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WBAI LAB minutes
1-21-03


Minutes of the WBAI Local Advisory Board Special Meeting

Tuesday January 21, 2003, at 120 Wall St., 10th Fl.

Present: Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr, Marian Borenstein, Gail Golden, A. Victoria Hunter, Lee Kronick, Ray Laforest, E. Anthony Mackall, Miguel Maldonado (Chair), Andrew Norris, Mimi Rosenberg

Absent: Panama Alba, Cecelia Caruso, Jon Cohen (in hospital), Anne Emerman, Madelyn Hoffman, Connie Hogarth, Errol Maitland

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by the Chair. Minutes of the LAB meetings of December 17 and January 7 were discussed. The minutes of December 17 had been presented but not considered at the January 7 meeting. After lengthy discussion, including a vote on the wording of one sentence, these minutes were not adopted. Corrections to the minutes of January 7 were discussed.

GM: Don Rojas mentioned the upcoming Feb. 15 peace march in NYC, and the renovation project for the station lobby. He directed people to Deena Kolbert, who is leading the effort.

After brief discussion, the LAB voted unanimously for the following

Resolution: The LAB endorses and mobilizes for the February 15 anti-war march in NYC.

The remainder of the meeting focused on the Foundation bylaws revision. Discussion progressed from a synopsis of the current situation to a Resolution that summarized the majority opinion. Opinions and comments included:

Maldonado: Some of the LAB grid items are not included in Finckís draft, despite the fact that the lawyer was asked to put into legal language the decision of the LABs. This will be corrected. He read the motion of KPFA 1/20/03 on obtaining a second opinion from an expert in CA and federal law, and emphasized the necessity of a CA law expert.

Laforest: Mr. Finck acted like a neutral Justice Department lawyer, displaying an extremely conservative approach. The lawyer is more concerned with the mechanistic functioning of the board, and is missing the point. The process of selection of legal counsel was haphazard and one sided. He (RL) supports the KPFA resolutions but they donít go far enough, and suggests adding an explicit statement calling for the process to be delayed. Also urges input from a civil rights lawyer.

Rosenberg: Mr. Finck does not provide a memo of law, rather he offers an advocacy opinion, which ignores the fact that the law of land is affirmative action. We cannot capitulate to this rather conservative legal interpretation, but need input from progressive lawyers. Knows people experienced in these issues, and will set up meetings in a week or two here at the station. Suggests MALDEF, PRLDEF, Ted Shaw of NAACP, as possible contacts. Will have a 2 or 3 page memo ready by the coming weekend.

Susan Lee: No procedure exists by which the iPNB selects their attorney. Suggests that the iPNB adopt a policy to remedy this.

Paul Surovell: Recommends soliciting the opinion of Ted Shaw. The LAB should prepare specific questions for the lawyer(s). E.G. what are the potential consequences, from the IRS, etc.?

Ismaili Abubakr: Opposes the KPFA model, and suggests that we would not be having this discussion if the Constituency model had been selected.

Golden: Urges that sufficient time be given to allow other legal opinions be heard.

Norris: Need to put time limits on this open-ended process. What is being proposed will extend the life of the iPNB and this LAB.

After much discussion the LAB voted on the following three Resolutions.

The WBAI LAB requests the iPNB to obtain the opinion of legal scholars and advocates familiar with both CA and federal law, concerning the implementation and optimization of the inclusion of those who have been disenfranchised and under-represented. We ask for adequate time, at least one month, to obtain and review written opinions discussing the issues raised by Kevin Finckís opinion, the potential consequences to Pacifica of bylaws with these requirements, and also an opinion on the broadest inclusion that can be achieved in bylaws. We also ask that such written opinions be openly distributed prior to voting on the bylaws. (Passed 5 -0 -2)
That a national panel of prominent civil and human rights activists and legal scholars be convened to discuss the diversity issues in the bylaws and that the discussion be broadcast live on all five stations. (Passed 5 -0 -2)
That our representative convey to the iPNB that this LAB cannot ratify the final bylaws without this process being implemented. (Passed 6-0-2)

The meeting adjourned at approximately 10 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Andrew Norris


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