Between the minutes at KPFA's LSB

between the minutes at KPFA's board meeting
of November 19, 2016

Coming together in a time of crisis?

by Daniel Borgström

The November 19th meeting of KPFA's board went quite amicably. In a spirit of co-operation the "SaveKPFA" faction was willing to send all of the crisis plan proposals, including ones they presumably disagree with, to the PNB (Pacifica National Board). Impressive! Both sides were able to work together for once! This of course leads to another point on which everyone on both sides ("SaveKPFA" and United for Community Radio) totally agree on -- that the PNB is dysfunctional and absolutely certain to take no action whatsoever on any of those proposals.

But is the PNB paralysis really beyond resolution? It might help if the KPFA board (the LSB) were to put a couple of competent people on the PNB, even if only for the next month or so, till the new PNB is seated in January. There actually was an opportunity to do that.

One PNB member from KPFA (Jose Luis Fuentes of "SaveKPFA") has reportedly not attended any meetings for a year. The LSB could replace him, but hasn't done so yet.

Meanwhile, one of KPFA's delegates to the PNB (Brian Edwards-Tiekert) has resigned and a replacement for him was to be chosen at this meeting. There were two nominations: Anthony Fest and Lewis Sawyer.

We know both Anthony and Lewis well, as they've both been on the LSB for years. Anthony Fest has shown himself knowledgeable and competent, he would seem like the obvious choice from this LSB which is now supposedly working together in a spirit of unity to deal with the crisis.

The other nominee, Lewis is nice person. Everybody likes him and no doubt he has many wonderful qualities. But during his years on the LSB I have never heard him express an opinion or put forward a motion other than to announce that it's time for a break, or to move that the meeting adjourn. His only other action has been to always vote in lock step with the rest of "SaveKPFA." Moreover, he was not present at this meeting, nor at the previous one; he has not even officially taken his seat on the LSB. As far as we know, he had not agreed to be nominated for the PNB, and if chosen, it seemed doubtful that he would attend.

Nevertheless, Lewis was part of the "SaveKPFA" faction, which did in fact have enough votes to elect him at this meeting. In the past they unquestionably would have chosen one of their own members for the position, no matter how unsuited that nominee may have been. But the atmosphere of this meeting was new and different. Both factions had come together on recognizing that the entire Pacifica network was now on the edge of collapse, and in response to this situation, they were setting aside differences and working on solutions. And in addition to that, the shocking reality of Donald Trump being the president elect had apparently awakened them to a sense of common purpose. Part of any solution would've logically been to restore functionality to the PNB, and though that would've required more than what a single delegate could do alone, choosing a competent person would've sent a very clear signal that this board was seriously out to resolve problems.

So, I sat there almost holding my breath, wondering if maybe, just maybe, in this moment of crisis, if some or perhaps all of the "SaveKPFA" board members might decide to break with their former habitual practice, and choose Anthony Fest, a member of the UCR. At that moment it looked to me like they just might.

As I said, our people were in the minority. Four UCR members, plus Janet Kobren an independent. And eight "SaveKPFA" people.

It was not a roll call vote and balloting was secret, so I don't really know who voted for whom, but the count was: five for Anthony and eight for Lewis.

November 2016

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audios of the KPFA Local Station Board meeting of November 19, 2016:

full 3.5 hour length of the meeting

15 minute summary reel

Pacifica in Exile Newsletters

Report Back
from KPFA Local Station Board meeting of November 19, 2016

Rumored Asset Grab November 17, 2016

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for updates, reports & essays on KPFA/Pacifica, please visit these websites:





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KPFA 94.1 FM is one of five stations of the Pacifica radio network which are located in major cities across the country. The other stations are WBAI 99.5 in New York, WPFW 89.3 in Washington DC, KPFT 90.1 in Houston, and KPFK 90.7 in Los Angeles. There are also about 160 affiliate stations.