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East Bay | Labor & Workers

KPFA and the Truth About the Berkeley Honda Resolution
by Chandra Hauptman
Thursday Oct 12th, 2006 4:02 PM
The KPFA Concerned Listeners group includes two present board members who were involved
in preventing KPFA from endorsing the Berkeley Honda strike. Chandra Hauptman was the
author of the resolution to support the strikers and talks about what happened.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BERKELEY HONDA RESOLUTION

By Chandra Hauptman
Listener-Member, KPFA Local Station Board
Chandra Hauptman <chcats [at] lmi.net>
October 12, 2006


I am the author of the KPFA Local Station Board’s (LSB) resolution in support of the Berkeley Honda workers, who held a 10 month strike against the new Berkeley Honda management.* The resolution was first introduced to the KPFA LSB at its August 2005 meeting. It took the LSB nine months to act on this resolution. The only reason the board was able to approve this resolution is because I threatened to go public, at the April 2006 LSB meeting, by exposing the names of the two people who prevented this resolution from being approved by the LSB for the prior 8 months. Ironically, the April 2006 LSB meeting was held in a San Jose union hall.

A lot of misinformation is being circulated by the two previously unnamed board members, and their allies, about why they prevented this resolution from being approved. So I have decided to go public with their names and to correct their "mis-statements" as well as to answer the questions most people are asking:

Question #1: Why was this resolution drafted?

Answer: I drafted this resolution, after hearing an announcement on KPFA in July 2005, about a rally in support of the then striking Berkeley Honda workers. I attended this rally and was very disturbed to hear about the reasons for the strike including the firing of older workers, reduction of pension benefits and changes to the health insurance plan without union consent. I felt these issues had national implications so I drafted a resolution for the board to support the striking workers.

Question #2: Why did it take nine months for it to be acted upon and approved?

Answer: The reason it took nine months for this resolution to be approved is because two board members, SARV RANDHAWA and MARK HERNANDEZ, prevented this item from being heard by the board. Each month, either Sarv or Mark voiced an objection to this item going forward on the LSB’s consent calendar. After a few attempts to get this resolution approved, I started writing emails to all members of the LSB prior to each board meeting. I asked if anyone had objections to this resolution to please make these objections known to me and to the LSB. I also offered to discuss these objections so they could be resolved prior to each board meeting. Month after month my email appeals were met with complete silence. No one said why he/she was objecting. No one came forward to state publicly why he/she continued to prevent this resolution from going forward.

The first and only time this resolution was approved by the KPFA LSB was at the April 2006 meeting, two days before the Berkeley Honda strike was settled!

In solidarity,
Chandra

-----------------------------------
* The Berkeley Honda workers strike, now settled, was held from July 2005 - April 2006.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Jaime
Thursday Oct 12th, 2006 6:16 PM
It is not the business of the KPFA LSB to endorse labor actions. The LSB needs fewer distractions, not more.
by Still sickened
Thursday Oct 12th, 2006 6:35 PM
"The only reason the board was able to approve this resolution is because I threatened to go public, at the April 2006 LSB meeting, by exposing the names of the two people who prevented this resolution from being approved by the LSB for the prior 8 months."

Apparently it wasn't an empty threat.

"The reason it took nine months for this resolution to be approved is because two board members, SARV RANDHAWA and MARK HERNANDEZ, prevented this item from being heard by
the board."

According to your own admission, and the LSB's published meeting records (http://kpfa.org/lsb/index.php?page=minutes&id=15) you put the item on the LSB's consent calendar, where discussion or "hearings" is explicitly prohibited. By removing it from the consent calendar, Hernandez and Randhawa did not vote against it, they moved it to a portion of the agenda where it could be discussed before voting.

"The first and only time this resolution was approved by the KPFA LSB was at the April 2006 meeting, two days before the Berkeley Honda strike was settled!"

Per your meeting records, it passed with a unanimous vote at that meeting--so Hernandez and Randhawa voted for it in the end. Given that there are items on your agenda that have been untouched for nearly two years, it sounds like you got it through relatively quickly, given that it was a resolution having *nothing* to do with the governance of KPFA. Why are you trying to use it to smear them during board elections?

by Tell the Truth
Friday Oct 13th, 2006 11:33 AM
Jaime,
You definitely have allies in the KFPA Concerned Listeners Slate. Their supporters in the
Wellstone Democratic Club such as ex-CP activist Jack Kurzweil.
by Bay Area Insider
Friday Oct 13th, 2006 3:44 PM
Hauptman used to be in a food co-op in New York before she was thrown out and wandered to KPFA.

Here's a snippet of her take on "governance" and "member rights":

http://www.echonyc.com/~jkarpf/coop/nytimes.html

"Ms. Hauptman and two other board members, Paul Sheridan and Stewart Martin, have called for a wide-ranging review of the co-op's growth, its system of checks and balances, and how it is governed. They had obtained a lawyer's opinion that they were not legally bound to abide by any decisions made by the co-operative's members."

Reading through the whole batch of materials, Hauptman is an advocate of power consolidation; get as much as you can, then do as you will before anyone can stop you.

This goes a long way to explain why it is that she does not comprehend Roberts Rules, why she feels that she can make motions irrelevant to the discussion at hand, and why she has no real understanding on how staff, management, LSB, PNB and members need to interact.

What's interesting to note is that Hauptman has never referred to her experience on the NYC Food Co-Op in any of her campaign materials, and how she claims to be "for the members" despite her record as not giving a damn what the members think in an organization.

You go girl!

by Minutes Reader
Friday Oct 13th, 2006 7:27 PM
Chandra, in your message above you say that Randhawa and Hernandez prevented your resolution from being discussed. But yet you put the resolution on the CONSENT CALENDAR which by definition PROHIBITS discussion. How can they prevent an item from being discussed when it is placed in such a way that prohibits discussion in the first place? By objecting to its placement on the consent calendar and moving it to the agenda.

To be discussed, an item needs to be removed from the Consent Calendar to the agenda, which I am told by a non-partisan in this "controversy" is what they were attempting to do -- not because they objected to supporting the strikers (however much one may question the efficacy of the LSB resolving anything not having to do with KPFA).

SR and MH may not always vote or debate the way I would like them to, but in this case it looks to me that they were acting properly. I don't understand why you would remove an item on the agenda for discussion, and repeatedly move it back to the Consent Calendar where if anyone had a simple question it would get moved to the very bottom of the agenda, guaranteeing it would not be discussed at all.

I prefer to think your intentions were good in bringing the resolution, but it appears your understanding of how to properly introduce an important motion is lacking. That is not the problem of those who preferred to have an open discussion of what the strike was about, as I understand a good number of the LSB members do not live in the Berkeley area and were not as educated as you apparently were on the Berkeley Honda issue. Surely you would not want those less-educated members to approve by fiat a resolution regarding an issue they know little or nothing about? Now, that would be a legitimate campaign issue!

I, as one who also argues for LSB transparency, do not condone the placement of anything other than "housekeeping" issues on the Consent Calendar. Using that strategy potentially opens the theoretical floodgates for any number of "backroom" business items that properly deserve a public airing to be very quietly put into policy or practice, with no discussion before the public, which is not a good thing for transparency or democracy.

I have served on a number of boards that employ consent calendars in their business meetings. They are never used for anything but to dispense with self-explanatory housekeeping items and never for resolutions or motions of greater import. I think it would be well worth the future LSB's effort to define how the consent calendar is used. It does seem a bit unseemly that requests for more information on consent calendar items should be used as a campaign bludgeon.
by Old Lib
Friday Oct 13th, 2006 7:44 PM
Isn't the 'consent calendar' for stuff not worthy of discussion?

Things like making sure a place is open for a meeting, or recognizing retirees and the like? Stuff that would be a waste of time to talk about? That's what the Berkeley City Council and Alameda County Board do...it's the 'scutwork', the 'nuts and bolts' matters that no one cares about, but has to be voted on to be legal and proper.

Am I wrong here?

So what in the world was Chandra thinking when she stuck such an 'important' resolution in among the 'scutwork'???

Important enough to vote on, but not so important that anyone needed to talk about it?

And worse, Chandra thinks that she was doing the Berkeley Honda Workers a 'favor' for this?

What planet did she come from to have these thoughts?

This resolution was so 'important' that it was stuck in between declaring National Bat Guano Smokers Week and Dennis Bernstein's medical excuse for an ingrown toenail?

And to add insult to injury, she could have brought it forward to the front of the agenda, as did all of her Peoples Radio cohorts, and have it voted it in place...but instead she has a tantrum and withdraws the motion so that no one can talk about it behind her back?

This is simply more childish behavior from Chandra and her Peoples Radio gang...

by Bay Area Insider
Sunday Oct 22nd, 2006 2:30 PM
Mark Hernandez has apparently responded to Chandra Hauptman's claims.

An interesting read, if true; it hangs together a lot better than Hauptman's claims, and the LSB record supports his version better than hers.

Read it here:

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/10/22/18322249.php