Return KPFA to local control: Support the recall!

Original KPFA radio dial, circa 1949

Original KPFA radio dial, circa 1949

You asked for it: during our first-ever SaveKPFA survey, over 87% of respondents said they’d support a recall campaign against incumbent members of the KPFA/Pacifica boards involved in misconduct. Today we are launching a campaign to recall KPFA board member Tracy Rosenberg, who also sits on the Pacifica National Board as its treasurer.

In her partisan quest to eliminate her opponents within KPFA, Rosenberg has destroyed KPFA’s most popular local program, The Morning Show, undermined KPFA’s fundraising, attacked the station’s union, misappropriated subscribers’ emails, and created legal liabilities for the network. | READ THE CHARGES, SIGN THE PETITION (this is a PDF; simply open and print — you must have Adobe Reader (free) on your computer)

Rosenberg has fully backed Pacifica executive director Arlene Engelhardt in her destructive actions at KPFA.

KPFA’s listeners and board members have made it clear they want local control of programming, including reinstatement of The Morning Show. SaveKPFA raised enough in pledges to pay for that reinstatement. But Pacifica rejected those pledges and instead chose to waste listener money on a $400/hour anti-union law firm to fight KPFA’s workers. The cancellation of The Morning Show has already cost the station nearly $300,000. If we don’t break this costly impasse, we may lose KPFA.

Our only path forward is to directly remove supporters of Pacifica’s executive director from Pacifica’s Board. Tracy Rosenberg has been Engelhardt’s most ardent public defender. She drew up the the secret layoff list that got The Morning Show cancelled. She was a driving force behind Pacifica’s illegal moves to keep SaveKPFA representatives from taking the positions to which they were elected on KPFA’s Local Station Board and the Pacifica National Board.

How the recall works

Recall Tracy Rosenberg


To initiate the recall, we’ll need roughly 440 valid signatures from KPFA listener-members. You are a member if you have donated $25 or more to KPFA in the past year.

1) If you aren’t already a KPFA member, become one so your signature counts. Give at least $25 dollars if you’re an individual, $50 if you’re a couple. Make a donation securely at KPFA’s online donation page.

2) Open and print the recall petition HERE.

3) Sign and mail your petition to SaveKPFA, PO Box 3263 Berkeley, CA 94703.

Become a SaveKPFA organizer!

Petitions with a single signature are welcome, but if you’re willing to spend a little time to gather additional signatures from other KPFA members, that’s even better. Can you circulate a petition at a local event, or are you willing to hold a house meeting to talk to your friends about KPFA? Fill out this form, and we’ll do our best to connect you with like-minded supporters in your area.

Questions? Email us or see our Frequently Asked Questions about the recall campaign.

We need to change Pacifica’s board to save KPFA

Now that a judge has ordered the Pacifica National Board to seat all of KPFA’s delegates, we stand a good chance of tipping the balance of power on that board if we can remove Rosenberg from it. (As part of the court settlement, Richard Phelps, who had acted as Pacifica’s lawyer in the case, resigned from KPFA’s board last week.)

Luckily, a recall campaign may actually bring in money for KPFA. In addition to strong support from KPFA members, nearly half the survey respondents who said they aren’t currently KPFA members said they’d be willing to join in order to vote on restoring local control.

So please take a moment to print out the petition, sign it and mail it in. Renew your KPFA membership if necessary. And please ask other KPFA listeners to participate. Together, we can reverse course and make KPFA a beacon of progressive radio broadcasting once again. | MAKE A DIFFERENCE, SIGN THE PETITION!

Judge orders contempt hearing after Pacifica ignores injunction

On Friday, June 3, an Alameda County Superior Court judge ordered the Pacifica National Board to seat SaveKPFA-affiliated representatives Laura Prives and Dan Siegel, and scheduled a contempt of court proceeding against Pacifica next month.

Both Siegel and Prives were elected as delegates from KPFA’s Local Station Board to the Pacifica National Board (PNB) last January. But the PNB majority had refused to seat Siegel, claiming his relationship with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan constituted an “appointed political office” (even though it clearly was not), which made him ineligible. The PNB barred Prives on the grounds that Siegel’s vote had tainted her election, while it illegally extended the terms of two other KPFA representatives more friendly to the PNB majority.

Some of the hundreds of listeners who pledged to restore the Morning Show

Superior Court judge Frank Roesch quickly rejected Pacifica’s arguments in March, and issued a preliminary injunction requiring Prives and Siegel to be seated. Bizarrely, Pacifica attorney Richard Phelps (who also serves on KPFA’s Local Station Board) convinced the Pacifica National Board to appeal the ruling, and to defy the injunction pending the appeal’s outcome. On Friday, the judge re-affirmed his original injunction, and ordered PNB Chair Summer Reese (who is from Los Angeles) and PNB Secretary Carolyn Birden (who is from New York) to appear in person to face a contempt proceeding on July 1.

Reese has now sent Dan and Laura notices that they are (finally!) being seated as members of the Pacifica National Board. Their terms were supposed to begin six months ago.

In a separate action, Phelps is suing several SaveKPFA members for their role in collecting $63,000 in financial pledges to restore The Morning Show. (That’s right — he’s suing them for fundraising!) Phelps alleges the fundraising activity was “disloyal” to Pacifica, and he’s demanding $800,000 in damages.

Attorneys at Siegel & Yee sought to have the suit dismissed as a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation), but a Fremont-based judge allowed it to move forward. Phelps filed the lawsuit in Fremont, presumably to avoid landing in the Oakland courtroom of the judge who has repeatedly ruled against him. Phelps already lost one SLAPP motion when he brought a harassing suit against SaveKPFA rep Dan Siegel — the judge in that case ordered Phelps to pay Siegel $10,000 in attorney’s fees.