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WBAI Local Advisory Board Special Meeting

Below is a report and an outline of the audio of the 12-7-02 meeting of the WBAI local advisory board by Patty Heffley of the Coalition for a Democratic Pacifica - NY (the organization responsible for wbai.net).

Responses welcome at:


This audio is available at http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=6051

This meeting was to decide on manner and number of elections and to pass that information on to the rest of the station LABs to decide if there was compromise and agreement. The endeavor pretty much failed and the LAB decided to approach the other 4 stations to talk and try and encourage them to see their retro ways and to be with the WBAI LAB on the "forefront of the forefront". They passed a motion to go early to LA and to meed face to face so they may understand. We'll see....

I never heard the meeting adjourned, although it fell into several conversations at once before I left. That is only a little more "let your hair down" than the real body of the meeting. The minidisc recorder remained on the table until the end. it was never hidden.

Below is a rough outline of topics discussed and interesting dialogue, rants, fights, attacks, and 2 votes. It gets very cinema verite' towards the end and they don't seem to care what people think of them.

It's long and gives you the picture of the LAB in NYC. They have voted for grandparenting.

Present are: Chair- Miguel Maldonado, Vice Chair- Marion Borenstein, Secretary- Andy Norris, and LAB members Errol Maitland, Anne Emmerman, Lee Kronick, Cecelia Caruso, Anthony Mackall, Mimi Rosenberg and iPNB board member Ray LaForest.
Other voices iPNB Chair Leslie Cagan, Mike-interrupts constantly, Manijeh- listener who speaks up about sexist behavior.

Listen for yourself. I dont claim to be impartial. I think the audio speaks for itself.

Patty Heffley patty@wbai.net

lab12171 audio file 1

00:00 discussion of agenda
15:00 New Manager Don Rojas is introduced and makes statements.
23:00 Leslie Cagan iPNB chair reports on last meeting in Washington D.C.
31:15 LAB attacks Leslie Cagan
43:30 Leslie speaks back
45:45 Marion Borenstein accuses leslie of being manupulative and then attacks KPFT
48:00 Errol Maitland seeks "out of compliance by diversity" statitistics of other labs
49:45 Miguel tries to pull LAB back to consider compromise
54:10 Errol asks re: council of chairs and Miguel responds

lab12172 audio file 2

00:00 Mimi Rosenberg criticizes the KPFA model and 50/50 diversity
02:30 Expressed need to change peoples' mind about the "model of inclusion"
02:50 Miguel speaks out, arguing breaks out
05:30 Ray Laforest clarifies issues
08:15 Errol asks what "people of color" means
11:45 Mimi Makes a motion, some discussion
20:45 Andy Norris speaks of national LAB listserves and their value
24:45 Mimi wishes email lists would disappear
25:45 Errol tells Miguel he needs to "represent", miguel pushes for the urgency of completion.
31:45 Miguel is attacked. Errol thinks Blacks need to be represented and African Americans are scarce and need lots of representation (WBAI has at least 4 and 2 to 4 other that could be classified as Black non african americans.
34:10 Andy Norris wants the wider community involved in the discussion. LAB's want LAB's only. The bylaws committee is "partial"
35:00 Lee Kronick attacks the public at the meeting and calls them "irrelevant".
37:30 Miguel wants to add "community", mimi says it isn't meaningful.
39:15 Mimi wants to fly people to LA to talk about the "model of inclusion"
40:00 Miguel says Errol is bullying him. Miguel tries to bring LAB back to voting on anything
44:15 Andy makes a statement
45:30 grandparenting discussion
57:45 more criticism an inside jokes

lab12173 audio file 3

00:00 Anthony Mackall claims KPFK wants 60% diversity of people of color. this is undocumented.
01:20 Errol looks for a loophole to put WBAI's autonomy in
04:00 Andy Norris explains his feelings about grandparenting
06:50 Mimi want to table grandparenting. and says staff seats are a union issue, so table that too.
10:05 Errol jokes about wanting no women on the board, mimi concurs and people laugh
11:35 Mimi says it's a union shop and the staff must weigh in. LAB votes don't count. Table it.
13:35 Mimi says they don't have to come to conclusion and makes rude comments
14:30 Andy gives vote statistics, discussion of tabling, fractions of staff
17:00 Mimi tells Andy he's not qualified to make assumptions
18:00 A vote to vote!! much hilarity, giggling, etc.
21:10 Anthony looks for the autonomy loophole again
24:30 Chair Miguel, passes to vice chair Marion Borenstein. He doesn't feel well, tries to approve minutes from last meeting and secretary wants to leave too
29:00 Anthony want to discuss outreach
41:00 Motion to adopt ourteach 60% 6-0-1
44:45 Motion to adjourn - NO second
45:30 Meeting not adjourned"
46:15 Mimi reprimands Susan Lee for snickering and participating in silent protest with signs saying "New York supports KPFA" and "KPFA is good for constituencies"
Vice chair tells someone to leave if they don't like it.
48:00 (GREAT STUFF HERE)mimi calls listeners that are present "an obsessive compulsive peculiar group of people". Listener complains about LAB tolerating sexist behavior. mimi accuses her if being backward, retrograde and insignificant.
Meeting breaks down momentarily. 49:40 Non Lab member mike suggests adjourning the meeting so the tape recorder must be turned off. (huh?)
Chaos continues 49:55 Errol jokes and says "are you threatening that woman mimi rosenberg?"
50:30 Remaining LAB discussed strategy of committee to meet with other LAB's and how all is in such flux that there's room for different approaches in each area.
56:00 Errol is concerned that 50% diversity will dilute "Black folks" vote, that it's a code.
58:00 some other LABs are "rigid"
58:40 Errol criticizes KPFT and misrepresents their vote. (7 people there want diversity but not diversity mandated into elections).

lab12174 audio file 4

00:00 50% diversity discussion
3:00 Thinks that if they can just speak in person to the 4 other LAB's they will all understand and will consider the ideas.
10:15 Ray Laforest discusses controversy from DC meeting where non LAB member from WBAI was present at LAB meeting where the LABs were to discuss compromise.
12:00 Mimi still has hope even though white supremacy is here - white middle class culture and dominance. Hijackers used race to take over network.
14:00 Errol will settle for just black faces on the board.
15:00 no quorum but not voting so meeting continues - still no second to adjourn.
15:45 Mimi passes judgement on people she doesn't feel are connected to the "community"

[perhaps the meeting ended here but I heard no "second" to adjourn]

cross conversations went on and these are some excerpts. if you listen really hard there are even more secret messages in there.

17:30 mimi: "good god, wait until Mike Feder gets on the board"
Ray:you could do worse
Mimi: "I don't think Dingeman's worse. Feder is a gentrifier, a classist and a racist for 35 years. Dingeman is disturbed".
19:20 Mimi Claims that proportional representation is the "most complex mechanical and beaurocratic voting system".
19:33 Lee Kronick praises LAB member Anne Emmerman who vetted selectees for the WBAI LAB.
Lee: "we should leave all selection of candidates to Anne Emmerman. [unintelligible] get some poeple to help her She did one hell of a job".
Errol: No. she didn't, she kept Carolyn Birden off and we're still paying for it, still paying for it.
Mimi praises Anne's job;"It [the board[ would have been subsumed, because from Shebar to Carolyn to all the rest of them, they would have absolutely edged out [unknown]
Errol: "and they would have fallen in line with the national board"
21:55 Attacks on Leslie Cagan for her stance on identity politics, a "right wing perspective".

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