Will common sense and good judgment prevail? Or will we see KPFA severely damaged?
KPFA is currently headed over a cliff. It is time to stop, take a deep breath and figure out how to change direction. We cannot afford losing or greatly weakening OUR community radio station.
The disaster scenario is a permanent split, bitterness, loss of regular supporters, and money wasted on legal battles as the station's finances, morale and reputation sink.
KPFA workers have said that the station is bigger and more important than any one program or person. Pacifica management has said there is no political or personal purge and the issue is soley financial.
It seems clear what needs to happen: mediation with the goal of achieving the necessary budget cuts. Management is correct to insist on these but needs to make the decisions in consultation with the staff union. That means more than saying "We followed the union seniority rules".
I suggest the mediation take place with several mutually respected local progressive leaders as observers. The "third party" people will be less subjective. They will bring a fresh viewpoint and help the parties understand how important it is to reach compromise agreement. Pacifica management and KPFA staff are the ones who need to make the decisions but I think third party observers would help. This is absolutely appropriate because this is about a COMMUNITY RADIO STATION, not a corporate franchise or workers collective bakery.
At this time of economic and political tumult, it is more important than ever to strengthen and expand KPFA. We cannot afford to see this hugely valuable resource severely damaged by the exaggeration of secondary differences. We all want the same thing: powerful, influential radio reaching a growing number of people and contributing significantly to the broad progressive movement.
Pacifica Management and KPFA staff who are involved in this - it's time to set aside personal differences. Please stop making the other side into the enemy. There is too much at stake and there is a huge community counting on you to strengthen not damage KPFA. Please, get a good mediator, get some mutually respected progressive leaders who can act as neutral observers/supporters, and find a compromise that meets the financial requirements.
We can either have a compromise WIN-WIN or we all are going to lose.