Public Comment

How You Can Help KPFA

By Akio Tanaka, KPFA Local Station Board member
Monday January 10, 2011 - 05:21:00 PM

Support Our KPFA! 

Last year KPFA was on a path to a train wreck. (See the graph - 10 Years of KPFA Finances). The Pacifica Board who is responsible for the financial health of the whole network stepped in to bring the KPFA finances under control which necessitated some cuts in staff. Seven people took voluntary severance, and in the end two people were laid off. 

However, a few people, including one of the individuals who was laid off, have cast this action as a union busting political purge, and have convinced the majority of the KPFA paid staff, the SaveKPFA board members, and many listeners to accept this explanation of events. (Berkeley City Council has rejected a recent resolution in support of this "narrative".) 

Recently they have also started to disparage the Pacifica National Board and the Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt, accusing them of trying to usurp the local control of the KPFA finances and programming. 

The reason that the Pacifica National Board intervened in the KPFA finances was to perform its fiduciary responsibility to keep KPFA and Pacifica solvent. And the only reason the Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt stepped in to help put together the new Morning Show with volunteers and unpaid staff is because the paid staff union, CWA Local 9415, has forbidden its members to work on the new Morning Show. The union supporters are labeling anyone working on the show as scabs and pressuring the guests that have been invited to appear on the show to boycott the show. 

Luckily, even though the new Morning Show has a new format and some wrinkles to iron out, many people are supporting it and have also volunteered their financial and other resources to help restore the station. 


How You Can Help 


You can help by not getting caught up in the disinformation campaign that claims that the Pacifica management is engaged in union busting or that the Pacifica National Board and the Executive Director is trying to usurp the local control of KPFA finances and programming. 

You can help KPFA get through these hard times by doubling your contribution this year, and asking everyone you know to do the same. 

Pacifica's Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt, who has years of experience in community radio, is responsible for the whole Network and this includes wresting KPFA from its previous uncontrolled spending and bad management. 

We should thank the Executive Director and the Chief Financial Officer Lavarn Williams for tirelessly working to put KPFA and Pacifica back on a solid financial footing, and being so steadfast in face of unsubstantiated and baseless charges. 

We need to bridge the divide and all work together to not only strengthen the station so that it can continue to be a healthy, vibrant fertile ground for information, inquiry, and engagement but also empower those who are in a position to provide the over 150 affiliated community stations across the country with the progressive programming that we so depend upon to be the informed citizens that are the hope of a decent society – with programs such as Democracy Now!, Free Speech Radio News, Letters to Washington (Letters and Politics), Flashpoints, Uprising, and many others that are produced at the various Pacifica stations. 

The new General Manager is coming on board. Let's us all support him and KPFA to produce good programming and bring in more listener subscribers.