Working Assets As The Best Local Toll Phone Choice

Please support Working Assets. Pac Bell management crossed the picket line to install the telephone into the transformer. Call Pacific Bell at 800-310-2355 and tell them you want Working Assets (Carrier code 10-649) as your carrier for local toll calls. Whenever you dial direct from your home you will pay 5cents a minute for all local toll calls. Tell them you are changing carriers because of their lack of support for KPFA.

Working Assets slams Pacifica Working Assets, a nationwide credit card and long distance phone service provider which donates heavily to progressive causes, sent out a scathing e-mail bulletin to thousands of subscribers, offering them an 800 number with which to call Pacifica board chair Mary Frances Berry and express their discontent. That number, by the way, is 1-888-38-STANDUP. Working Assets has also yanked plans to donate to Pacifica.
"It just seems like the board has no legitimacy," company president Michael Kieschnick told us. "We did write to [Pacifica executive director] Lynn Chadwick twice asking for a meeting and got no response whatsoever." Kieschnick said he was uncertain exactly how many of Working Assets 400,000 members recieved the e-mail bulletin.

Here's the bulletin:


Working Assets makes donations to progressive groups each year. Our customers decide on the allocation of funds among the 50 groups selected each year. All groups receive general support without strings attached, unlike most foundation funding, on the presumption that the group is well managed and will make wise choices about use of the funds. One of the groups selected last year for inclusion on the 1999 donations ballot was the Pacifica Foundation.

Recent events at Pacifica, including a move by the board of directors to make membership on the board by self-selection with no elections or accountability, when combined with the utterly incomprehensible behavior by the board to literally lock out the staff at lead station KPFA, have led us to conclude that our funds would at best be poorly if not misused.

For more information about the situation, which is changing rapidly, we suggest visiting the "Save Pacifica" Web site at often. Accordingly, we have removed Pacifica from the 1999 Working Assets donations ballot. Before taking this step, we requested a meeting with Pacifica management several times, but received no response.

As events have unfolded, it has become clear that any solution to the crisis unfolding at Pacifica must include a more accountable and legitimate board. Nobody on the current board has been elected by, or is accountable to: listeners, contributors, volunteers, staff or local stations - only to other board members. It is highly unlikely that a board with no legitimacy can move Pacifica forward. Working Assets calls on the existing national board members to reverse their vote to become self-selecting, and instead move to direct elections by listeners, contributors and volunteers.

The existing board should then step down and individually run for re-election based on explicit campaign commitments as to the future of Pacifica. For those who wish to share this or another view with Dr. Mary Frances Berry, the chair of the Pacifica national board, we have set up a special toll free number 1-888-38-STANDUP which will allow you to leave a message in Dr. Berry's voice mail.

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