on reassurance of people of European ancestry.

Oftentimes, colleagues view the greater visibility, relative to the recent past, of people of African ancestry at WBAI as great progress. And the illusion of progress is instantaneously juxtaposed with insecurities of a loss of cultural supremacy. There are those who feel that the balance of power has shifted such that those of European descent are slighted or denigrated. And the historic record of Jewish loyalty to African American causes has been chipped away in a conservative realignment of American politics. If what is alleged to be an indiscreet comment is uttered by a person of African descent, it evokes demands for rebuke, oftentimes coupled with protestations of preferential treatment. In fact, there are those who respond to demands for affirmative action by suggesting that the reason for the Christmas coup was that its instigators were primarily African Americans. How potent and encompassing are the realities of stigma, even in the context of assimilation * a phantom acceptance. But the visibility of African Americans, after decades of their absence in any meaningful numbers at WBAI, doesn't signal the absence of racism and discrimination. The visibility of some makes it easier than ever to forget that discrimination is institutional and permeates every aspect of our society and isn't merely a product of personal pathology. The visibility makes it possible to forget that Blacks are still marked and stigmatized by racism. But by any measure, the progress of African Americans has slowed, even as the roles open to exceptional Black people have expanded. And Blacks remain economically subordinate to white males in terms of wages and power. Within Pacifica the tendency is to disconnect WBAI from the network as a whole and see it in isolation from the society in which we live, and thus the collateral consequences of racism have no relevance within the station for people of color.

The roots of racism, homophobia, gender and disability-based bias continue to nourish an entire system of stigma, the particulars of which change while its essential shape stays the same. The psychic panic whites feel at the thought of losing their cultural dominance is not so much simply psychic as it is social. In the culture of Pacifica, where there is a denial that it exhibits manifestations of racism, these dynamics are much more subtle and all too easy to overlook. For Blacks in the primarily moderate enclave of Pacifica, the illusion that liberation has been achieved is a real temptation. People may convince themselves that anyone who wishes to can achieve their desired goal * it's just a matter of individual will and there are no impediments.

In liberal society, this self-satisfied, self- congratulatory mind set is encouraged because it matches the images many liberals have of themselves. They reason that they have conquered their racism and are ready to welcome Blacks, gays or women. But with true acceptance the system changes. The norm expands to meet it variations, and a real interaction occurs between formerly designated tops and bottoms, so that a new culture is born from the play of their particularities. Visibility is not liberation but a confusion of image and reality

The Struggle for Inclusion & Democracy

The most recent phase of my activity has consisted of assuring that Pacifica's evolving bylaws would include the voices of those who have been disenfranchised and marginalized, both politically and culturally. My efforts to codify in new bylaws a mandatory affirmative action plan that assures diversity, rather than merely relies on a "best efforts" voluntarist approach, has resulted in a fierce backlash. The backlash is masked by those who have initiated the recall petition in a bureaucratic complaint about expiration of my tenure on the LAB just a few months before elections in which LAB members will either run as candidates or step down. The delay in concluding the bylaws has been due to an erosion of consensus within Pacifica about the inclusion of "minorities" and the structure of how that will be accomplished.

The debate erroneously juxtaposed the implementation of an enforceable affirmative action plan with increasing the network's vulnerability to legal challenge, raising the specter of bankruptcy. There were even those who raised the alarm of receivership of the network to distract and subvert support for a meaningful and representative model of inclusion.

Demythologizing the Elements of Plan "A" While there were many proposals pertaining to inclusion (which encompassed issues of self-determination and various other constructs regarding discrimination), after exploration, deliberation and debate our LAB settled on an ideological framework, much of which found its way into what became known as Plan "A." Presented below in are some relevant parts of that construct:

"Full minority participation in the ownership and management of broadcast facilities results in a more diverse selection of programming. In addition, an increase in ownership by minorities will inevitably enhance the diversity of control of a limited resource, the spectrum. And, of course, we have long been committed to the concept of diversity of control because diversification . . . is a public good in a free society, and is additionally desirable where a government licensing system limits access by the public to the use of radio and television facilities."

(Federal Communications Commission, Statement of Policy on Minority Ownership of Broadcasting Facilities, 68 FCC 2d 979, 981 [1978])

The Pacifica Foundation is a media organization. Its function and purpose is such that diversity in all forms aids in the actualization of the radio network's mission and goals, which include engaging in programming that promotes peace and social justice and the fight against oppression in all forms. Promoting and securing diversity in Pacifica's governance structure will help ensure diversity in its programming and thus in its audience, and as such in the realization of the Foundation's mission.

One function of a media outlet is to work constantly to enlarge its audience. The Pacifica Radio Network must do this both to carry out its mission and because it depends on listener contributions for the majority of it's funding, and so audience outgrowth is essential for its financial health. In each of the network's five signal areas, the majority of the population consists of people of color, woman, and members of other historically underrepresented and disenfranchised communities that are core parts of Pacifica's constituency and mission. The network needs to consistently reach out to such groups and provide programming that draws them in as listener-supporters.

In order to further that end, the governance of Pacifica, which formulates policies and practices to further our core functions, must embody both the principle of and the actuality of diversity in each signal area. The governance structure must therefore mirror the concerns of the demographic makeup of Pacifica's existing and potential audience. Those elected to the Foundation's governing board and its local station boards need to be as diverse as the population in the signal areas that they both serve and depend on for support.

Without such an outcome, the network will be hindered in its effort to both maintain and expand its listenership among people of color and other "minorities" who in fact collectively make up the majority in each signal area. Giving voice to the problems and issues that confront such communities is crucial to the purposes of Pacifica. It is equally crucial to building the audience that is necessary for the network to grow and secure the financial resources necessary to perform its mission.

Ensuring such diversity is thus a compelling goal that mandates the Foundationto consider the race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and/or disability, and religious faith of candidates as a factor in Pacifica's election process. This affirmative approach treats all participants as individuals while also seeking to achieve a critical mass of candidates (and ultimately elected Delegates and Directors) from groups that have been historically discriminated against and disenfranchised. Such a diverse body of candidates helps ensure that both the election itself and the local and national boards that result from it embody the wide range of opinion, robust exchange of ideas, and participation in the network that are the hallmark of Pacifica's mission.

The Fallacy of Plan B

After many proposals, and without elaborating on the details of how and why Plan "B" was presented for the LABs to vote on (3 out of the 5 LABs must approve the bylaws for their implementation), suffice it to say while Plan "A" was sufficiently protective of affirmative action, Plan "B" * the sole plan placed before the LABs for a vote * was toothless. It specifically rejected the institutional character of discrimination and relied on individual good intentions as the sole arbiter to assure affirmative action. The WBAI LAB as well as the Los Angeles and Washington LABs disapproved of Plan "B".

The fundamental opposition of the WBAI LAB was the plan's preclusion of any remedial measures if the candidate pool for elections isn't sufficiently diverse. Proportional representation as a voting method is useless if pre-election the candidate pools aren't diverse, and if corrective measures are rejected then affirmative action is in reality a sham. While sharing some of these same concerns, the Los Angeles LAB was also insistent that the bylaws be more democratic. Plain B's most serious deficiency is that it confines affirmative action to the "goodwill" and intentions of individuals to implement, and that it fails to acknowledge that there is an institutional character and edge to discrimination.

The Law of the Land

Most disturbing is the question of what this brouhaha is all about. If so many of us support affirmative action, then what's all the fuss regarding its implementation? As to legal arguments: when the Right comes for us it will be our political resolve and social base that will fortify us. The much-hyped hypothetical case of disgruntled white males suing us over an affirmative action provision in our elections process hardly constitutes a dire threat. There isn't any cause of action upon which to sue, being that serving on Pacifica's boards is a voluntary position without remuneration, while adding seats to boost diversity after the election does no harm to the winners. Affirmative action is the law of the land, as the Supreme Court recently affirmed, and Pacifica should not find itself to the right of that reactionary court on this most vital of all issues.

Let's be clear the preservation of the Pacifica Network is not dependent upon the institutionalization of bylaws, regardless of how progressive they may be. In fact, the bylaws under which we operated for decades, which were hardly reactionary, provided little protection against the ideological usurpation of the network by neoliberal politicos. The bylaws mandate, intent and spirit were simply ignored. And there is no guarantee that Pacifica will be free fromlitigation by the forces of Right reaction or disgruntled liberals for that matter, or from prosecution by the state.

While we act sensibly and proceed with vigilance to guard our wonderful communication vehicle, safeguarding the network is not an end in itself and must not be accomplished at the expense of the aspirations and yearnings of oppressed groupings for empowerment in our institutions. It is destructive to juxtapose the preservation of the network with the implementation of an affirmative action plan to break the remaining links in the chains of discrimination and all the collateral consequences that flow from the limitation on ones inalienable rights.

Providing information to staff and listeners, political action, and enhanced communication with impoverished and oppressed communities should be our failsafe. Nevertheless, enshrining a set of principles, rules and regulations for the network's operation is important. Pacific's new bylaws are nearly complete and do provide a measure of protection and certainly offer guidance for the operation of a hopefully functioning democratic system. Myself and others have worked hard to complete them, although they still need to be tailored to offer opportunities for greater transparency, participation in shaping the network and minimally for advise and consent in a number of areas.


The time that I have served on the LAB has been a difficult one. I was involved in seeking to relocate the station and bring in significant finances to facilitate the move, not to mention the period proceeding and following the coup, during which I participated in countless meetings and wrote drafts and analyses of the myriad debates that have unfolded. Of course I do regret the time constraints that kept many of us from keeping in greater touch with each other about various issues. But it remains a necessity for all of us to pay close attention and not abdicate our responsibility for involvement. That participation defines the essence of the politics of social justice * the struggle to affect egalitarianism and in this particular instance to do so in an institution of liberal/progressive communications.

Indeed, the suppositions and verbiage emanating from the instigators of the petition have ploughed to the surface the chasms that exist between people on the nature of affirmative action as a component part of the Pacifica bylaws and all that implies. The feelings and grumbling about discrimination as it manifests itself within the broader societal context and similarly at Pacifica have never had a comprehensive and constructive forum. Perhaps this will stimulate a meaningful, constructive and ongoing discussion to engage the Achilles heel of acting collectively for social change * institutional and attitudinal discrimination towards historically dominated groups.

Certainly it remains my fervent hope that a constitutional convention will be held within the next 18 months subsequent to the passage of the bylaws. This will enable us to evaluate their success and change and/or enhance those components which have failed. This applies first and foremost if they have failed to accomplish a greater inclusion and representation of those who have been historically disenfranchised and discriminated against, and certainly those affected by the new forms of xenophobia and bias that is fueled by the geopolitical machinations of the present administration in Washington. Open and honest discussion of these most painful and thorny issues could help create the conditions for Pacifica 's revitalization in the next half-century of its history. I look forward to talking and working with you in the short but vital period ahead in which the "end of the beginning" is achieved and elections are held. After that, I will gladly step down to continue my work in other areas while others are elected and take up positions on the new * and hopefully inclusive * Local Station Boards.


Subject: Re: M. Rosenberg's Motion to Quash Recall

Despite the inevitable verbiage, name-dropping of noble strugglers for the cause, and the usual condescending lecture on the history of culture and politics since the dawn of time, Ms. Rosenberg's barrage of words adds up to one thing (and it is always the same thing with her):

She is holier and more noble than the rest of common producers (who are, apparently misguided, if not aggressively destructive white Europeans). She knows better than we do what needs to be done in Pacifica, at WBAI and just about everything else in the world. Therefore we need to shut up and go away--And.. ingore our basic simple rights as workers in a work place to vote fairly for a representative to our Local Advisory Board (most of whose present members are crony-chosen--like any poltical club hacks--and narrow minded people who are pushing a plan that is NOT favored by most boards and most members of the National Board)

This tendentious legal brief/speech, reeking with self-congratulation and borrowed nobility, does not address the FACT that she is not our true representative because her term has long since expired. Or, the FACT that we have every right to ask for a new vote because her time is expired and because there is prima facie case clearly presented (to be legal about it) that she is not truly representative of the wishes of a great many of the unpaid producers on many serious issues directly affecting our work.

Would Ms. Rosenberg deny the rights of workers in a workplace? What does this signify about her real devotion to oppressed people? Are not workers the kind of oppressed people she claims to have fought for her whole life? Why do the unpaid producers at WBAI not deserve her glorious backing as much as anyone else?

I believe we should ignore this long-winded excuse to keep herself in power and make it clear to everyone involved in all of Pacifica that she is NOT our real representative, refuses to submit to a vote of workers--fairly called for-- and is, in effect, an elitist hypocrite who cares nothing for the workers in her own workplace.

Let us have new elections ASAP. Even if you could trust her words that elections are soon to take place--and we have no real proof that they are-- we still have every right to remove this person from her office when she is an expired state-- to remove her from an office to which, in effect, she has merely been reappointing HERSELF!

Changing horses in midstream is not a bad idea if the horse galloping in the opposite direction from where you want to go.

Mike Feder [WBAI unpaid staff]


Petition supporting Rosenberg


Note: If anyone else wants to add their name to this letter, please send me your name and your preferred identification off-list at ledererbob @ ...

Bob Lederer


We sign this open letter to affirm our support of Mimi Rosenberg's continuation as the unpaid staff representative to the WBAI Local Advisory Board (LAB).

First, as outlined in the background information below, network-wide elections are imminent in Pacifica, and there is simply no need to go through the approximately seven-week effort of nominations, debates and elections for a position that will very soon be replaced by a new system with a similar process of nominations, debates and elections for six elected staff representatives. As with many LAB members throughout Pacifica during this transition period, Mimi is continuing until new elections can be organized. It is particularly unacceptable to call, as the petition does, for a duly-seated LAB member to be forced out of office before a new, properly noticed election has even been held.

Second, we find that the rush by the petition's organizers to unseat Mimi on the eve of a mediation session to reach a compromise on the Pacifica national bylaws is disingenuous. While not included in the actual text of the petition, the organizers have relied heavily in their accompanying rhetoric on their opposition to the positions Mimi has taken in the bylaws debate in support of particular mechanisms for affirmative action on the basis of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disability and similar criteria. We are troubled by indications that those organizing the campaign to unseat Mimi are using procedural issues to silence her differing opinion on this substantive issue.

Third, Mimi has been an outspoken proponent for producer/staff rights at the station and was instrumental in the creation of our union. For decades, she has been both personally and professionally (as an attorney) a defender of rights of all workers, tenants, people of color, the poor, and other disenfranchised groups -- on the air, at the station, and in the larger community. Removing Mimi now, before even an interim election, would deprive unpaid staff of any voice on the LAB for at least the seven weeks needed to properly organize and carry out elections.

Finally, we acknowledge that there are valid political differences about the best direction for the bylaws. Not all of us agree with, or are familiar with, every position Mimi has taken on the bylaws or other issues. We support the creation of more venues for Mimi (and all elected reps) to discuss key issues of concern with staff. At the same time, we affirm our full support for her continuation as Unpaid Staff Representative to the WBAI Local Advisory Board until network-wide elections are organized.

Evelyn Andino Rosa, Community Bulletin Board*
Elombe Brath, Afrikaleidoscope*
Andrea Clarke, Sister from Another Planet
Jonas J. Crickett, OUT-FM*
Aniruddha Das, Asia Pacific Forum*
Kathy Davis, Health Action* and Heart of Mind
Margareth Dominique, Haiti: The Struggle Continues*
Linda Duggins, Community Bulletin Board*
Eddie Ellis, On the Count!*
Tiokasin Ghost Horse, First Voices
Tony Glover, OUT-FM*
Jesse Heiwa, OUT-FM*
Joseph "Jazz" Hayden, On the Count!*
Rosalie Hoffman, Wakeup Call*
Ernst Janus, Haiti: The Struggle Continues*
Joyce Jones
Vajra Kilgour, Community Bulletin Board*
Bob Lederer, Health Action*
Christian Lemoine, Haiti: The Struggle Continues*
Muntu Matsimela, special events producer
Basir Mchawi, Education at the Crossroads
Neil Mondesir, production engineer
Ken Nash, Building Bridges*
Marquez Osson, Haiti: The Struggle Continues*
Jim Richardson, Create Your Healthy Home*
Louis Reyes Rivera, Perspective
Cerene Roberts
John Riley, OUT-FM*
Pedro Serrano, OUT-FM*
Scott M. Sommer, Housing Notebook*
Eileen Sutton, producer-at-large
Victor Takeall, Community Bulletin Board*
Harriet Tanzman, producer-at-large
Jackie Vimo, OUT-FM*

*Program name for identification only



Mimi Rosenberg has been elected and re-elected as Unpaid Staff Representative to the LAB several times since 1995, most recently for the 2000 term. These elections -- which generally took about seven weeks from nominations through tabulation of ballots -- were conducted by the union that then represented both the unpaid and the paid staff, Local 404 of UE (United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers). The union's Shop Committee did not commence the election process that was scheduled to begin in early November, 2000.

Then the Pacifica coup against WBAI occurred on December 22, 2000, which over the next 13 months led to the firing, banning and suspension of 26 staff members (including Mimi) who opposed the repression of that regime. These conditions made it impossible to hold any type of elections. During that period, general manager Utrice Leid completed the destruction of the union which had begun under the previous manager (Valerie Van Isler) at the behest of national Pacifica, both of which attacks were fought by Mimi and other staff members.

It took several months after the January 2002 reclaiming of WBAI and Pacifica before the Unpaid Staff Organizing Committee (USOC) was organized. Once that happened, Pacifica was already well into a process mandated by a settlement of the various lawsuits against the old Pacifica National Board: That settlement required the rewriting of bylaws and holding of network-wide elections by listeners and staff within a year, subject to possible extensions.

Throughout this period, any unpaid staff member -- including those who have now organized the removal campaign -- could have proposed that USOC hold elections for an interim unpaid staff rep to the LAB. But no such motion was ever made, even though USOC held monthly or bimonthly meetings. Indeed, it was widely believed that it made no sense to do so since officially supervised network elections seemed imminent. However, fully rewriting the Foundation bylaws -- a complex process involving input, discussion and debate from five very different signal areas -- has taken longer than originally projected. That process is now wrapping up. On August 16-17 in Chicago, a large number of local and national board members participated in a bylaws mediation process, originally proposed by Mimi Rosenberg and approved by the WBAI LAB (although in a somewhat different form). The compromise proposals that emerged from that process are expected to be voted on at a meeting of the interim Pacifica National Board in September, after which bylaws adoption and the nomination/election process -- including for the six staff seats at each station -- will move quickly.

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