KPFA election results: landslide win for SaveKPFA!
Now, the work begins.
On Wednesday, Pacifica’s National Election Supervisor released results of the voting in KPFA’s board elections. The totals show SaveKPFA won in a landslide, taking two-thirds of the open listener-elected seats on KPFA’s board (under the proportional representation system Pacifica uses for its elections, it is virtually impossible to make a clean sweep of all open seats).
The SaveKPFA candidates elected are Margy Wilkinson, Leland Thompson, William Campisi, Sasha Futran, Barbara Whipperman, and David Lynch, along with staff representative Tim Lynch. (See the full results here.)
What it means
“We campaigned on our track record — getting stable, professional management in place at KPFA, restoring local control over programming and finances, dramatically shrinking the length of KPFA’s fund drives, expanding KPFA’s online presence and podcast offerings, and supporting cutting-edge new programs,” said SaveKPFA’s Margy Wilkinson, the top vote-getter in the election. “Now we have more work to do stabilizing Pacifica [KPFA’s parent corporation], working across the aisle on reform of our cumbersome governance system, and fundraising so KPFA can lead the network in delivering hard-hitting coverage of the 2016 election.”
Voting has been extended at three of the other stations that make up Pacifica Radio, because not enough ballots were returned in time to reach a quorum. The outcome of those elections will largely determine whether or not SaveKPFA will be able to stay in a majority coalition on the Pacifica National Board.
SaveKPFA’s representatives first entered a majority coalition at the national level almost a year and a half ago, inheriting an organization running a $2.8 million annual deficit, and facing multiple lawsuits from unpaid creditors. Wilkinson stepped in to serve as interim executive director–on a volunteer basis–and delivered an impressive turnaround. Pacifica went from producing an annual deficit of $2.8 million dollars in 2013, to producing a small surplus in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015.
“We’re not out of the woods,” said SaveKPFA’s Brian Edwards-Tiekert, who serves as a staff representative on the local board and chairs the National Finance Committee of the Pacifica National Board. “We’ve won or settled almost all outstanding litigation, but we are still struggling to pay off debts left over from the prior administration. Also, several parts of Pacifica are faced with declining fundraising, and running significant deficits.”
The path forward
KPFA has made real progress over the past year: delivering a major overhaul of its website, launching three new podcasts (and counting), ramping up its off-air fundraising initiatives, and shrinking the amount of time it spent in pledge drives by nearly one-third. This can be a model for the rest of the network — if we demonstrate there’s enough listener support to make it work.
Hours left in winter fund drive
KPFA’s Holiday Fund Drive ends on Friday at 7 PM. KPFA went out on a limb by canceling its Summer fund drive and shrinking its Fall and Spring fund drives–in the short term, that meant giving up a lot of income. Station staff report that the strategy has started to pay off with more dollars raised per day–but they’re still facing a gap that could leave money very tight through the rest of the winter. There are three ways you can help:
1. Donate now. Show your support for the station’s new direction, and SaveKPFA’s election victory, by making a generous gift to KPFA. Remember: the more you give, the more you can deduct from your 2015 taxes.
2. Volunteer in KPFA’s phone room. KPFA needs a surge in donations to make its goal, and that means it needs enough volunteers on hand to take their calls. Come down to 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way any time between 6:30 AM and 8:PM to help out.
3. Come to this weekend’s KPFA Winter Crafts Fair, which takes place in Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. There will be juried crafts exhibits, live music, fresh food, and plenty of opportunities for last-minute holiday shopping.