Pacifica Listeners Union (PLU) policy committee, composed of Rafael Renteria, Bernie Eisenberg, Heidi Chesney and Michael Costello, presented the PLU plan of action. In order to establish an independent national voice of listeners throughout the station and affiliate areas, the PLU states the following goals:
REMOVAL OF THE PACIFICA BOARD
Through establishment of an escrow account for the redirection of listener funds until the 15 Point Program of the Union is enaction
By supporting the lawsuit of the Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board and campaigning for inclusion in the Siegal-Yee suit a clause requesting the court to remove the Board and for the accountability of the plaintillfs of that suit to organized Pacifica listeners
To explore the possibility of further lawsuits
To expose the malfeasance and abuse of powers by the PNB
To encourage the breaking of Pacifica╠s gag rule by programmers throughout the network
ESTABLISHMENT OF A LEGITIMATE INTERIM PACIFICA NATIONAL BOARD
To develop a framework for election by the Pacifica╠s listeners of an Interim Pacifica Board, ensuring accountability of the candidates in these elections to the various demands of the movement, including the 15 Point
REDISTRIBUTION OF PACIFICA AIR TIME TO REFLECT THE ETHNIC COMPOSTION OF THE
SIGNAL AREAS IN WHICH IT BROADCASTS AND TO UNSURE THE FULFILLMENT OF THE
ORIGINAL PACIFICA MISSION
To focus outreach among communities of color, women and working class and poor people
To campaign for the elimination fo Pacifica╠s Strategic 5 Year Plan
To explore alternative structures for Pacifica╠s unions to create opportunities for greater diversification of the stations╠ staffs
REVISION OF PACIFICA╠S BY-LAWS
To establish a national committee composed of listeners in the 5 signal areas to review current proposals for by-law changes, ensuring that a revised set of by-laws maximizes accountability to the listeners.
ELIMINATION OF CPB FUNDING
To explore the possibilities of a lawsuit against the CPB for interference in Pacifica╠s internal affairs
To expose the role of CPB funding in undermining Pacifica╠s original Mission
The structure to accomplish these goals would be: to set up 5 committees (one for each of the above points) in each of the five listening areas; these committees would be coordinated by national representatives to help direct the most effective action for reaching the goals; the policy committee would be at the top of the structure.
Responding to how many people are involved in the PLU, Rafael pointed out that the policy committee includes 2 from the LA area and 2 from the Bay area. 300 people have expressed an interest.
There has been no fundraising to date. Donations will be requested from the membership but they do not yet know what this will involve.
The effort toward boycotting funds to PNB is to elevate pressure against the Board. Acknowledging the short term effect will be small, the boycott can be used effectively as a form of strike, to raise the awareness to a national level while making a significant political statement while increasing pressure on the Board. Boycotting does begin slow and then build.
It is questioned that the 15 Demands may be too specific and a better organizing issue would be listener elections since this can effect all other related issues. The union will determine the running of the boycott and when conditions have been met. The committee feels it is important to have strong positions and not rely just on elections which do not guarantee the best strategy. Since the different station areas have various levels of involvement in the struggle with Pacifica, not all areas may be ready for listener elections. There needs to be a process for transformation and education where an interim Board will establish a legal national Board before elections become the primary focus. And there needs to be a balance between democratic policy and democratic structure.
The question of side bands is raised and it is acknowledged that the side bands have created a separate source of income (up to $900,000/year) that has allowed the bureaucracy to grow. The side bands will be more crucial over time as their numbers increase
The question of diversity is raised. While the ethnic mix at the station may not be the most critical issue, it is important that the groundwork be laid for how outreach and communication into the community will be handled. The wording of the diversification issue is awkward; the intent is to include all oppressed groups and the choice was made to name a few specific groups. The policy committee is willing to take suggestions and feedback. It is suggested that the true meaning of diversity (to contribute to a lasting understanding of nations, cultures and people while promoting the study of what causes conflicts between different groups) be a greater focus than the superficial way the issue of diversity typically is viewed.
The committee to revise the by-laws will start with elections that are not intended to be the final form of process-only the beginning. The By-Lay Committee will be responsible for appropriate proposals for how the By-Laws should be amended. The listeners will then approve proposed changes.
Concern is raised that the PLU is now a grass roots groups but how can democratization be brought into the process. The policy committee is established to develop and direct the most effective policies, to watch the climate among the listeners and to be aware of Pacifica activities. Their positions will be made public so that there is a statement about what their stands are. While the PLU does not have a democratic structure, they ask to be judged by what they stand for; the content of their policies are democratic even if their structure is not. Listeners are to be included in action necessary to open up the process to create a democratic structure. There is room for modification and input into the proposals. The policy committee believes the proposals are built on sound principals and provide for a centralism with democratic input.
The LAB's are not directly addressed by the PLU proposal because they are not seen as having any acting power. By-Law changes are expected to include empowering the LAB's and teh maximize the democratic process.
It is suggested that the Folio may provide a source of interaction and communication and a forum for organizing elections.
North Bay for KPFA asks what the PLU wants from us. While there is no group membership, the PLU is asking for individuals to join, for volunteers to help in organizing the union and being in touch the NB4K╠s council, for support in organizing elections and to endorse the gag rule motion.
These issues are to be addressed to all listeners. Other listening areas may not be aware of the structural problems in bringing the stations back to the original Pacifica principals and require education regarding what the orginal programming was set up.
Bernie Eisenberg presents the election process which is based on Northern California Committee for Proportional Representation╠s PR Choice and has provided software for tallying.
REGISTRATION is the first stage currently set to end by 1/10/2000 (subject to change). Any listener can register. If part of the staff, they need to also be part of a listener group advancing the movement. A 3 page pamphlet is provided for registration, complete with instructions and a nomination process (requesting slates of 4 in preferential order from each signal area). The 4 highest candidates (based on PR choice) will receive the nomination.
VOTING for nominees then allows for 2 people to be elected from the 5 signal areas to take 10 seats on the Board who then nominates 7 at large members.
RATIFICATION of the 7 members will continue until ratification is complete
RECALL election will occur when 30% of registered voters (it is suggested that 10% is usual) petition.
The Board nominees need to support a truth commission to investigate the
current PNB and PLU position statements.
The PLU has determined that 5,000 votes creates a mandate.
WEBSITE FOR THE PLU: pacificalistenersunion.org
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