Fear expressed that no vote on bylaws will destroy WBAI, Pacifica

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue Jul 22 03:13:43 MDT 2003


From: mitchelcohen at mindspring.com

Subject: [NewPacifica] WBAI to vote on Bylaws TUESDAY, 6:30 pm, 120
Wall St. 10th


Please forward to all Pacifica Lists.


REJECTION OF BYLAWS BY WBAI LOCAL ADVISORY BOARD
MAY LEAD TO SELLING OF THE STATION

Dear Concerned Listeners and Friends of WBAI,

As you know, the interim Pacifica National Board (iPNB) had approved a
set
of bylaws for the network, which also require approval by 3 of the 5
Local
Advisory Boards (LABs) under the lawsuit settlement agreement.
Although you
may not have heard about this on the radio, the WBAI Local Advisory
Board
meets TODAY, TUESDAY, at 6:30 pm. Judge Sabraw afforded this one
opportunity for the LABs to finalize bylaws, which had been stalled by
divisions on the iPNB.

Berkeley and Texas passed them again.
Washington DC rejected them again.
And last night, the Los Angeles LAB voted them DOWN, by a vote of 12
against and 11 in favor.

On Tuesday evening at 6:30 pm (come early!), the WBAI LAB will vote on
these bylaws. It is likely that the WBAI LAB will reject them as well,
despite overwhelming support for the proposed bylaws by many
progressive
people, including the New Jersey Concerned Friends of WBAI, Long
Island
Concerned Friends of WBAI, and many other groups. If the LAB votes
down the
proposed bylaws, this will be the gravest error to occur -- WORSE, in
my
view, than Utrice Leid's takeover of the station two years ago
(because of
its much longer term implications), and a betrayal of everything
listeners
and staff have been fighting for. And yet, this is likely to happen.

I'll give the short answer to why this is so, below. But first, I
implore
you to come to the LAB meeting (which, even under NORMAL
circumstances, is
completely dysfunctional) Tuesday, July 22 at 6:30 pm, at the radio
station: 120 Wall St., 10th floor (you'll need photo ID), back room
(it
only holds around 40 max). If only for the sake of the history of this
struggle, we must have our views recorded. We must pressure the LAB to
vote
to approve the national bylaws.

Here are two reasons, among many, which I view to be the most
important:

1) THESE PROPOSED BYLAWS GIVE LISTENER-MEMBERS AND  STAFF THE RIGHT TO
VOTE
FOR THE FIRST TIME for governing bodies at WBAI and Pacifica. Most of
themembers of the LAB -- who were, by the way, self-appointed -- are
trying
to prevent that enfranchisement from happening, for it would mean that
their own terms are up, and they'd have to stand for election and be
accountable to the listener-members and staff.

Under the proposed bylaws, the Station Boards would then ELECT the
Pacifica
National Board. Until now, listeners and staff have not been allowed
to
vote for the governing  bodies of Pacifica. There has been no
accountability of those selected to the LABs, which is what allowed
for the
takeover of two years ago in the first place, as well as to the
current
deadlocked situation. The proposed bylaws CHANGE THAT. Anything other
than
a YES vote is a betrayal of the listeners and staff and everything
that
Concerned Friends, the Pacifica Campaign, and the entire movement of
the
last few years stood for. That is why Juan Gonzalez, among many
others, has
endorsed passage of the proposed bylaws.

It is imperative that the WBAI LAB vote YES, if listeners and staff
are
going to be empowered to vote for those seated on the local and
national
governing bodies of Pacifica. That's one of the key things we've all
been
fighting for, for so long. A NO vote, on the other hand, upholds the
LAB's
ongoing policy of self-appointing members, and of keeping the
listeners and
staff impotent in terms of responsibility for selection of the
national
board. This will not change for the better the longer we wait. We will
NOT
get a more democratic process, under proposals now before the Court.
Just
the opposite!

2) A NO vote by the LAB will throw the decision back into the Court.
It is
likely that Judge Sabraw will then entertain motions by former hijacke
r
Board member Ken Ford and others, who do have standing in the Court
and
well-financed legal advice, to place the entire network into
"receivership". (You can  read this motion, which Ford and others have
already made, at
http://www.wbai.net/bylaws_revise/br_ct_doc_null7-8-03.html). The
first
thing the Receiver might do is sell WBAI. This is real!

The hijackers' goal is to sell off WBAI to private interests, perhaps
those
controlled by the Democrat Leadership Council (DLC, which was behind
much
of what went down in the past). This is clearly not the goal of the
members
of the Local Advisory Board. But it could well be the unwitting result
of
their NO vote on the proposed bylaws.

All of this puts the WBAI LAB in a unique position (and
responsibility)
light years removed from the considerations at the other LABs. It is
clearly in the best interest of the station to NOT be sold. That
threat
outweighs almost every other consideration. Should the WBAI LAB pass
the
bylaws, all of that -- the threats of receivership, bankruptcy and
sale of
the station all go away, and we can concentrate on rebuilding the
tattered
station and network we hold so dear, and which are so-o-o-o crucial in
fighting against the fascism coming down everywhere in this country.

*************************
Those are my two main reasons for demanding that the Local Advisory
Board
vote YES on the bylaws. Additional changes to them can be made ONCE WE
HAVE
AN ELECTED BOARD, accountable to the listener-members and staff.

A NO vote risks losing all of what we have been fighting for,
listener-staff rights, elected boards, and indeed the entire Pacifica
network. Those who think the State would not take this jewel away from
us
at the first opportunity do not understand how state power functions
in
this period, how precarious is our hold right now on the licenses of
the
stations in the network.

It is imperative that the listeners see for themselves who stands for
democracy at WBAI/Pacifica and who will sell out the democratic rights
of
the listener-members and staff. No matter how they spin it, that is
the
choice we all face.

Please come to WBAI at 6:20 pm Tuesday, July 22, 10th floor, 120 Wall
St.
(bring photo id). Let your voice be heard.

Thank you,

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens/Green Party USA

PS: The members of the WBAI Local Advisory Board are the following
(includes the number of years they have sat on the LAB, in
self-appointed
3-year seats without accountability to the listener-members; asterisk
(*)
means their 3-year term has expired, but that's who will be making
this
decision):

• Rashida Ismaili Abu-Bakr 1-1/2 years
• Vicente "Panama" Alba 2-1/2 years
• Marian Borenstein (Chair) 5-1/3 years *
• Cecilia Caruso 5 years *
• Jon Cohen 3-1/4 years *
• Anne Emerman 7 years *
• Gail Golden 5+ years *
• Madelyn Hoffmann 3-1/2 years *
• Connie Hogarth 5-1/4 years *
• Victoria Hunter (Secretary) 3-1/2 years *
• Lee Kronick 3-1/2 years *
• Ray Laforest 3 years *
• Anthony Mackall 2-1/4 years
• Erroll Maitland (Paid Staff) 5-1/2 years *
• Miguel Maldonado 7/1998 5 years *
• Andrew Norris 1/1998  5-1/2 years *
• Mimi Rosenberg (Unpaid Staff) 7-2/3 years  *

EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR LAB
Miguel Maldonado <chefmiguel66 at hotmail.com>,
Rashida Ismaili Abu-Bakr <rashidaismaili at aol.com>,
Vicente Panama Alba <panamaalba at yahoo.com>,
Marian Borenstein <mmborenstein at yahoo.com>,
Jon Cohen <joncohen216 at earthlink.net>,
Anne Emerman <emermans at earthlink.net>,
Gail Golden <Peacepoet at aol.com>,
Madelyn Hoffman <njtoxics at aol.com>.
Connie Hogart <CONART at prodigy.net>,
Lee Kronick <leebug1 at webtv.net>,
Anthony Mackall <jaydub16 at aol.com>,
Errol Maitland <errolma at hotmail.com>,
Andy Norris <norris at norris.rutgers.edu>,
Mimi Rosenberg <merosenberg at legal-aid.org>,
Ray Laforest <raylaforest at mindspring.com>,







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From: mitchelcohen at mindspring.com

Subject: [NewPacifica] WBAI to vote on Bylaws TUESDAY, 6:30 pm, 120
Wall St. 10th


Please forward to all Pacifica Lists.


REJECTION OF BYLAWS BY WBAI LOCAL ADVISORY BOARD
MAY LEAD TO SELLING OF THE STATION

Dear Concerned Listeners and Friends of WBAI,

As you know, the interim Pacifica National Board (iPNB) had approved a
set
of bylaws for the network, which also require approval by 3 of the 5
Local
Advisory Boards (LABs) under the lawsuit settlement agreement.
Although you
may not have heard about this on the radio, the WBAI Local Advisory
Board
meets TODAY, TUESDAY, at 6:30 pm. Judge Sabraw afforded this one
opportunity for the LABs to finalize bylaws, which had been stalled by
divisions on the iPNB.

Berkeley and Texas passed them again.
Washington DC rejected them again.
And last night, the Los Angeles LAB voted them DOWN, by a vote of 12
against and 11 in favor.

On Tuesday evening at 6:30 pm (come early!), the WBAI LAB will vote on
these bylaws. It is likely that the WBAI LAB will reject them as well,
despite overwhelming support for the proposed bylaws by many
progressive
people, including the New Jersey Concerned Friends of WBAI, Long
Island
Concerned Friends of WBAI, and many other groups. If the LAB votes
down the
proposed bylaws, this will be the gravest error to occur -- WORSE, in
my
view, than Utrice Leid's takeover of the station two years ago
(because of
its much longer term implications), and a betrayal of everything
listeners
and staff have been fighting for. And yet, this is likely to happen.

I'll give the short answer to why this is so, below. But first, I
implore
you to come to the LAB meeting (which, even under NORMAL
circumstances, is
completely dysfunctional) Tuesday, July 22 at 6:30 pm, at the radio
station: 120 Wall St., 10th floor (you'll need photo ID), back room
(it
only holds around 40 max). If only for the sake of the history of this
struggle, we must have our views recorded. We must pressure the LAB to
vote
to approve the national bylaws.

Here are two reasons, among many, which I view to be the most
important:

1) THESE PROPOSED BYLAWS GIVE LISTENER-MEMBERS AND  STAFF THE RIGHT TO
VOTE
FOR THE FIRST TIME for governing bodies at WBAI and Pacifica. Most of
themembers of the LAB -- who were, by the way, self-appointed -- are
trying
to prevent that enfranchisement from happening, for it would mean that
their own terms are up, and they'd have to stand for election and be
accountable to the listener-members and staff.

Under the proposed bylaws, the Station Boards would then ELECT the
Pacifica
National Board. Until now, listeners and staff have not been allowed
to
vote for the governing  bodies of Pacifica. There has been no
accountability of those selected to the LABs, which is what allowed
for the
takeover of two years ago in the first place, as well as to the
current
deadlocked situation. The proposed bylaws CHANGE THAT. Anything other
than
a YES vote is a betrayal of the listeners and staff and everything
that
Concerned Friends, the Pacifica Campaign, and the entire movement of
the
last few years stood for. That is why Juan Gonzalez, among many
others, has
endorsed passage of the proposed bylaws.

It is imperative that the WBAI LAB vote YES, if listeners and staff
are
going to be empowered to vote for those seated on the local and
national
governing bodies of Pacifica. That's one of the key things we've all
been
fighting for, for so long. A NO vote, on the other hand, upholds the
LAB's
ongoing policy of self-appointing members, and of keeping the
listeners and
staff impotent in terms of responsibility for selection of the
national
board. This will not change for the better the longer we wait. We will
NOT
get a more democratic process, under proposals now before the Court.
Just
the opposite!

2) A NO vote by the LAB will throw the decision back into the Court.
It is
likely that Judge Sabraw will then entertain motions by former
hijacker
Board member Ken Ford and others, who do have standing in the Court
and
well-financed legal advice, to place the entire network into
"receivership". (You can  read this motion, which Ford and others have
already made, at
http://www.wbai.net/bylaws_revise/br_ct_doc_null7-8-03.html). The
first
thing the Receiver might do is sell WBAI. This is real!

The hijackers' goal is to sell off WBAI to private interests, perhaps
those
controlled by the Democrat Leadership Council (DLC, which was behind
much
of what went down in the past). This is clearly not the goal of the
members
of the Local Advisory Board. But it could well be the unwitting result
of
their NO vote on the proposed bylaws.

All of this puts the WBAI LAB in a unique position (and
responsibility)
light years removed from the considerations at the other LABs. It is
clearly in the best interest of the station to NOT be sold. That
threat
outweighs almost every other consideration. Should the WBAI LAB pass
the
bylaws, all of that -- the threats of receivership, bankruptcy and
sale of
the station all go away, and we can concentrate on rebuilding the
tattered
station and network we hold so dear, and which are so-o-o-o crucial in
fighting against the fascism coming down everywhere in this country.

*************************
Those are my two main reasons for demanding that the Local Advisory
Board
vote YES on the bylaws. Additional changes to them can be made ONCE WE
HAVE
AN ELECTED BOARD, accountable to the listener-members and staff.

A NO vote risks losing all of what we have been fighting for,
listener-staff rights, elected boards, and indeed the entire Pacifica
network. Those who think the State would not take this jewel away from
us
at the first opportunity do not understand how state power functions
in
this period, how precarious is our hold right now on the licenses of
the
stations in the network.

It is imperative that the listeners see for themselves who stands for
democracy at WBAI/Pacifica and who will sell out the democratic rights
of
the listener-members and staff. No matter how they spin it, that is
the
choice we all face.

Please come to WBAI at 6:20 pm Tuesday, July 22, 10th floor, 120 Wall
St.
(bring photo id). Let your voice be heard.

Thank you,

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens/Green Party USA

PS: The members of the WBAI Local Advisory Board are the following
(includes the number of years they have sat on the LAB, in
self-appointed
3-year seats without accountability to the listener-members; asterisk
(*)
means their 3-year term has expired, but that's who will be making
this
decision):

• Rashida Ismaili Abu-Bakr 1-1/2 years
• Vicente "Panama" Alba 2-1/2 years
• Marian Borenstein (Chair) 5-1/3 years *
• Cecilia Caruso 5 years *
• Jon Cohen 3-1/4 years *
• Anne Emerman 7 years *
• Gail Golden 5+ years *
• Madelyn Hoffmann 3-1/2 years *
• Connie Hogarth 5-1/4 years *
• Victoria Hunter (Secretary) 3-1/2 years *
• Lee Kronick 3-1/2 years *
• Ray Laforest 3 years *
• Anthony Mackall 2-1/4 years
• Erroll Maitland (Paid Staff) 5-1/2 years *
• Miguel Maldonado 7/1998 5 years *
• Andrew Norris 1/1998  5-1/2 years *
• Mimi Rosenberg (Unpaid Staff) 7-2/3 years  *

EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR LAB
Miguel Maldonado <chefmiguel66 at hotmail.com>,
Rashida Ismaili Abu-Bakr <rashidaismaili at aol.com>,
Vicente Panama Alba <panamaalba at yahoo.com>,
Marian Borenstein <mmborenstein at yahoo.com>,
Jon Cohen <joncohen216 at earthlink.net>,
Anne Emerman <emermans at earthlink.net>,
Gail Golden <Peacepoet at aol.com>,
Madelyn Hoffman <njtoxics at aol.com>.
Connie Hogart <CONART at prodigy.net>,
Lee Kronick <leebug1 at webtv.net>,
Anthony Mackall <jaydub16 at aol.com>,
Errol Maitland <errolma at hotmail.com>,
Andy Norris <norris at norris.rutgers.edu>,
Mimi Rosenberg <merosenberg at legal-aid.org>,
Ray Laforest <raylaforest at mindspring.com>,











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