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Bylaws Amendments and the Lawsuits 7-22-01

From: Carol Spooner
Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board (sponsoring the "listeners' lawsuit")
Date: Sun Jul 22, 2001 5:07 pm
Subject: Bylaws Amendments

My best guess is that the court will rule that the Pacifica bylaws -- as they have existed since 1984 (and as amended in 1997 & 1999) -- are unlawful for 2 reasons: (1) they do NOT specify the number of directors, and (2) they do NOT specify how the LABs are selected or elected. In fact, the pre-1997/99 were "circular" in that the LABs elected directors, but the directors could "fire" or "dissolve" the LABs. Therefore the bylaws must be re-written to specify how LABs are chosen and to protect the LABs' rights from being abridged by the PNB. Neither the court nor the Calif Attorney General will approve any settlement that does not deal with the illegal bylaws problem.

My best guess of what the court will do is order the interim PNB to revise the bylaws (or approve a settlement that the requires the PNB to revise the bylaws), with the advice and consent of the LABs, and in consultation with committees of staff and listeners in all five station areas -- the final product to be approved by all, including the court and the Attorney General. Some safeguards will be needed to assure that these committees in the five station areas are open to the participation of all listeners and staff members who want to participate, so that no "faction" can close any other "faction" out of these discussions, and so that the final result will be something that addresses the needs & concerns of all and that truly protects Pacifica from unaccountable bodies usurping control in the future. In other words, a distribution of power and an open system of discussion, access to information, and voting rights will have to be established.

This will require some time to work out among all the different "interest groups" -- and among the five stations. The situation on the ground at the different stations is different and may require different solutions or different phase in time lines or something. For instance, in Houston & Washington the listeners were "fired" some years ago, so the kind of LABs they might elect might have little or no commitment to the Pacifica mission as we know it still at WBAI and KPFA, and to a lesser extent still at KPFK.

However, I expect the court will set a reasonable time line & will require that the bylaws be amended, new LABs be elected, and new directors be elected within a reasonable time.

Carol Spooner
Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board

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