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Indybay Feature

STOP THE PURGE ON THE KPFA BOARD

by Anthony Fest
KPFA's 2022 Local Station Board (LSB) has reached new depths of partisanship. How low can they go? The LSB is contemplating the expulsion of one of its own members! Please tell the LSB to stop this nonsense, and instead do some real work.
Remember when KPFA called itself “Free Speech Radio”?

Tell that to the current members of the KPFA Local Station Board (LSB), whose majority “Protectors” faction seems determined to suppress – even punish – free speech. The LSB has called a special meeting on October 29 to consider expelling one of its own members, whose offense, it seems, is speaking too freely.

The target of this unprecedented action is Elizabeth 'Lisa' Milos. She's a Chilean-American and a union member (UPTE), who works as a Spanish-English translator in health care. A runner-up in the most-recent election, she succeeded to an LSB seat early this year to replace a member who resigned.

And what has she done in the space of a handful of meetings (the KPFA LSB is the laziest LSB of the five Pacifica stations, meeting only every other month) to draw such ire from the ruling faction? It seems she's spoken up too often and with too much determination – insisting on big-picture perspectives, and sometimes bridling at the various restrictions (e.g. two minutes per turn) that the LSB imposes at its meetings.

However, we can only guess at what the exact “charges” against her are – because they were made in an executive session. Besides a tendency to censor speech, another trait of the “Protectors” faction is secrecy. Although Lisa called for the discussion about her case to take place in an open meeting, the LSB opted instead for a closed session. So too, the scheduled Oct. 29 meeting to vote on her expulsion is to be closed to the public. It's possible that the LSB will even try to keep its members' votes on the issue secret – unless, perhaps, the LSB hears from enough pro-transparency KPFA listeners. The LSB can be contacted via kpfalsb [at] googlegroups.com

Having lived in Chile, Lisa knows about genuine tyranny, and isn't apt to be intimidated by the LSB's petty authoritarians. But this case is about more than Lisa's LSB seat; it's really about the bullying, controlling behavior of the “Protectors” faction. Other LSB members elected from the competing Rescue-Pacifica caucus have been threatened too. Are the “Protectors” not satisfied with holding a majority, and would rather make the LSB as close to a one-party board as they can?

And while it turns up the temperature of conflict (the old slogan “end the infighting” has evidently been discarded), the Protectors-controlled LSB has been refusing to carry out the duties assigned to it by the Pacifica Bylaws. The Bylaws require the LSB to do annual performance evaluations of the station's General Manager and its Program Director. Yet by the time General Manager Quincy McCoy left KPFA this past summer, after nine years on the job, he'd been evaluated only once, and the Program Director not evaluated at all.

For a more in-depth account of what's happening at KPFA / Pacifica, read Daniel Borgström's latest article here on Indy Bay: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2022/10/25/18852741.php

Listeners who want the LSB to cease persecuting its own members, and instead to do its job under the Bylaws, are invited to contact the LSB at kpfalsb [at] googlegroups.com.

(Anthony Fest is a KPFA program producer. He hosted the KPFA Sunday News from 1996 to 2016, and is a former Local Station Board member.)
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