The election process for listener and staff delegates to the Local Station Board is underway and continues until October 15. More information at https://elections.pacifica.org, where you can click to open a form to request a ballot if you are a member and haven't received an email or postcard with you ballot access credentials, or a paper ballot if you wish one. On Thursday, September 9 from 7-9:00 PM, there was a live on-air candidate forum on KPFK with the opportunity for listener call-ins. Ten candidates participated. You can listen to it here: https://archive.kpfk.org/mp3/kpfk_210909_190000special.mp3 Those who did call-in complained of a lack of on-air advance notice of the forum. Candidate carts are also not being played yet.
At its Sept. 12 meeting, the PNB adopted the following motion:
Whereas the Pacifica Bylaws require the airing of candidate statements and on-air forums with call-in Q&A’s from listeners;
and Whereas the current LSB election is already in the 4th week of a 9 week balloting period,
Therefore, the PNB instruct[s] the IED within the next 24 hrs to instruct the GMs of all 5 stations to:
1. Air informative and promotional carts about the election and upcoming candidates carts and forums and the members ability to reset their vote.
2. Provide to the PNB and Election Committee a traffic report of scheduled on-air candidate carts that begin airing in rotation around the clock starting at midnight e.s.t. on 9/20/21 pre-empting all programming to accommodate all candidates, with a focus at prime-time drive hour slots in the morning and evening, but not excluding midnight to 6 a.m. .
3. Provide to the PNB and Election Committee a traffic report of scheduled candidate forums allowing for 10 mins per candidate when scheduling so that an hour forum will feature 6 candidates, etc. to be aired in same rotation protocols as stated above starting 9/20/21.
You can listen to the candidate forum that aired recently on sister station KPFA here: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2021/09/03/18844668.php
The recent on-air candidates' forum on KPFK is linked to on the front page of the station website.
The LSB held a special meeting on Wed. Sept 1, and adopted the following motion:
Moved that the KPFK LSB strongly urges station management to convene a strategic planning meeting immediately, incorporating governance and paid and unpaid staff, to come up with a plan for meeting KPFK's expenses on an ongoing basis, including seeking grants, developing a plan for distributed on-air fund raising on an ongoing basis that does not interfere with broadcasting, seeking media partners that can help develop new, attractive programming that will rebuild our audience, calling out to lapsed subscribers, economizing on other development and operational costs, and other possible methods for bringing the station's budget into balance. The incoming GM is invited (and will be kept appraised of any proposals developed).
The interim GM, Moe Thomas, responded favorably and an initial meeting was held, and two follow-up meetings including staff members, management and paid and unpaid staff; with the new incoming GM, Miquel Calçada, being kept informed. He will officially begin on Sept. 15, and the LSB will have its regular monthly business meeting via zoom on Sunday Sept. 19, with the expectation of an initial report from the strategic planning group.
PNB director and LSB member Jim Osborne resigned last week, and an emergency delegates' assembly was scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 12 to vote on a replacement PNB director, and to seat a replacement listener delegate. Rob Macon was seated on the LSB per the Bylaws as the next available runner-up. Four candidates were nominated for listener director: Rob Macon, Allan Beek, Eric C. Jacobson, and Lydia Ponce. The delegates authorized an IRV ballot to Chair of Tellers Terry Goodman and Teller John P. Garry. Lydia Ponce was elected to fill out the vacated PNB term through December. A meeting to verify the result is being held today Sept. 13 at 3:30 PM PDT via zoom (details on KPFTX.org where it will be streamed).
All the latest Board, CAB and Committee meeting information (and access info) is at https://kpftx.org/
The KPFK Local Station Board welcomes community input. LSB meetings include a half-hour of Public Comments for listeners and others to communicate with the board; we usually divide this in segments over the course of the meeting so the public can comment on different items of business before we vote. We meet the third Sunday of each month at 10:30 AM Pacific time, currently and for the foreseeable future via zoom. Our next meeting is Sunday, August 15. The zoom information is the same each month:
Local station boards are composed of 18 members elected from the general listener-sponsor membership, plus 6 members elected from the paid and unpaid staff of the station. The board also includes the station general manager as an ex-officio member. The current members of the Local Station Board are:
Michael Adler, listener; Allan Beek, listener; Fred Blair, listener, LSB Treasurer; Sandy Childs, listener; Bella De Soto, listener; Jan Goodman, listener; Eric C. Jacobson, listener; Evelia Jones, listener; Ali Lexa Al-Hilali, staff, PNB director; Rob Macon, listener; Barbara Marbach, listener; Michael Novick, listener, LSB Chair; Robert Payne, listener; Lydia Poncé, listener, PNB director; Lawrence Reyes, listener, PNB director; Rocio Rivas, listener, LSB Vice-chair; Paul Roberson, listener; Jeanine Rohn, listener, LSB Secretary; Mansoor Sabbagh, staff; Oscar Ulloa, staff; Polina Vasiliev, staff, PNB Secretary; Elizabeth von Gunten, listener, PNB director; Harvey Wasserman, staff; Kiyana Williams, staff. Ex officio: Moe Thomas, interim General Manager.
LSB terms of office are 3 years and are staggered: half the members are elected one year, the other half the next year, and elections are not held in the third year. Listeners must be KPFK members in order to vote in station board elections. Becoming a member is easy: all it takes is a minimum contribution of $25 per year, or three hours of supervised volunteer work for the station. We encourage all listeners to join and have a voice in their station. In the LSB delegate election process now underway, listener members will be electing 9 listener delegates, and staff members will be electing 3 staff delegates; all 12 will be seated and begin serving in December. Any individual member of the LSB can serve a maximum of six consecutive years and then must be off the board for at least a year before being able to serve again.
The local station board elects 4 representatives (three listener members plus one staff member) to the Pacifica National Board in January each year. The Pacifica National Board sets policies for the network as a whole. Members of the LSB may help support the station through fund raising and outreach. In addition, members also volunteer or are elected to standing committees of the Pacifica National Board listed below.
Local station board members are called “delegates,” while those elected to the national board are called “directors.” A complete description of the Pacifica governance system is detailed in the Pacifica bylaws.
You can find out more about the Local Station Boards here, in the Pacifica Foundation Bylaws: Article Seven: Local Station Boards (pacifica.org)
From the Bylaws, these are the powers and duties of the LSB, after each of which we note the committee charged with implementing that responsibility:
A. To review and approve that station's budget and make quarterly reports to the Foundation's Board of Directors regarding the station's budget, actual income and expenditures. LSB Finance Committee (meets the Wed. before LSB meeting, 4 PM Pacific)
B. To screen and select a pool of candidates for the position of General Manager of its respective radio station, from which pool of approved candidates the Executive Director shall hire the station's General Manager.. The LSB may appoint a special sub-committee for this purpose. GM Search Committee (elected for the purpose) (met this year and recommended a pool from which iED named new GM).
C. To prepare an annual written evaluation of the station's General Manager. Personnel Committee
D. Both the Executive Director and/or an LSB may initiate the process to fire a station General Manager. However, to effectuate it, both the Executive Director and the LSB must agree to fire said General Manager. If the Executive Director and the LSB cannot agree, the decision to terminate or retain said General Manager shall be made by the Board of Directors.
E. To screen and select a pool of candidates for the position of station Program Director, from which pool of approved candidates the station's General Manager shall hire the station's Program Director. The LSB may appoint a special sub-committee for this purpose. PD Search Committee (elected for the purpose)
F. To prepare an annual written evaluation of the station's Program Director. Personnel Committee
G. To work with station management to ensure that station programming fulfills the purposes of the Foundation and is responsive to the diverse needs of the listeners (demographic) and communities (geographic) served by the station, and that station policies and procedures for making programming decisions and for program evaluation are working in a fair, collaborative and respectful manner to provide quality programming. Programming Oversight Committee (meets third Mondays, 4 PM Pacific)
H. To conduct "Town Hall" style meetings at least twice a year, devoted to hearing listeners views, needs and concerns. Outreach Committee (meets last Sundays, 11:30 AM Pacific) A town hall is planned for late September.
I. To assist in station fundraising activities. Fundraising Committee (awaiting new convenor)
J. To actively reach out to underrepresented communities to help the station serve a diversity of all races, creeds, colors and nations, classes, genders and sexual orientations, and ages and to help build collaborative relations with organizations working for similar purposes. PNB Committee of Inclusion at KPFK (One director, three delegates who may add members) (meets 2nd Mondays, 4:30 PM Pacific)
K. To perform community needs assessments, or see to it that separate "Community Advisory Committees" are formed to do so. KPFK Community Advisory Board (in formation) If interested, apply to the LSB Chair by email firstname.lastname@example.org; put CAB in the subject line. Include any pertinent competencies and community connections. Meeting at least quarterly, 3rd Monday, 7 PM Pacific - next Oct. 18)
L. To ensure that the station works diligently towards the goal of diversity in staffing at all levels and maintenance of a discrimination-free atmosphere in the workplace. Committee of Inclusion
M. To exercise all of its powers and duties with care, loyalty, diligence and sound business judgment consistent with the manner in which those terms are generally defined under applicable California law.
The LSB also has a Governance Committee which usually meets 7:30 PM Pacific on the Wednesday evening prior to the LSB meeting, with the principal responsibility of preparing a draft agenda for the LSB meeting, incorporating reports from the other working committees. The PNB directors and the General Manager also usually prepare monthly reports for the Local Station Board which are discussed at the meetings.
There is a listserve for news and announcements from the KPFK LSB (not a discussion list): email@example.com. To subscribe and receive a weekly email about LSB and committee meetings and related matter, send a blank email with the subject line subscribe kpfklsbnews firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive a message to authenticate your request and join the list.
Here's a report on recent PNB activity by Director Elizabeth von Gunten of the KPFK LSB:
PNB Director's Report to KPFK LSB from Director Elizabeth von Gunten, August 15, 2021
Pacifica continues to enjoy the benefits of improving financial self discipline. Our contract with NETA is bringing a necessary and very welcome internal regularity to our internal business administration, establishing routine business practices, clarifying and bringing past accounting up to date, and lay out an orderly path into strategic planning and a more predictable future.
As a consequence, Pacifica's overall financial prospects continue to improve, with KPFK being the single notable exception in that regard. Pacifica FY2020 audit and our 501(c)(3) IRS 990 reporting have both been completed, with all audits now up to date for the first time since 2012. Timely completion of future audits will be greatly facilitated with this previous work now in place.
Newly available Pacifica pensions information has resolved outstanding concerns regarding Pacifica pension funding, thus lifting a disclaimer regarding previous arrearages, bringing what was a possible debt of upward of $500,000 down to an actual debt of only about $8,000, greatly alleviating our most immediate financial pressure.
Work has been completed on six of the eight Pacifica financial unit budgets. A KPFK FY21 budget is expected to be approved at the next NFC meeting in time to use it as a starting point and template for a timely FY22 budget. With budgets in place for all seven operational Pacifica units, a National Office budget will be the final piece.
It has been a major effort to resurrect a standard budget process across the networks, but having these initial budgets in place this year provides a sound starting point and template for a return to more regular business practices into the future. Adopting such practices has assured that we were able to qualify to extend the crucial JFC loan on good terms. We continue to service the loan on time and without interruption.
In addition, the federal government, recognizing its vested interest in assuring the ongoing viability of critical infrastructure such as radio communications throughout the roughest stretches of the pandemic, took bold action to support and protect a broad array of such community assets, including Pacifica, to our great good fortune.
It is to the advantage of the community as a whole for institutions such as Pacifica to continue to operate without interruption throughout any major material, economic, or social disruption such as the pandemic. The PPP funding we qualified to receive functioned as it was intended, to stabilized strategic community assets across the country. Pacifica was by no means the only beneficiary to have benefited from this foresight.
Other current financial work deferred to allow completion of the audits has resumed, resulting in increasingly current financials for most recent months.
There are concerns at the national level about the ongoing crisis at KPFK having consequences for the network as a whole. Finance, programming, personnel, and management are all showing the effects of being left in limbo for months as our local situation deteriorates.
Directors of any nonprofit such as Pacifica bear a fiduciary duty, a legal obligation to do all within our power to promote the best interests of Pacifica. We also bear a legal duty to warn of any perceived dangers to the institution.
While I appreciate the necessary self examination undertaken by our critics, publicly disparagement of internal challenges can have the unintended consequences of undermining the prospects and credibility of the institution we all love and which we are legally bound to defend and protect.
Any sincere critique should avail itself of the profoundly inclusive, participatory, democratic processes provided within Pacifica governance and should rightly be accompanied by a commensurate internal effort to correct perceived inadequacies.
This monthly Report is intended to keep all apprised of my own such efforts, and as an invitation to all to look for an opening in which you can bring forth your own gifts, whatever they may be, to support Pacifica in its hour of need.
Over the course of the last month I've attended all local and national board, committee, and task force meetings in which I'm responsible to represent the KPFK LSB and listeners including all Pacifica National Board meetings, National Finance Committee and Strategic Planning Committee meetings.
At my request, the Pacifica Development Task Force has reconvened and is now slated to meet Monday, August 23, 2021, at 5:30pm PT, and regularly thereafter. I'm working with the chair to develop a strategic development plan.
The Pacifica National Technology Task Force has begun meeting regularly fir presentations and discussion of how best to configure Pacifica to meet the needs of the future.
In addition, I've been attending the National Bylaws Task Force.
I was recently asked to address the Pacifica Affiliates Roundtable on Pacifica's role in Emergence Response, beginning with regular Public Service Preparedness Announcements. We've begun to stand up a Pacifica Resilience Work Group to meet on an ongoing basis.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns about our work at the national level now or at any time throughout the month and I'll do my best to respond.
Respectfully submitted, Beth von Gunten KPFK LSB, PNB Director
PNB COMMITTEES, WORKING GROUP & TASKFORCES
Unless otherwise stated, composition per station on the PNB Committees is up to 2 directors (elected by PNB) and 2 station Delegates (elected by LSBs). LSB members may join the PNB Working Group. Affiliate directors may join any task force and any group except Committees of Inclusion, Coordinating and Finance.
COMMITTEE OF INCLUSION at each station (1 director & 3 delegates – elected by their LSB)
COORDINATING – (up to 2 directors per station, board officers, natl. mgmt.)
FINANCE – (1 director per station, each LSB treasurer, CFO)
PERSONNEL – (up to 2 directors per station, up to 2 affil.)