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Arlene Engelhardt out, layoffs retracted; yet future of Pacifica remains uncertain
by gloria
Tuesday Aug 28th, 2012 9:24 AM
KPFA’s paid and unpaid workers celebrated the decision by the Pacifica National Board (PNB), under pressure, to not renew the contracts of Pacifica Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt and Chief Financial Officer LaVarn Williams.
Engelhardt subsequently sent a letter to KPFA’s union, Communications Workers of America Local 9415, retracting Pacifica’s statement of impending layoffs. The union had learned that Engelhardt planned to make up to $250,000 in cuts to KPFA, despite the fact that the station was on track to end the year with a six-figure budget surplus. KPFA’s union hailed both of these decisions as major victories, following a protracted campaign by staff and listeners.

The vote against the renewal of Engelhardt and Williams’ contracts came at the Pacifica National Board meeting in Berkeley in late July, where legions of listeners and paid and unpaid staff turned out to oppose the direction that the two executives were taking the network — including their plans to lay off workers who generate the income that keeps KPFA and Pacifica afloat. You can find coverage of that PNB meeting, including audio clips and photos, at: and

During her tenure, Engelhardt oversaw serious and damaging changes to KPFA, including the removal of the popular Morning Show. The PNB voted that she, as with Williams, would remain in her job until November 30th when her contract expires; presumably to protect the foundation against lawsuits from either manager.

However, in a surprise turn of events, the PNB voted this week to immediately replace Engelhardt with the chairperson of the highly factionalized national board, Summer Reese. According to Reese’s press release, she assumed the role of Interim Executive Director on August 17th. Reese appears to have the backing of Pacifica Treasurer Tracy Rosenberg, who has until now been a staunch ally of Engelhardt, and the architect of the removal of the Morning Show.

The PNB also voted to have yet another in-person meeting of the board in October or November, despite the perilous financial state of the network. “It is stupid and unnecessary to spend any more money on meetings,” said KPFA staff member Laura Prives, who sits on the Pacifica National Board, and was in the minority opposing another expensive gathering of the 22 member board.

Tracy Rosenberg stops recall

After more than a half-year delay by Pacifica of a listener-initiated recall of Tracy Rosenberg, Rosenberg has sued to bring the vote to a halt. Rosenberg claims that the recall is unfair because it has been delayed — despite the fact that her allies postponed the recall for months, buying her time to launch her own anti-recall campaign. Rosenberg submitted her lawsuit before the votes were counted, demanding that they not be tallied, which indicates that she believed she would lose. A hearing is set for September 10. Read more about the status of the recall here:

by Never Forgive, Never Forget
Wednesday Aug 29th, 2012 8:21 AM
It is fish or cut bait time. We need to have a total sweep of all 14 open positions on the KPFA Local Station Board in the October 2012 elections, installing 14 anti-recall candidates who will repeal all recall provisions in the bylaws so we never have another expensive recall when we already have expensive almost annual elections to the Local Station Board. That means we need lots of candidates to sign up as such by August 30. Go online TODAY at
and pledge $25 or more to be a member.
Then submit your petition TODAY as instructed at
The Board members and their term expiration dates are listed at:
You will see there are 14 Board members whose terms expire this year including 3 staff representatives and 1 KFCF representative.

Be sure to watch the anti-recall candidates websites at:

Perhaps there will also be other anti-recall candidate sites; the more, the better.

For more information, here is Daniel Borgstrom's excellent latest article.
KPFA & Pacifica
a strategic asset for social movements
Occupy Oakland & the upcoming KPFA board election
by Daniel Borgström
August 27, 2012
KPFA and the Pacifica radio network are a strategic asset for grassroots movements challenging the status quo. It has given Occupy some very good coverage. However, this cannot be taken for granted, because this radio station and network are under attack (from within). There is now an election going on for the KPFA board which could determine the future of this radio station and the Pacifica network.

KPFA, at 94.1 FM, is the local station here in Northern California. Pacifica is the parent organization; it has stations in five major cities. It also has over a hundred affiliated stations. In short, this is a nationwide radio network. Since the Occupy Movement has been nationwide, we can see the strategic importance of keeping the Pacifica network intact. However, there are some who want to break up the network; a group calling itself "Save KPFA" has been pushing to separate KPFA from Pacifica. That's a bad idea, because if the network were broken up, the stations would likely fall into the hands of centrist or even rightwing broadcasting companies. A breakup must be prevented; this is one of the main issues in the upcoming board election.

In the KPFA election, 9 board members will be chosen. There are two competing alliances with totally different (and in my opinion irreconcilable) visions for KPFA's future. In a nutshell, the situation is comparable to that of Occupy Oakland vs. the Alameda County Labor Council bureaucrats -- who for a while seemed to be our natural allies, but ended up opposing Occupy and lining up with Mayor Jean Quan and the Democratic Party.

We may remember that last fall, almost from day one, the Democratic Party set out to co-opt Occupy, to turn it into the Democrats' equivalent of the Tea Party. As soon as tents appeared in the Plaza, Mayor Jean Quan and the Oakland City Council (all Democrats) made a major bid to co-opt Occupy Oakland. They were actually very nice to Occupy at first, and it was only after the General Assembly rejected their advances that the Democrats sent police to attack us.

The same struggle has been going on at KPFA. The difference being that whereas the General Assembly decided within the short space of about two days that it didn't want to carry water for the Democrats, KPFA has spent 2 decades on this question, and is still in the process of making up its collective mind.

KPFA's board consists of 24 members -- slightly over half are aligned with the pro-Democrat labor bureaucracy, and several of this faction, which calls itself "Save KPFA," are members of and the Wellstone Club. Pamela Drake of "SaveKPFA" openly works for Mayor Jean Quan. They are also the group that has been attempting to do a recall on Tracy Rosenberg, a highly effective KPFA board member and advocate for media democracy. If the "Save KPFA" group wins out in this struggle, KPFA's programming will most certainly be unfriendly to Occupy and other grassroots movements. Occupy will NOT receive good coverage.

Opposing the pro-Democrat faction is an alliance (including Henry Norr, David Welsh, Stan Woods among others) which is friendly to Occupy. Most of its members have taken part in Occupy Oakland's actions. This group is "United for Community Radio."

That is the KPFA situation in a nutshell; for more details, please see other articles at this website, and also at Stop the KPFA (Endorsers page) and Support


Become a KPFA subscriber and vote in the upcoming board election.
Attend KPFA board meetings; they're monthly, and most are held in Berkeley.
Read up on the issues and the current history of KPFA at the above websites.
Share Facebook posts about "United for Community Radio."

TO BECOME A VOTING MEMBER of KPFA, a $25 subscription must be delivered to the station by August 30th. It's at:

KPFA Radio Station, 94.1 FM
1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Berkeley CA 94704
(One block north of University Ave.)
(510) 848.6767

For more information about KPFA's board election, please contact:
Aharon Morris, Local Election Supervisor
510.848.6767 ext. 212
or via e-mail at: election [at]
by Bored with Save KPFA
Friday Aug 31st, 2012 1:31 AM
The idiots at Save KPFA delayed the recall themselves. Now they're blaming the victim after they torpedoed one potential adminsitrator after another claiming they were "biased", until the clock ran out and they were in violation of CA Corporations Code. That's why Rosenberg won the restraining order and will win the permanent injunction. Open and shut case.