WPFW Local Station Board Meeting
2390 Champlain Street NW, Washington DC 20009
13 March 2007
Meeting convened about 7:50 P.M., Zarinah Shakir serving as Chair.
Members present: Alonzo Brown, Acie Byrd, Gail Dixon, Billy Ray Edwards, Joni
Eisenberg, Jane Gatewood, Arturo Griffiths, Anne Hyslop, Ambrose Lane, Luzette
King, Dan Logan, Rob Robinson, Thomas Ruffin, Zarinah Shakir, Marcello
Tolliver, Gloria Turner, Carol Wolfe.
Absent: Norberto Martinez.
Excused Absences: Jim Brown, Zaccai Free, Ayo Handy-Kendi, Adriane Jemmott,
Michelle ("Noodles") Smith, Hakam Takash.
Also present: Nathaniel Adams, LSB Parliamentarian, Carl Pfluger, LSB
Secretary. (Ron Pinchback, WPFW General Manager, who normally attends LSB
meetings, was absent due to illness.)
Approval of Agenda: Approved without objection.
Approval of Minutes of February 7th Meeting: With one amendment (by Luzette
King, to add the question "where do we go from here?") approved without
objection, as moved by Ambrose Lane and seconded by Acie Byrd.
General Manager's Report: In Ron's absence, the LSB reviewed the written report
which he had circulated earlier. Main issues included: technical problems
affecting the recent fund drive, and the continuing struggle to improve the
Station's infrastructure; upcoming contract negotiations with Democracy Now!; a
PNB proposal to hire a consultant to implement a National Programming Policy
concerning the production and distribution of our programs; and programs
planned to cover demonstrations marking the 4th anniversary of the start of the
Iraq War, and possibly of events on May Day. Decisions reported include: Bobby
Hill has been appointed as Program Director, and Askia Muhammad as News
Director; WPFW has undertaken to host the next PNB meeting (weekend of April
20th-22nd) at the Best Western Hotel at South Capitol & I Street SW.
Joni Eisenberg moved a vote of congratulations to Ron for the hiring of Bobby
Hill and Askia Muhammad, which passed without objection.
PNB Reports: Rob Robinson reported that the Licensing & Distribution Committee
had met 3 times so far. They are trying to move toward an agreement with unpaid
staff to produce and distribute their programs on the Internet and via
podcasts; also are looking into High Definition (HD) radio. Thomas Ruffin added
that such agreements should also apply to independent producers who might want
their material distributed through Pacifica; he offered to submit a written
report on the subject. Rob, Thomas, and Ambrose Lane all responded to questions
from Dan Logan and Billy Ray Edwards about issues of copyright and ownership of
programming; much about these issues still seems to be uncertain and subject to
LSB Committee Reports: Zarinah reported that the fundraiser in conjunction with
the performance of August Wilson's Jitney had raised $500, which would go to
supporting the planned LSB Retreat. Various events are being planned in
conjunction with the Station's 30th anniversary celebrations this year. Ambrose
is working on some of that with materials in the Pacifica Archives. Gloria
Turner announced plans for a Town Hall meeting at the Oxon Hill Library,
Saturday, June 30th, and another some time in September at the Martin Luther
King Library. Outreach efforts are also being planned at jazz and blues events
in Rosslyn, Silver Spring, the Smithsonian Jazz Café, and the Kennedy Center.
At least some of these will, hopefully, be coordinated with April's PNB
Community Comment: Carletta Fellows invited participation in the 30th
Anniversary Task Force, Faye Williams disapproved of the Kennedy Center, and
Dorcas Dessasso invited participation with the Citizens' Advisory Board
(essential to our good standing with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.)
Programming Committee Election: At the February 21st meeting, members had
signed up for both the LSB and PNB Committees (see Appendix 1.) The PNB
Programming Committee was the only one for which more than 2 candidates had put
themselves forward, requiring (Bylaws, Art. 8, Sec.2) an election according to
the Single Transferable Vote method. Jane Gatewood had prepared the ballots,
Carl Pfluger distributed them to the members, collected them, placed them in an
envelope sealed by Billy Ray Edwards, and undertook to convey them the
following day to FairVote in Takoma Park to be counted and tabulated.
(Photocopies of the marked ballots were made by Bobby Hill and Carletta
Fellows, and entrusted to the Parliamentarian, Nathaniel Adams, as a back-up.)
For the Secretary's report of the result, see Appendix 2.
Plans for Upcoming Meetings: Because Zarinah has classes on Wednesdays for part
of March & April, the next regular meeting was set for Thursday, April 12th. On
the motion of Thomas Ruffin, a Special Executive Session, to discuss
confidential personnel issues, was set for March 20th. The PNB meeting is set
for the weekend of April 20-22, and it is hoped we will have a meeting with
Pacifica's Counsel Dan Siegel on Thursday the 19th, for a definitive briefing
on confidentiality policies. The Retreat Task force is still working on finding
Adjournment: Meeting Adjourned about 10:45 P.M.
WPFW Committee Membership, as signed up on February 21, 2007
LSB Committees (asterisk indicates member of the corresponding national
Programming: *Rob Robinson, Alonzo Brown, Michelle (Noodles) Smith, Gail Dixon,
Joni Eisenberg, Jim Brown, Norberto Martinez.
Technology: *Rob Robinson, Michelle (Noodles) Smith, Anne Hyslop, Zarinah
Finance: *Thomas Ruffin, Jane Gatewood.
Development & Outreach: Carol Wolfe, Gloria Turner, Jim Brown, Zarinah Shakir,
Ayo Handy Kendi, Thomas Ruffin, Marcello Tolliver. (Faye Williams and Lamont
Nichols, not members of the LSB, also agreed to serve as volunteers.)
Management Assessment & Search: Rob Robinson, Alonzo Brown, Jane Gatewood,
Thomas Ruffin (tentative), Marcello Tolliver (tentative.)
Inclusion: Adriane Jemmott, Norberto Martinez, Gail Dixon.
Governance: *Thomas Ruffin, Adriane Jemmott, Jane Gatewood.
PNB Committees (asterisk indicates Directors, i.e., PNB members):
Audit: *Ambrose Lane
Technology: *Rob Robinson, Anne Hyslop, Michelle (Noodles) Smith.
Governance: *Thomas Ruffin, Jim Brown, Adriane Jemmott.
Elections: *Ambrose Lane, Jane Gatewood, Carol Wolfe.
Archives: *Acie Byrd, Alonzo Brown, Marcello Tolliver.
Inclusion: Adriane Jemmott, Norberto Martinez.
Programming: *Rob Robinson, Billy Ray Edwards, Michelle (Noodles) Smith, Gail
Dixon, Adriane Jemmott, Dan Logan.
The Programming Committee was the only one for which more than 2 people
volunteered, necessitating an election (held at the March 13th meeting) which
was won by Gail Dixon & Dan Logan. Also note that we still have no Delegate
Members of the Audit Committee, and no Director Member of the Inclusion
Report on Programming Committee Election, 14 March 2007
Dear LSB Members,
The FairVote tally has given the 2 LSB seats on the National Programming
committee to Gail Dixon and Dan Logan. The tabulation was done between 5 and 6
P.M. today, Wednesday March 14th at the FairVote office in Takoma Park, by Jack
Santucci, with occasional consultations with two of his colleagues. For the
benefit of those who (like me!) find charts and tables confusing, I'll try to
explain the results in plain English, while the process is still fresh in my
Gail was easily elected in the first round, with 7 votes as first choice (5 was
the "Quota," or threshold to win.) So in Round 2, her 2 surplus votes were
distributed to the next-ranked, at a value of two-sevenths of a vote per
transaction. This left Noodles a distant 4th, behind Dan, Adriane, & Billy Ray.
Billy Ray & Adriane were then tied in a dead heat behind Dan, with three & one-
seventh votes each. This meant that one of them would have to be eliminated in
order to go, in the final round, one-on-one with Dan, but which one? Here is
where it became, almost literally, dicey. According to FairVote, the normal way
to decide this would be to go back to the previous rounds, and see who had been
ahead in the first and second choices; but Billy Ray & Adriane had been tied
with each other in each previous round, too. In such cases, there is nothing
for it but to decide things the old fashioned way, by a random mechanical act:
in this case, literally a coin toss. (The fancy technical word for this, by the
way, is "sortition," and it really was used quite a lot in ancient Greek
democracies.) The toss went to Billy Ray, and the final round yielded six and
three-sevenths for Dan, two and two-sevenths for Billy Ray. Just to be sure, we
also ran (manually, i.e., just counting the paper ballots without entering them
in the record) a hypothetical or "simulated" final round with Adriane standing
against Dan, & the result would have been the same. In other words, although at
the end of round three it looked theoretically possible that either Billy Ray
or Adriane could have beaten Dan (because their combined vote was greater than
his) that would have required almost all the supporters of one of them making
the other their subsequent choice, and that did not happen: both Billy Ray's
and Adriane's supporters spread their subsequent choices all over the map; so
that Dan kept the lead he had gained by the beginning of the final round.
So there it is. An annoyingly complex and confusing process (and especially ill-
suited to small groups, where the probability of ties is much greater than it
is on a national scale) but I can testify that the counting and tabulating were
done fairly and honestly. I will bring the ballots to the next meeting, in case
anyone wants to look them over personally. I'll also bring print-outs of the
chart where the numerical results are displayed; and as soon as Jack Santucci
emails me the electronic version of that chart, I'll email it to you as well.
And I will also bring Noodles' ballot (still in its sealed envelope) to return
to her in the presence of all. It arrived in my mailbox this morning, but, as
the LSB rejected the use of absentee balloting at yesterday's meeting, I did
not open it.
So now, congratulations to Gail and Dan! (Or should it be, as I often say when
someone enters into Pacifica office, commiseration & condolences...?
All best to all,