by Anthony Fest
If you’re a subscriber to KPFA, you should receive a ballot – please remember to vote! Unfortunately, most subscribers don’t take the time to vote, but the Local Station Board elections can help determine the future of this irreplaceable community-media institution.
Since 1949, KPFA has been bringing incisive political analysis, vital cultural perspectives, and an amazing variety of music to the Bay Area and beyond. To keep KPFA responsive to community needs, the station needs community participation, and one of the ways to participate is to vote in the board elections.
KPFA subscribers will elect nine board representatives in this election. Like many other KPFA staff members, I’m urging listeners to support the United for Community Radio candidates. This team of candidates is one of the best-qualified ever to run for the KPFA LSB, with backgrounds ranging from union work to environmental advocacy to police-accountability organizing.
- Dave Welsh, delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council and member of the Haiti Action Committee.
- Samsarah Morgan, writer and Occupy Oakland participant.
- Andrea Pritchett, schoolteacher and one of the founders of Berkeley Copwatch.
- Ramsés Téon Nichols, chair of the Organizing Committee at SEIU Local 1021.
- Karen Pickett, environmental campaign leader, organizer of Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters.
- Laurence Shoup, historian, former college instructor, author of “Rulers and Rebels.”
- Oriana Saportas, media activist, No-on-32 campaign worker.
- Kate Tanaka, incumbent KPFA LSB member, Oakland development watchdog.
- Beth Seligman, Occupy San Francisco participant, vegan advocate.
- Virginia Browning, longtime KPFA supporter.
Read more about all the candidates at www.votecommunityradio.org.
The KPFA LSB members are elected using a process called “single transferable voting.” If your first-choice candidate isn’t elected, your vote then goes to your second-choice candidate and to later choices if necessary. Or if a candidate collects more votes than needed to win a seat, the “surplus” votes are redistributed to later choices. So, to maximize the impact of your vote, please vote for the entire team of UCR candidates.
The UCR candidates stand for community participation in KPFA decision-making, including the restoration of a Program Council with substantial listener representation. Listener support keeps KPFA on the air, so listeners deserve a role in selecting what programs are broadcast. KPFA had a Program Council for many years, until a previous management dismantled it – it’s time to bring it back.
Another important principle of the UCR platform is respect and equal treatment for all staff, not only paid staff. The vast majority of KPFA staff are volunteers; without their dedication, KPFA would not exist.
As an example of a more egalitarian approach at KPFA, consider the 8:00 a.m. show, the Morning Mix. Despite being given no financial support, this program – just two years old now – has demonstrated the depth of talent that exists at the station. With different hosts each day of the week, the Mix has offered opportunities to staff who weren’t given prime-time access before; it’s also brought listeners a range of voices and subjects not heard previously.
Morning Mix hosts JR Valrey, Andres Soto, Davey D, Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff are among the KPFA staff members endorsing the UCR candidates for the board; other staff supporters include Apprenticeship Program instructors Joy Moore and Frank Sterling, news reporters Ann Garrison and David Landau, Guns & Butter host Bonnie Faulkner, Dennis Bernstein of Flashpoints, and music hosts Mary Berg, Emiliano Echeverria and Robbie Osman.
In addition, scores of community members have endorsed the UCR candidates. These endorsers include Willie and Mary Ratcliff of the Bay View, labor leaders Clarence Thomas and Jack Heyman, Black Star News editor Milton Allimadi, David Roach with the Oakland International Film Festival, Claude Gatebuke of the African Great Lakes Coalition, and Bay Area authors Gray Brechin and Michael Parenti. See a complete list of endorsers at www.votecommunityradio.org.
So, KPFA subscribers, please use your right to vote, and vote for the United for Community Radio team. Your support can keep KPFA moving ahead. Thanks!
Anthony Fest is a KPFA newscaster and one of the producers of the KPFA Morning Mix. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.