Some unofficial notes from WBAI LAB meeting
[from the discussion board at: http://goodlight.net/wbai ]
notes of recent LAB mtg. - Frank
I was hoping someone else with better hearing, attention span and typing skills would report on the Maldanado Affair, but no luck! OK, for what it is worth - my very incomplete and imperfect notes from the last row:
Can't recall all official folk who were present, but some: Errol Maitland, Andy Norris, Miguel Maldanado, Marion Borenstein, Ray LaForest, Anthony Mackall, Rashida Ismaili Abu-Bakr... in the audience: Bernard White, Valerie VanIsler, Janice K. Bryant, Leslie Cagan
A listener (Joe?) whom everybody seemed to know, addressed a couple of bylaws business items and then brought up *the problem* - saying it was painful to raise, especially in that he admires Miguel and supported his becoming Chair of the LAB... but he felt Miguel should have offered an "official" LAB report... that there had been no discussion beforehand (w LAB?)... the iPNB should get an official report from BAI LAB... he or another said all the other LABs had presented official reports (prepared statements?). He then said some of Miguel's remarks were "devisive."
The remainder of the meeting went back and forth: Speaking from the floor, a number of other listeners had opinions about this
Miguel's remarks should be addressed now...
Miguel saying he isn't a guy who backs down "when I say things... with proof." OK to go into it, but what about the agenda? Do you want to substitute this discussion for an agenda item?
Marion Borenstein and one or two other LAB members wanted to go into executive session to deal w this potentially "devisive" issue. Rashida called for executive session, saying this was about a "procedural matter." She mentioned "racializing" that has been going on... mentioned on the LAB (?) listserve and something about Fred Nuygen. "200 emails/postings going back and forth on this issue" filling up the list... tells Miguel all Caribbean people are part of African world. Where can we all come together? Wants executive session because "some folks here relish this kind of thing."
From the time the executive session suggestion surfaced, Miguel said he would not participate in a closed meeting.
Mackall said some of Miguel's remarks were "incendiary"... re BAI being a "black station" ... he claimed Miguel said this in a denigrating way. Later, Mackall said to Miguel, "You should come up with a way to discuss this." He complained of Miguel's "martyrlike posture" re exec session... disengenuous to say "I will not participate." Ray clarified that this is a policy Miguel had maintained previous to this bruha.
Carolyn Birden said she had relistened to Miguel's remarks on tape and said he had said a "Black station as opposed to a community station."
There was opposition from the floor from Patty Heffeley and some others who said executive session is "illegal," that it is only supposed to be used for matters of personnel and finances. She said dissidents held old PNB to high standards (no secret meetings)... we must do same now.
Paul Sorvel suggested Miguel clarify what he had meant to say, by writing a statement which would be circulated to Bernard and Valerie for them to add written statements... pas this back and forth to achieve clarity. Bernard - just get tape of comments... deal with what you said... you said what you meant.
Joe(?) - Miguel violated LAB "soverignty." Female listener - must be done in open session... inappropriate things might get said, but must get this out in open.
Cagan stated that executive session is for personnel and litigation issues only. Borenstein responded (reflecting a seemingly entrenched BAI attitude that adults cannot disagree in public without drawing blood), "You want to hang him out to dry?" Cagan said that the attitude should be to have the highest level of discussion. She urged openness.
Errol went on to paraphrase one of Utrice's favorite mantras - he didn't want our enemies to witness the spectacle of black folks fighting among themselves... "enemies" would want to use this (can't remember, but assume this meant he wanted executive session). He said something about the coup being seen as a move to remove blacks... and that "the former General Manager was seen as white." (?? I guess he meant Utrice, which might come as a suprise to her.) There was some laughter at this point.
A few times Miguel was asked whether his statement was a personal one or was supposed to represent the LAB. I don't believe he answered this directly before I left around 9:30pm... and I don't know if it got resolved.
BTW, Andy Norris has published some informal April LAB meeting minutes on the http://wbai.net/ site, which seems to have the most comprehensive list of LAB articles and notes. Perhaps Andy, who seemed to be taking notes, will publish these latest soon.
More of my notes at Steve B claims DN! access to Pacifica subscriber database (thread below)
may bring down network. Frank
The major segment of tonight's BAI LAB meeting was taken up w the controversy around Miguel's statement at the iPNB meeting in California, but another item of particular interest was the Democracy Now! contract. Listener Patty Heffeley started the ball rolling by charging that Pacifica had "given away the farm," that it was a costly deal for the network... not just the initial $400Gs per year, but we are responsible for their phone service, music liscense fees, insurance... and that two times a year DN! will have access to Pacifica's database of listeners. Patty complained that this deal was initiated w the old corpratist board that we fought to get rid of... and that the whole thing is based on "faith" that folks will do the right thing.
I believe she stated that DN! can offer its program directly to affiliates... maybe offer a cheaper/better deal than Pacifica.
Leslie Cagan, who had earlier given a report on the CA meeting, said that the DN! deal wasn't really very far along w the old board (thru Bob Farell?). Cagan said that she was originally against this arrangement, but that "they (?) were deeply committed and they (DN! crew? those arguing for it among board?) make a compelling case." She agreed that it was a leap in faith, but thinks "it will work out." She suggested that maybe a public meeting with Amy and Chris was needed to clear the air and answer questions.
Steve Brown then got up and said that he is a marketing guy and businessman and has looked at the contract and shown it to two lawyers and they think it is a very bad move. Steve predicted the possible collapse of Pacifica (within ?18? months) because of the database access given to DN! He pointed out that DN! will be going to the same folks for money in their own marketing and appeals - and that many will not give to both and may well choose to support DN! and not Pacifica. This coming on the heels of a discussion of the August 15 date when Pacifica will run out of money was pretty troubling. Cagan had said that before the deadline you can expect to see some mini-thons and other appeals, but one can only wonder if this is going to be a monthly problem or...
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