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L.A. DAILY REPORTS and Documents | L.A. iPNB meeting info
Daily notes from the iPNB meeting in Los Angeles

3-9-03: Sunday

Apologies for name misspellings.
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Directors present:
David Fertig, Carol Spooner, George Barnstone, 
Teresa Allen, Charles Smith,   
Dick Gregory,  
Robbie Robinson, Janice K Bryant 
Jabari Zakiya, James Ferguson, Marion Barry, 
Ray LaForest
(many directors will leave before end of meeting
to travel)

Not present :
 Bert Lee, Pete Bramson

10:00am: War programming
10:30am: Finance committee
12:30pm: Elections committee
1:30pm: Break
2:00pm: Race and Nationality committee

Meeting convenes 10:00

iPNB secretary Carol Spooner chairing in the absence of
Leslie Cagan who needed to get to D.C
for peace movement work.

Chair Spooner - Goes over agenda.
Yesterday neglected to form the elections
committee. Will organize that today...

Barnstone - makes apology for comments made
yesterday referring to local collectives making 
demands on KPFK as a "mob"

War programming

Dan Couglin - Update on yesterday's arrests at 
Washington D.C. peace demonstration of Alice Walker, 
Amy Goodman and others.
[ story here]

Oatis McClay, KPFT Program Director -
There's been a series of conference calls to
organize war programming.
The plan, in the event of war, is to going into
special war programming for at least the first 18 hours.
The broadcast will rotate through the stations like
previous national programming, though the stations 
will work in pairs in order to pool resources.
Working extensively with Free Speech Radio News
which has stingers around the world.

Fertig - lists the people in Baghdag

Robinson - it's good to make the plans for 
war coverage, but on the other hand, are there any more 
plans to mobilize people for peace?

McClay - we have been covering demonstrations,
not actually organizing... dev

Robinson - supports hooking up with affiliates and 
have a national panel to promote peace activity planning

McClay - good idea...there's a lot ambiguity about when 
the war would start

Robinson - there are people who want plug in 

...some discussion regarding getting more personnel 
and setting up redundant (backup) hardware, KU satellite 
uplinks etc. A 2nd unit is being fixed...

McClay - we have to prepare for possible loss of cell phone use 

Zakiya - what is the hookup with breaking news and outside 
sources. Pacifica needs to demand that the people like
Colin Powell, C. Rice etc come on Pacifica as well and
answer real questions...Pacifica needs to do 
better dealing in facts, because that effectively 
gets people thinking...

McClay - it's difficult to access officials with Pacifica's
reputation for asking tough questions...

LaForest - connected with labor organizations against the war,
what does "covering the demonstrations" mean?

McClay - continuing what we've been doing...

..some back and forth on bringing in affiliates
as news sources, indymedia, things to cover...

Spooner - is there going to special coverage of the March 15th 
convergence? March 30th Cesar Chavez birthday in CA, will be a peace 
march, would be good to cover it...

McClay - yes...

Ryme Khathouda, WBIX - working on the technology in D.C.
It would be good to broaden what is covered in 
connection with peace/war coverage.
We need the help of the general managers and 
program directors to get the word out on technology
and web resources and developing 

Adrienne Lauby, Free Speech Radio News - FSRN is trying to make 2 weeks
of headline packages a day. Have been developing overseas 
reporter pool, over 200 people. FSRN is not part of Pacifica, 
and has to fund it self. Has asked the 5 stations for funds
with some success (WPFW has not responded - gm away)
...working on funding

Allen - FSRN has a substantial 
There's been talk about how to bring the affiliates into 
the national effort. Idea of national call-in...

Khathouda - capture happenings in small towns and all over...
There is a plan to hear from the different stations 

Bryant - (Chairs while Spooner steps out)questions about the funding

Zakiya - 

Jane Jackson, KPFA area - just heard that Democracy Now is expanding
to 2 hours a day and this crowds out other programming...
Supports helping low income people get technology to help
them involve in the Pacifica process and reporting...

Stan Woods, KPFA LAB - There is a tendency at Pacifica to 
replace mainstream talking heads with our own talking heads
[applause]. Supports expanding the pool of people reporting
The staff should be here at meetings like this.

Carolyn Birden, WBAI area - Supports more supportive 
instruction and help posted on the web as to how to 
hook up. Supports coverage that is less insular, not 
have us interviewing our selves, but getting the 
voice from the street etc

Ted Wiesgal, KPFT - What role will the national and local
boards have with responding to the government's policy?

Valerie Van Isler, Nat'l Op coordinator - this is up 
to the boards. Hasn't been discussed...

Spooner - Ted question speaks to policy matters. The 
board has faith in the staff, the executive director etc.
and they are doing a good job.

Robinson - the need to mobilize against the war should
test our creative approaches to getting the word out.
We need to dialog amongst ourselves to come up with
creative, effective approaches

Van Isler - ...some history of past approaches and successes...

Zakiya - very important that we our reporting is accurate and 
correct, we need to lead 

Dina Kolberg, WBAI - on Feb 15th many events that happened in 
small villages weren't talked about and should be...

Mary Berg, KPFA - this coverage from the small towns would best 
come from local people there...the only info on small events 
she found was on indymedia
The big government officials never return our calls, we have to 
go after them... doesn't want to see top down instruction to 
the local news as to what to do...

Robinson - we shouldn't be top down to news depts, but should be 
finding ways to support the local depts...

Israel - we should make more effort to get to the p
Supports more debate, dialog and deconstruction on Pacifica.
Would be good to hear people evolve through discussion.
Analysis is important...

Fertig makes announcements - world peace has now been declared [ jokes ]...
announces ride help, free theater preview

LaForest - how are the affiliates being brought into the 
war coverage plan? 

Finance Committee

Zakiya (treasurer) - The war coverage situation brings to a head 
the lack of Pacifica's operational situation. It may be 
a good opportunity to evolve and re-organize. The current 
lack of organization, shortage of staff, and 
tech shortcomings have been a barrier.
Strongly supports centralization of Pacifica's 
financial operation. It's much more work for 
the national finance office with 5 separate 
setups as it is now...
6 million , about half of Pacifica's
annual income is spent on staff...
the new bylaws will costs Pacifica additional
money in the form of elections - $250,000
- $10,000 for each station to conduct mailing and 
printings etc, then money for personnel and setting 
up databases...
It will must more practical to coordinate all this 
from a centralized financial setup.
Supports that the bank accounts be under the 
control of the CFO and the controller.
The business managers haven't been effective
and have created more work for the controller.

Bryant tries to move the agenda...

Zakiya - yes, wants his suggestion to be
discussed and developed

Lonnie Hicks, new Chief Financial Officer 
- yes, there needs to be a restructuring of the 
finance dept.
But, for now will go over the inevitable over the 
next 3 months:
-Need to finish the network audit. Central to planning
-Moving the finance office. Very difficult right now.
- Cash flow. Temporarily ok, but not for long. The debts
are still a big issue.
-Unbugeted items a major issue. Proposals should not be 
voted on without financial impact statement and budget attached
-Training of finance staff 
-Financial disclosure
-Reduce the duplication of effort at local and national
effort. It's not good to overwork for Pacifica, mistakes
are made, bad feelings...

Barnstone - to Coughlin, what is the cost of the move 
of the financial office?

Coughlin - gives figure, there have been donations
and more are being sought

Barnstone - agreements were made that Berkeley would 
pay the cost?...Coughlin can't recall...A: yes
Is appreciative of CA communities offer to pay and 
no more money should be taken out of Pacifica for 
the move...

Hicks - wants come up a written plan for the next
3 months as well a few policy requests
Basic essential goal: control of expenses...

Spooner - in additional to costs budgeted at 
the stations for elections, sees that additional
costs for personnel should be small as there 
has been plans for getting volunteer elections 
coordinators and this needs to move forward...

Hicks - Another recommendation; there should be contingency fund 
for at least 3 months payroll be in the bank 
for backup in case of disaster. This is something that
the finance committee should do and bring to the iPNB...

Spooner - how would this be done? Money from station 

Hicks - yes

Zakiya - what is the timeline for hiring the finance staff
and what is the approach?

Hicks - resumés in hand, will begin tomorrow, docs being scanning
and put on web for accessibility, going paperless, 

Zakiya - organization structure and method needs be determined 
in order to determine training. What would Hicks suggest 
as changes for Pacifica finance organization?

Hicks - Establishing that finance involves all the staff.
Training structure needs to be reformed, less duplication and 
more practicality, acquiring more input and ideas from 
finance staff - they know best...[applause]

Allen - likes payroll contingency fund 

Zakiya - 

Coughlin - 

Hicks - a few policies that he will focus on:
-what will be the financial structure of the network?
-What will be the policy? unbudgeted items policy?
-protect the staff with contingency fund
-cash flow

Spooner - will there be policy recommendations? A: yes
...the committee will then organize proposals and
bring to the iPNB in June...

Barnstone - wants info on the debt to 
... some joking and back and forth...Spooner 
points out that this is not topic for 
discussion over airwaves...will discuss later

LaForest - what is the situation for the funding 
station outreach coordinators?

Coughlin - defers to people from stations

Don Rojas, WBAI gm - WBAI has hired temporary part-time
outreach coordinators

...other stations working on this as well

LaForest - starts going over staff diversity figures 
at stations and asking questions

Allen - points out that this was covered on Friday
when LaForest wasn't here, suggests that he 
get answers from Coughlin

Van Isler, Nat't operations - had put together report gives 
some explanation...
..some more back and forth...this will 
continue during race and nationality 
discussion later....

Zakiya - to Hicks, what are essential issues 
and changes right now?

Hicks -  financial impact of unbudgeted items is needed

Coughlin - continued financial discipline(spending) essential

Zakiya - it would be good to find people in the listening areas
to help answer people's questions on station finances.

Public questions/comments:

Anele , KFPT area - what is the process for accounting for 
money that goes from local to national? A: currently %20
How does the money actually get to national? 
A:the station writes a monthly check 

_____,KPFK area - what is the sideband income? A: $252,000 
this year. CPB income? A: $1,139,00
Could the sideband income increase? A: yes, with more 
Asks Hicks about his comment yesterday regarding
foundation funding...
A:Hick has talked with people since
then and has withdrawn that suggestion [laughter]

Zakiya - speaks to how Pacifica needs to expand it's
funding sources beyond the listeners

Dina Kolberg, WBAI - supports producing a historical
accounting of what happened during the hijacker board
and publishing it. A: Fertig supports this idea using volunteer help.
When Pacifica regains financial health will 
the levy by national on the stations go down?
A: Hicks -yes.... 

Zakiya - restates his point that it's not station money,
but Pacifica money...thought the stations are always the 

Kolberg - the listeners have a need to feel that they have
control of the money they contribute...

Zakiya -  the you/we thing has to end, you are the we...

LaForest - people need to be able know where the money goes...

Mary Berg, KPFA - there is indeed a philosophical difference
running Pacifica as a business as Zakiya has suggested
...back and forth about the how the national office
evolved... the national office should be there to support the

Zakiya - running as a business enables Pacifica to function better

Hicks - there is a responsibility to the listener, and financial
accountability is part of that [applause]
Has there ever been a listeners' convention?

_____KPFA - supports decentralization of finances in these
dangerous times, should very good paper backup of online 
records, should have a reserve to cover the debt 
which could be threat...

Uncle Bob, KPFK area - could ballots be included with initial 
membership mailing to cut costs? have people pick up 
ballots? supports more transparency on hires.

Carolyn Birden, WBAI area - supports decentralized funding for 
the stations as safeguard
Calls for more transparency on hires. 13 new hires from recently 
outgoing WBAI GM, VanIsler, are still not
explained. Had asked last year for info with no result.  
New GM has been much more open.
All stations should publicly list all jobs with
descriptions and salaries (names not essential) so we know where our
money is being spent, and if there are jobs that could be handled by

Myla Reson, KPFK area - thanks the remaining iPNB by name 
who have stayed in the room
Supports solid requirements for full transparency.
Asks Fertig how much money spent on KPFK LAB and Staff retreats?

Fertig - doesn't have all the figures ...$1000 - $1500 for LAB retreat
Highly recommends the retreats as useful.

Zakiya - transparency needs to take place. Because the spending 
takes place on local level, local needs to produce accounting and
transparency. Intends to work on this with CFO Hicks.

______, KPFA - when will the first detailed national and local finance
reports be published? When will we know the debt?
A: 1.1 million contested debt.
Need to be wary of bring

Lerner Goodie, KPFK - agrees with LaForest on diversity

Spooner - thanks finance dept. for report -[jokes] that it's "somewhat" 
reassuring [laughter]

...Errol Maitland ,WBAI - there are pros and cons regarding 
centralization/decentralization of finances...we must remember
the history of what the the hijacker board did etc.[with 
centralized control]

Spooner - that started in '99 with the $million spent
to shut down KPFA which was without board approval

...some back and forth...

Spooner - solicits input as to when to break for lunch...
[joking, laughter] will break now for 30 minutes..

BREAK 12:55pm



Spooner - the iPNB has decided to get the organizing
of elections started despite the delays in the 
bylaws revision process.
The elections will not be conducted by committees,
but by neutral, professional elections coordinators.
The Pacifica executive director will setup the 
national elections coordinator who will then set 
up the local coordinators.
Suggests that the iPNB set up a small iPNB elections 
oversight committee to keep track of elections
operation and report to board; Bryant, Robinson volunteer

[brief comment off topic allow:
Fernando ______, KPFK area community radio collective (from yesterday)-
Wants to put on the record that any demands 
from the collective will be made in a proper manner.
Their demands are in the letter that has been presented
to the iPNB and may by responded to at the email address...]

David Greene - Explains election organizing 
process illustrated in 
Local Station Board Elections Task Chart
The local elections coordinators sets up 
volunteers and committees to complete 
needed functions
Recommends having good graphics.
Expenses worked out to $ .33 per ballot.
Need to have on-air person who's familiar 
with elections to work on carts and the other 
on-air elections activity.
There will be elections website or websites.

Tom Camarella , KPFK LAB - Works with union elections...
The union sends 2nd envelope with ballot for anomimity

Greene - KPFA does this by using a personal identification
number (PIN code) which in on each ballot

Fertig - is the PIN code system secure ? A: yes

Greene - presents very nice overview of proportional 
representation methods: instant runoff (for filling
one position), single transferable voting(for a multiple seats
 being elected)
[see " proportional repesentation made easy"]

The room is rivited... :-) 
Some questions from the board and later from others...

other comments...

Jonathon Markowitz, KPFK area - there need to be more 
solid airtime for elections

Jane Jackson - KPFA area - concerned with airtime allotment
for candidates and elections, and the quality of that airtime.
Supports that there be dialog or debate between the 
candidates as well as statements or monologues.

...some back and forth

Greene - regarding diversity: having a diverse slate 
has produced a diverse board at KPFA.
Outreach is essential.

...some meandering of questions 

Raphael Renteria, KPFK area - has not been in the
meeting, question 

Spooner - 

Race and nationality committee

LaForest will moderate.

Leslie Radford from "committee of 5"
Willie Radford - KPFA area
Shiela Hamanaka - WBAI area
Jackie - KPFT area
_______ , - WPFW area

Reads statement...
This committee feels that the iPNB plan 
to hire a temporary diversity coordinator is 
ineffective unless this is followed up with 
a permanent position
Reads statement with recommendations including 
establishing local diversity committees...

Fertig - with having local committees of 
inclusion what the role of the diversity coordinator be?
A: would be a consultant

LaForest - various questions as to the role
of committees

Adrienne Lauby, KPFA area - River Deep the group from
the last year's Pacifica Now conference in SF that came 
up with the initial race and nationality document is 
currently in-active...

Fahima Seck, WPFW area - from group concerned with diversity

Raphael Renteria, KPFK area - reads recommendations compiled 
earlier in the day at a small closed meeting of people from 
the different signal areas:
- that the iPNB to say how and by whom the the race and diversity 
committees at the LABs  be formed
- that the leadership of the of the committee that is currently
coming up with the diversity bylaws language be headed by
person of color

Seck - the ratification of the bylaws cannot
take place via a private conference call, must be broadcast and 
use speaker phones etc.

Allen - agrees...

Fertig - actually this is the plan

Errol Maitland, WBAI, WBIX - a great example of national town

Fernando Valsquez, KPFK area - Supports special broadcast 
of forums to discuss burning issues of diversity and oppression
of the "global South" - to hear ideas from people. 

Jane Jackson, KPFA area - please make sure that locations
for bylaws vote conference calls be accessible to those 
with disabilities.

Ted Weisgal, KPFT area - supports the mass production of 
bilingual folios.

Evan Davis, OH - supports a national call-in town meeting
on racism. In addition to inviting people to participate 
there needs to be dialog.
Has been talking with affiliates to be included in 
national town-hall meetings. This will do more than simply 
having a national paid diversity coordinator, a position which
should have some definition...

LaForest - a paid coordinator is still needed

Luis Garcia, KPFK area - suggest changing the name of the
Race and Nationality committee by dropping "race"
with is a racist white term. Suggests "racism" as a 
better word.

LaTrice Dixon, KPFK area - ...[jokes] I've brought 
my "mob" [laughter - LaForest communicates that Barnstone
apologized today for using that term yesterday]
re-presents yesterdays list of demands from 
the black female collective
Feels that the location of this meeting was not as accessible
to black women.

Fertig - Explains how location was chosen. It is accessible to 
transportation, freeways,central location - the  reason that
black women aren't at the meeting is that there isn't relevant
programming on KPFK...

LaForest - adds other considerations made when choosing 
a meeting location: that it be a union facility, disabled 
accessibility, price...
He has list of demands in writing, but as he has said
the position of the board is that it is not the board 
to handle these issues , that it should be handling 

___ Kusumi, KPFK area - must address classism along 
with issues of racism

Allen - wants to adjourn, there's been no structure
of this portion of the meeting

Eben Rey, KPFK - with regard of to lack of black of women at KPFK, 
3 black women have been fired... we need to be dealing less with terms
of race and more with issues of class etc. There is much good relevant
programming on KPFK

Tracy Larkins, KPFK - the collective from L.A. presenting is 
only one contingent of many from the black community...

[ ...some outburst...various back and forth ... 
(I'm burning out and my typing is falling behind - ed.)

Loud outbursts from Po-Pé, KPFK area - very angry
makes very nasty remarks for awhile
... loud arguing and disruption ... Takes a while
for the room to calm down ]

LaForest - class is implied in these dicussions when using the 
terms of race and nationality...

Fertig - announces upcoming L.A. area meetings, and tells Po-Pé
[native american] that his remarks wishing death for white people's 
children are unacceptable at this meeting... 

[shouting and bullshit start up again]

LaForest tries to get some order and end the meeting on a more
positive note....

Somewhere in here the meeting ends.


Editor's note:

I get fed up with the lies, hypocrisy and racism 
coming from one of the disruptive 
L.A. persons who seem to be with Po-Pé 
and get into a tense argument. 
He wants to get violent, but this 
this is Pacifica, so I must not go there....right?!
That situation was diffused...

As for the rest of the weekend, looking back over these 
notes, I'd say that alot got done. Some very important stuff.
The report from the KPFA area apprenticeship program was 
a highlight; inspiring and motivating. The new Chief Financial 
Officer Lonnie Hicks may have a few things to learn about Pacifica,
but he seems to be just what the doctor ordered, and not a second 
too soon. The bylaws draft was vastly improved and the diversity 
contingent now have their chance to come up with a diversity section 
with teeth. 

The overall mood at this weekend's meeting seemed to be like 
Los Angeles; sunny despite the smog.

Thanks again to CdPNY for sponsoring my trip and other 

Roger Manning, NYC

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