🚨 ATTN WBAI MEMBERS: VOTE NO IN THE PACIFICA BYLAWS REFERENDUM.
This is an effort to liquidate the democratic structure of the Pacifica Network, WBAI's parent non-profit, by disenfranchising staff and listeners at all of its stations. We believe that the faction behind this anti-democratic measure aims to sell off WBAI’s signal to the highest corporate bidder. They must be stopped. The fate of WBAI 99.5 FM is at stake.
🚨 HOW TO VOTE
Today, Tuesday, February 18th, all staff and members of WBAI (or any Pacifica station) should have received an email inviting you to vote on whether or not to change the bylaws for the entire Pacifica Network, with the subject line “Pacifica By-laws Amendment Vote - Listener" or "Pacifica By-laws Amendment Vote - Staff" containing a link and password to vote online. Voting ends March 19th, 2020. We urge you to vote no.
🚨 MORE ON THE PROPOSED BYLAWS
In contrast to so many unelected boards of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations that shape the lives of working class people—institutions that run our libraries, schools, hospitals and workplaces—Pacifica network stands out as one of the last few institutions where members can exercise democratic local control. Station communities in New York, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Houston directly elect their representatives to the Pacifica National Board. But if these bylaws changes get voted through, those rights would disappear, and the neoliberal restructuring of Pacifica would be complete.
The changes would do away with most local representatives and replace them with a board of unelected, unaccountable at-large directors, who can determine local programming, staffing, and the sale and privatization of any of the affiliate radio stations. We oppose these changes because we believe they will facilitate the sale of WBAI and contribute to the gentrification of New York’s airwave—right at the very moment when tenants and workers and the socialist movement are fighting to take back our city.
🚨 SAY NO TO UNELECTED AT-LARGE DIRECTORS
The individuals who have been put forward as at-large directors include many high profile individuals on the liberal left. They have the resources and networks to help raise funds to get Pacifica out of its financial troubles, but have unfortunately chosen to put more effort into dismantling its democratic mechanisms instead. We believe it is important to point out that their leadership in different progressive organizations has sometimes run counter to rank-and-file democracy.
Heidi Boghosian, who has since recused herself but still supports the bylaws amendment, is the executive director of the AJ Muste Foundation, which, in the last year, fired its janitorial staff because they were organizing to unionize. We fear that support behind these bylaws will open the door to further union-busting at Pacifica stations.
Another individual who may be appointed if these bylaws are passed is Bob King, former president of the UAW. In light of the recent federal investigation of UAW leadership and their embezzlement of dues money, we concur with the DSA National Political Committee’s February 12th statement in solidarity with UAW rank-and-file members organizing for a special convention and the right to directly elect their leadership to avoid a federal government takeover.
The right to directly elect our leadership is precious and it is a right that we still have at Pacifica. We cannot go backwards. We cannot repeat these very recent examples of undemocratic union and nonprofit leadership. DSA members fight everyday for elected civilian review boards against police brutality, elected school boards against charter school financiers, and elected union leaders who are accountable to their membership.
The fight for democratic control of community radio helps amplify all these other struggles. Vote no on the Pacifica bylaws revisions.