So called "Pacifica national board"
gets their ass kicked (non-violently) 7-17-01
( following materials forward from the list at http://savewbai.tao.ca
From: Gregory Wonderwheel
7/17/01 - The Alameda County Superior Court today upheld the request of the plaintiffs against the Pacifica National Board and ordered that the Pacifica National Board may not hold an "emergency" telephone meeting today in which they planned to elect replacement directors for those current directors who wish to resign as soon as possible. Judge Ronald M. Sabraw did not accept the director's claims that an emergency existed for the Pacifica Foundation. Judge Sabraw stated that any emergency which currently exists for the directors is merely personal to them and is not an emergency for the institution.
At the strong suggestion of the court, the plaintiffs and defendants had previously reached a stipulated agreement which in part required that any proposed addition or removal of directors by the board have 30-day notice. (The notice doesn't apply to the individual decision of any director to resign.) Such notice would give the plaintiffs time to review the proposed action and return to court with an objection within the normal time frame for such requests. Judge Sabraw held that Pacifica National Board would have to abide by the agreement and serve 30-day notice of any proposed election of board members.
Date sent: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 14:48:45 -0700
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two people sought as new members of the Pacifica Foundation board of directors by the board majority have reportedly withdrawn their names from consideration after receiving hundreds of emails and faxes from Pacifica supporters asking them to step aside.
After it was reported Monday that the dwindling board majority was to a court for emergency authority to pack the board with five more people, hundreds of people flocked to the activist Web site Progressive Portal www.progressiveportal.org to send letters to Dick Gregory, Susan Estrich, and George Barnstone.
The board majority, viewed as usurpers by thousands of activists, told the court that several of their number were considering stepping down, which would turn control of Pacifica over to the five board members who support a democratic structure and more progressive programming at the radio network. But an Alameda County Superior Court judge, whose approval for emergency action was required because of several lawsuits underway against Pacifica, ruled there was no "emergency" and required the board to adhere to a 30-day waiting period.
According to news reports, attorneys for the board majority said that Estrich, a Democratic Party strategist who helped run Michael Dukakis's presidential campaign, has withdrawn her name, and comedian-activist Dick Gregory may also have stepped aside. No information was available about the other nominees, former District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry, real-estate professional George Barnstone, and Rev. James Ferguson.
From 4:30 p.m. Monday through 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, a total of 1,293 letters were sent by email and fax through Progressive Portal, according to Steve Freedkin, who operates the site. "This huge and rapid response from Pacifica's community helped turn aside a desperate effort by the corporate takeover artists to maintain their control over Pacifica," Freedkin said. "Once again, I am amazed at the dedication of the true Pacifica community."
The letter-writing continues at: http://www.ProgressivePortal.org
However, it's too early to declare a victory, Freedkin added. "It's still possible the board majority will find someone to help shore up their ranks before they lose control, so we must continue to press for the resignations of at least two of them within the next 30 days, before they can add to their ranks." He said the seven targeted board members are Ken Ford, Andrea Cisco, Bertram Lee, Bob Farrell, Wendell Johns, Valrie Chambers, and John Murdock.
From:Leslie Cagan firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to post widely...
JULY 17, 2001
STATEMENT FROM PLAINTIFFS AND CLIENTS:
Thank you! To the thousands of Pacifica listeners, hundreds of producers (including the fired and banned, the paid and unpaid) and the countless media activists around the country, we thank you all for the years of principled work you have poured into the struggle to reclaim Pacifica.
Today, in the Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Ronald Sabraw told the Pacifica Foundation and the Board majority that they cannot have their "emergency" meeting to elect five new directors to the Pacifica National Board today as they had planned. Their arguments that an emergency situation had been created by the resignations - and the expected resignations - of Board members was unambigously rejected by the judge. Pacifica had claimed that the departure and impending resignation of directors from the majority faction of the Board constituted an emergency for the foundation. (A stipulation signed by all sides in May specified that election of any new directors must be preceded by thirty days notice, but that emergency meetings could be held on seven days notice.) His decision was not merely a victory in our struggle to save Pacifica, but it was also a clear defense of free speech and our constitutionally protected right to protest, to make our voices heard.
In his ruling the judge also said that Pacifica can convene a meeting as long as the proper 30 days written notice is given, and that at such a meeting elections for new Board members can take place. While the present Board majority might decide to do this, we are confident that the tide is turning and tremendous changes will unfold in the coming weeks. For instance, in court today, Daly Temchine, the Epstein, Becker, & Green lawyer who represents the Pacifica Foundation, announced that at least two of the present Board members are prepared to step down. He also announced that one of the people whose names was being put forth for possible nomination, Susan Estrich, has declined nomination.
While we are extremely pleased by the Court's decision today we also know that our work is far from over. We are optimistic that in the not too distant future the five dissident Board members will become part of a newly constituted Board majority. An interim Board will need to be constructed, and the important work of building a democratic, accountable and transparent organization will begin. This work will be grounded in the long history of Pacifica and the five stations. It will be strengthened in its relationship to the progressive social change movement in this country and around the world. And it will be dependant on the participation and continued support of our listeners and the staff who have supported us so courageously and tirelessly thus far.
Again, we thank you all for the energy you have poured into this struggle. We hope you will all take a moment of pleasure in our victory today, and then roll up your sleeves for the work that lies before us.
Plaintiffs and Clients:
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