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Report To Pacifica Supporters & Listeners
by Tom Voorhees
Friday Sep 27th, 2019 2:57 PM
KPFA Local Station Board Member and Pacifica Network Board Member Tom Voorhees talks about a planned take-over of Pacifica and top down management
Pacifica is needed to provide a progressive alternative to the mainstream media, including NPR and PBS.

Public report to all Pacifica radio station members.

In the middle of our current election process, an email blast was sent to voting members by a group calling itself the Restructuring Pacifica Project, with a petition to rush through changes in the Bylaws and network governance that would reduce member involvement and eliminate democracy at Pacifica.

We have fought for decades for a democratic and independent community radio network, and resisted takeovers motivated by ruling party politics, including by refusing to give progressive cover to the Democratic Party.

The next paragraph may be hard to believe for relative newcomers to Pacifica radio stations.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, KPFA broadcast vital war awareness guest commentaries directly after the evening news about Vietnam (as did its Pacifica sister station WBAI in New York). KPFA also played an important role in helping activists (including my younger self) fill the San Francisco Kezar Stadium with peace demonstrators on more than one occasion. I believe that the help Pacifica stations gave the peace movement actually helped hasten the end of that war.

1971, the corporate wing of the Democratic Party influences within KPFA pushed firing long time ace news director Elsa Night Thompson (with no replacement) resulting in the eventual collapse of multiple award winning hot news rooms at WBAI and KPFK. The KPFA formerly hot news room was severely dumbed down and became the week day news that continues to exist today.

Mid 1990s, Democracy Now was forced out of WBAI by then Pacifica ED Lynn Chadwick attempting to "professionalize" all Pacifica stations, resulting in the formation of the GRC, Grass Roots Radio Coalition, to resist Chadwick pushing toward top down control for Pacifica and all independent community radio stations, then Chadwick became CPB grant money decider.

2015, again conservative Democratic Party influences within KPFA launched the originally secret Crisis Group to push again for top down control of KPFA and all five Pacifica stations.

Also Dan Siegel and Margy Wilkinson conspired to 'catch' KPFA in case of bankruptcy, and the 'Big Tent' scheme by Carole Travis, followed by the subsequent push for bankruptcy by people in the Crisis Group. See https://pacificainexile.org/archives/2405 and a timeline of the most recent coup attempts starting in 2012: https://pacificainexile.org/archives/1817

Today, the Pacifica programming committee struggles with programming that will bring back a growing membership. Obviously it's news and public affairs programming that shines bright sunlight on rampant corruption on Washington DC and the top down control within the Democratic Party structure.

2019, a Crisis Group member convinced newer PNB members to launch a Pacifica top down takeover plan within September 19th PNB executive closed session, claiming WBAI is about to financially collapse all of Pacifica with WBAI having the only growing membership numbers since KPFA news director Elsa Night Thompson was fired in 1971.

Probably WBAI numbers are growing because of airing Tom Hartman and Jimmy Dore with the most recent daily updated truth telling including about Democratic Party corruption which Pacifica stations now tend to avoid.

We should pay attention to what WBAI listeners are telling us by tuning in to these shows. Pacifica is needed to provide a progressive alternative to the mainstream media, including NPR and PBS. Please Don't let this new takeover attempt interfere with our ability to do so.

Tom Voorhees, Pacifica and KPFA board member and a independent transmitter engineer servicing many of over 250 independent Pacifica affiliate stations.

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