KPFA recall campaign: almost there!

Supporters listening to a talk by Larry Bensky.

Supporters listening to a talk by Larry Bensky.

Signatures continue to roll in on the petition drive to recall KPFA board member Tracy Rosenberg, who also sits on the Pacifica National Board. We are close to meeting our goal, but we need your help TODAY to put us over the top.

Please PRINT & SIGN the recall petition here:
http://www.SaveKPFA.org/recall/petition.pdf
(If you have any trouble with the link, copy and paste it directly into your web browser, or contact us at votesavekpfa@gmail.com.)

Tracy Rosenberg is the architect of the destruction of KPFA’s Morning Show, a key ally of Pacifica executive director Arlene Engelhardt, and a prime mover behind efforts to illegally keep KPFA’s local representatives from taking their elected seats on Pacifica’s national board.

Recall Tracy Rosenberg

CLICK IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD & SIGN PETITION

To trigger a recall election, we need over 400 valid signatures from current KPFA listener-members — meaning people who’ve given at least $25 to KPFA in the past year. If you’re not sure if your KPFA membership is up to date, please give now at kpfa.org before you sign the petition.

We are required to turn in the signatures on paper — the old-fashioned way — so you need to print the petition, sign it and mail it. If you’ve already signed, then print a copy and sign up friends at meetings, events, and farmers’ markets.

Also, if you’re sitting on a signed petition, please mail it in now. We’ll be turning in our petitions shortly, and when we do, we want to have as strong a showing as possible. | MORE HERE

Another legal victory for SaveKPFA; court rejects Spooner action

A last-ditch attempt by Pacifica management ally Carol Spooner to keep KPFA Local Station Board members Dan Siegel and Laura Prives from their elected Pacifica National Board seats has gone down to defeat, only a week after being filed.

It all started last December, when Tracy Rosenberg pushed an illegal motion through the national board to unseat elected KPFA reps Dan Siegel and Laura Prives. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch issued an injunction requiring they be seated.

The Pacifica National Board appealed the injunction and threw Siegel and Prives off the board for a second time. But Judge Roesch stepped in again, threatening to hold Pacifica National Board officers in contempt of court for their actions, and ordering Siegel and Prives to be seated. As part of the settlement, KPFA board member Richard Phelps, who had been acting as Pacifica’s attorney in the matter, paid SaveKPFA‘s legal expenses out of his own pocket and resigned from KPFA’s local board.

So did it end there? Nope. From the sidelines, Spooner filed a petition with the Court of Appeal, trying to intervene and knock Dan and Laura off the national board a third time. The Court of Appeals quickly shot that down last Friday.

Pacifica’s frivolous legal maneuvers have gotten nowhere in court, but they have managed to run up the foundation’s legal bills and keep two of our locally elected representatives from assuming their seats on the national board for nearly half their one-year terms. Accountability comes from the ballot box — send in your recall petition today!

Pacifica takes another $18K from KPFA

KPFA’s Local Station Board met July 16, and the main agenda item was a budget for the fiscal year that starts October 1. SaveKPFA-affiliated reps are pushing for a provision that Pacifica national lower the amount of money it extracts from KPFA, since Pacifica operates its offices rent-free out of a KPFA-owned building. However, this is not a popular proposal with those in control at Pacifica, including Rosenberg. | AUDIO OF LSB MEETING: part 1, part 2, part 3

If anything, Pacifica wants more of KPFA’s resources. Last month, Pacifica extracted an unbudgeted $18,000 from KPFA, a sum Pacifica is refusing to deduct from the amount it says KPFA owes it.

What’s more, Pacifica is now asking all of its stations to turn over their airwaves for two days of fundraising this fall, with all proceeds going to Pacifica. Those proceeds will be in addition to the 20% cut Pacifica keeps from KPFA’s fund drives, the 27% cut it takes from KPFA’s Corporation for Public Broadcasting grants, and the bills Pacifica sends KPFA for other “services” — such as the $51,000 Pacifica has already billed KPFA for the $400 per hour lawyers it hired to fight KPFA’s union workers.

Recall campaign crosses halfway point: add your signature today!

Since SaveKPFA launched a petition drive to recall Pacifica National Board treasurer Tracy Rosenberg just two weeks ago, the response has been tremendous. Over 200 people have mailed their signed petitions in, and activists are circulating petitions at neighborhood events. | SIGN & MAIL THE PETITION HERE (PDF)

Recall Tracy Rosenberg

CLICK IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD & SIGN PETITION

Some SaveKPFA supporters have even come up with more innovative techniques. Listener Barrie Ann Mason writes: “I copied a pile of the petitions, keep them in my car, and slip them onto the windshields of parked cars with KPFA bumper stickers.”

There’s also been some ancillary benefit for KPFA: donations have been coming in from people who want to make sure their membership is current so their petition signature counts. Since the recall campaign launched, over 30 people have pledged more than $2300 at kpfa.org.

It will take over 400 signatures from current KPFA listener-members to force a recall election, so if you haven’t yet done so, mail in your signed petition (PDF) today. If you are not sure about your membership status, go here to donate at least $25 to directly KPFA. You can find details about the recall campaign here, or go straight to the recall petition itself here (this is a PDF; simply open and print — you must have Adobe Reader (free) on your computer — if you have any problems, contact us and we’ll mail you a paper copy.)

Rosenberg responds
In online responses to the recall petition, Tracy Rosenberg has advanced the position that because KPFA raised slightly more pledge money overall than the year before, killing the Morning Show was a good move. Of course, she doesn’t mention the fact that since Pacifica management re-programmed KPFA’s mornings, pledging from 6-10 AM has dropped by six-figure sums.

There are two reasons that KPFA’s overall fundraising hasn’t dropped. First, some programs, most notably Letters and Politics and the Evening News, have dramatically increased their fundraising. Second, over the course of six months, interim management increased the number of days KPFA spent in fund drives by nearly two weeks, which is hardly something to be proud of.

RETURN KPFA TO LOCAL CONTROL: SUPPORT THE RECALL

How it works
To initiate the recall, we’ll need over 400 valid signatures from current 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. If you haven’t given for a while, renew your membership. 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) Download 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 signatures from other KPFA members or hold a house meeting, that’s even better. Fill out this form, and we’ll do our best to connect you with like-minded supporters in your area.

Questions? Write us at votesavekpfa@gmail.com or see our Frequently Asked Questions about the recall campaign.

Aimee Allison’s arbitration

After management removed the Morning Show and laid off co-hosts Brian Edwards-Tiekert and Aimee Allison, the union representing KPFA’s paid staff, the Communications Workers of America, filed grievances. Edwards-Tiekert was soon restored with back pay, though to a position in KPFA’s newsroom rather than to the Morning Show.

Allison, who had less seniority than Edwards-Tiekert, took her case to arbitration with the union’s help. The decision, issued this week, upheld Pacifica’s layoff. That doesn’t mean Aimee can’t be brought back. She still has the right, under KPFA’s union contract, to be reinstated as work becomes available. SaveKPFA supporters have pledged the money necessary to make such a reinstatement possible, but rather than work with us, Pacifica chose to spend over $70,000 on anti-union attorneys to fight Aimee’s return. That’s why efforts like the recall election are so important — they’re our best chance of changing Pacifica’s leadership.

“Casting out a young, talented programmer like Aimee — when other options are available, and when the listening community has come forward to help — is simply stupid management,” said Pamela Drake, a member of KPFA’s board.

Spread the word: KPFA is looking for a new manager

Current KPFA manager Andrew Phillips is just an interim appointment by Pacifica’s Arlene Engelhardt. KPFA’s elected Local Station Board gets to choose the finalist pool for the permanent GM hire. If you know anyone who’s qualified, please encourage them to apply. The job description is here.

Phillips gave a surprise on-air “report to the listeners” last week, and was confronted with many critical questions from callers. One caller suggested the $70,000 that KPFA has paid to anti-union lawyers should be deducted from the salaries of managers. Ira in Oakland summed up many listeners’ feelings, saying “it disturbs me to no end that the station that I’ve been contributing to for 30 years doesn’t even allow free and open discussion on the air of the issues.”| 3 MIN AUDIO CLIP

KPFA’s Local Station Board meets this Saturday

Want to see station debates up close, or give your local reps some feedback? All are welcome at KPFA’s monthly Local Station Board meeting, which happens this Saturday, July 16 from 11am-4pm at the Humanist Hall (390 27th St @Broadway) in Oakland. Here’s a map and more information, including the agenda.