Stop the railroading of the Public
comment session in D.C.
[ Houston and Leslie Cagan statements below ]
The PNB Executive Committee has decided to schedule a public comment session on Friday, Nov. 16, at a time before most of the out-of-town Pacifica community will have arrived. In addition, this is in violation of the 30-day meeting-notice requirement, since the meeting had been announced as ONLY being Saturday and Sunday.
Therefore, we are asking you and your organization to act AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to email to all PNB members (list below) either the same or a similar resolution to the one below, adopted Monday night by the Concerned Friends of WBAI Coordinating Committee and later by the WBAI Local Advisory Board. We are cc'ing this email (minus this paragraph) to the members of the PNB majority.
In the meantime, we are maintaining the pressure on the illegal majority board members. Last Friday, over 300 angry people from the anti-corporate-globalization movement joined us in an anti-WTO Tour of Corporate Shame that included a stop at the offices of Epstein, Becker & Green, where a speech was made denouncing that firm's union-busting and HMO-defending tactics, as well as the destructive role of their attorney, PNB member John Murdock. Later today, we'll be joining the Pacifica Campaign in a day of nationally coordinated demonstrations in 10 cities outside Fannie Mae offices, to protest the harmful role played by one of their vice presidents, PNB Treasurer Wendell Johns. Let's keep up the pressure until these usurpers resign!
RESOLUTION CONCERNING PUBLIC COMMENT SESSIONS AT PNB MEETING
At the Coordinating Committee meeting of Concerned Friends of WBAI on November 12, the following resolution was unanimously approved. (Note: Dissident PNB member Leslie Cagan was present and strongly supported the resolution.) The WBAI Local Advisory Board has also signed on to this text:
The Coordinating Committee of Concerned Friends of WBAI calls on the Pacifica National Board to cancel the general public comment session scheduled for Friday, November 16 and instead hold two such sessions, one during the afternoon of Saturday, November 17; the other on Sunday, November 18, the times during which these sessions have been held in the past. We ask that each speaker be given a minimum of three minutes. Further we insist that the status of WBAI be added to the PNB meeting agenda.
PNB Members' Email Addresses
George Barnstone <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Marion Barry <email@example.com>, <RWLC@aol.com>, Valrie Chambers <Valrie.Chambers@mail.tamucc.edu>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Robert Farrell <Alfigo@aol.com>, James Ferguson <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Dick Gregory <email@example.com>, Wendell L. Johns <wendell_L_johns@fanniemae.com>, John M. Murdock <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Krishna Roy <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Note: Burt Lee does not have email. His fax no. is 202-244-1151.
Pete Bramson <email@example.com>, Leslie Cagan <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Rabbi Aaron Kriegel <email@example.com>, Tomas Moran <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Rob Robinson <email@example.com>
Houston weighs in
From: Ken Freeland - firstname.lastname@example.org
To: George Barnstone - email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, RWLC@aol.com, Pete Bramson - email@example.com, Leslie Cagan - firstname.lastname@example.org, Valrie Chambers - Valrie.Chambers@mail.tamucc.edu, email@example.com, Robert Farrell - Alfigo@aol.com, James Ferguson - firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Dick Gregory - firstname.lastname@example.org, Wendell L. Johns - wendell_L_johns@fanniemae.com, email@example.com, Tomas Moran - firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Rob Robinson - firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Request for the Pacifica National Board from the Houston
Committee for People's Radio
14 November 2001
Dear Pacifica National Board Member:
Tonight nearly fifty people gathered at the regular meeting of the Houston Committee for People's Radio unanimously decided to request of you:
1) That you not reschedule public comment for this weekend's board meeting for Friday night, when the original meeting was scheduled Saturday and Sunday, and many traveling to attend the meeting and make public comment will not have arrived by Friday. We request that you reserve public comment time for both Saturday and Sunday, as would be anticipated from the original announcement of meeting times. We remind you that the 30-day meeting requirement stipulated in the by-laws would make the rescheduling of public comment outside of the announced meeting time parameters illicit.
2) That the question of the status of WBAI be added to the agenda.
3) That the recent democratic election of an interim Local Advisory Board by KPFT listeners be also included in the Board Meeting's agenda, and that the legitimacy of this democratically elected and highly motivated Interim LAB be recognized by the PNB, in place of the management-appointed LAB which has held no public meetings for months, and whose membership has dwindled to almost nothing, notwithstanding the fact that one of its members, Teresa Allen, was arrested for trespassing by the management for trying to do her job of monitoring programming and station functioning. Elected members of the new Interim Board will be available in Washington to speak to this issue.
There is no way to peace at Pacifica that does not lead through the path of greater democracy and a voice for listeners and volunteers in vital matters. We thank you for any effort you make to further the progress of public participation in the functioning and deliberations of the PNB.
Yours on behalf of the Houston Committee for People's Radio,
From: Leslie Cagan
MEMO TO: Bob Farrell
As you will recall, when we spoke the other night I suggested that it might be a good idea to not have the public comment section of the Board meeting on Friday evening. It seems pretty obvious to me that such sessions should be scheduled for time slots that maximize the participation of the public.
We have now received memos from Concerned Friends of WBAI (NYC), Houston Committee for People's Radio and at least ten additional emails from individuals addressing this same concern.
I again urge reconsideration of this matter. During our conversation you indicated that you would ask the chairs of the committees scheduled to meet on Saturday if they would open their sessions with public comments. Another option would be to set aside time for general comments from the public before the committee meetings get underway. Changing the schedule to make it as easy as possible for people who are traveling great distances to make their contribution should not be beyond our capabilities.