04/13/05 WPFW LSB Meeting - Minutes
WPFW Local Station Board Meeting
April 13, 2005, 7:00 p.m.
The Flemming Center Washington, DC 20009
Call to Order: 7:20 p.m.
1. Board members in attendance:
Ayo Handy Kendi
Billy Ray Edwards
Ron Pinchback, WPFW General Manager and non-voting LSB member, was also in
Excused: Dan Logan, Sarah Bittle, Joe Chiara, and Katea Stitt. Norberto called
to say he would be late and arrived at 9:20 pm. Steve Hoffman was absent.
Cade: Action call for policy study grouping. Issues of interest to African
Americans and other issues. Some action needs to be taken in the city. Cade
will be sending an e-mail to call a meeting. Will draw in all those people
across the city who are ready to act with WPFW leading.
2. Review and Approval of Agenda
Agenda approved with the addition of the following under Old Business:
Zarinah: add town hall meeting under new business.
Agenda approved with added items.
3. Minutes approved. 12 ayes
4. General Managers report
Chair noted report was late. Ron responded that station has been very busy.
Offers apologies and will provide in advance in the future.
Hakam. Apology not acceptable. He brings two committees, attends others, has a
day job. Doesn't't feel it should be accepted.
Motion: Do not accept report. Seconded by Luzette.
Mark: Calls for discussion.
Kolanji: Many of the issues in the report can be answered by committees that
have worked with him on these issues.
Luzette: Seconded the motion for all reasons Hakam gave. The report should be
put aside because we'we've been asking for it for a year. Report does not
contain important issues like the Co-op. It is not complete. Asks for roll call
Joni: Suggests that we accept the report. We spend too much time bickering.
Mark Roberts: Impressed with work that went into the packet that was
distributed and sees progress in our ability to communicate. I agree with Joni
that we have a lot of issues and thinks we should go ahead and accept the
Mark Berman: Agrees with MR. I sympathize with Hakam's points. Thinks Ron will
get the message and do better next time.
Hakam: Programming committee references in GM's report does not coincide with
his recollection of what was discussed. Questions could have been cleared
Acie: Report is a report. Opposes motion of bypassing report since it was
distributed at the meeting. The manager should get them in on time. But we
should accept the reason he provided.
12 in favor of closing discussion. 1 opposed.
Luzette asks that a roll call vote be taken. Referred to parliamentarian. Must
be a majority.
Hakam's motion 3 ayes. Note that Luzette is one who voted in favor of the
motion. 11 opposed. Motion fails.
Cade: Was not aware that director of Pacifica had resigned.
Ambrose: Director and wife will have twins. Needs to move on.
Hakam: point of information. How much more time on this report? Chair answers
Luzette: asks Gm what's the situation with the radio coop? We were supposed to
hear more about voices with vision. I am concerned because I'I've heard that
WPFW is about to be sued for discrimination. I was expecting that to be covered
in the report. We still claim on air that we don't accept underwriting from
corporations. What are the implication of accepting CPB grants. Money goes to
CPB from corporations. Thirdly, station is undergoing some inventory activity.
We have not seen the last inventory. What is needed and what is in place now.
Chair says he will e-mail inventory to Luzette.
Ron: DC radio coop and the committee that the LSB established are going to be
meeting soon. It depends on when the coop wants to meet. AS I'I've said many
times, the coop has access to the station. They met at the station last week on
how Voices of Vision would be produced. At the next meeting we will discuss
resumption of training. What levels will be addressed. The second meeting has
not yet happened. I anticipate it will happen the week after next week. As far
as inventory, it would have shown the age of the CD player that we had. It was
replaced as was recording equipment. Studio C has the CD's that are still
functional. These are interim measures until we relocate. Regarding voices with
vision, it was put together to give disparate voices a spot on our air waves.
As long as they adhere to the policies of the station, I have no issues with
them. There was confusion over Ryme's situation. Regarding CPB, that is a
question for Pacifica National.
Ron suggests that if there are issues you want addressed in the report, send
him an e-mail or call him.
Chair suggests that you e-mail questions on report to Ron. He'll include them
in a follow-up report.
Mark B Moves that we continue discussion for 10 more minutes.
Ambrose seconds the motion.
10 ayes. 5 opposed.
Motion carries to give discussion 10 more minutes.
Hakam call order of the day. Parliamentarian is consulted and advises that
extension can be granted.
Mark B. Damu should be on the air and wish him well. Zarinah did a terrific job
filling in for him. She should be honored for that. Regarding personnel, I feel
profoundly that we must bring on payroll some of the radio coop people. They
are terrific. Our news staff is not doing the job.
Mark R. Happy to see that Ron was elected to ED search committee. We should be
honored. I am also on that committee. Question about ID cards. I'd like some
reassurance that is not an attempt to create a, b, & c lists on access. Re:
relocation committee, who is on it.
Ron: Regarding ID cards, one of the coops complaints was that they were denied
access. One reason that happened is that the programmers don't always know
them. Rather than taking a chance of denying them access because the programmer
doesn't't know them, wants to give the Sarah Bittle, Cade and Ayo are on
Thomas: Remark about personnel changes. I was on last year's finance committee.
I don't recall a mandate. I believe this is Ron's policy. With regard to the ID
card and alleged theft, I find theft hard to believe. I don't know that the
expense of ID card is warranted and I wouldn't't want police called without
clear indication that a theft had been committed.
Ron: Maybe you were not at the meeting when the recommendations were made. We
put money in the budget.
Rob: LSB passed a budget last year which included funding for those positions.
Zarinah: Would like, under technology, that as soon as possible the finance
committee look at an engineer on staff. Regarding radio coop, we are calling a
meeting with radio coop and the general manager. Not the whole station and
. Chair notes that time is up. Asks LSB members to e-mail questions to Ron.
1. 5. PNB Committee's Report
Mark Roberts: ED resignation. 2) Rules regarding suspension of disruptive LSB
members. 3) Right of director to review records.
Zarinah: In process of changing jobs. Could not give her report in writing.
Thought the meeting was disappointing. It was a one-issue meeting almost. When
people have personal issues with GM, for example, those issues should be taken
care of at the local level instead of taking time up at the National meeting.
With our community comment, it would be nice to make them earlier and give them
more time at PNB.
Ambrose: Happily, there was an excellent report from an auditor. Pacifica has
come a long way, resolving 4 million in debts. Two stations are having fund
raising problems. The auditor spent over an hour answering questions, all were
answered satisfactorily. We established a procedure to select the new ED. Mark
R will convene the meeting and come back to PNB with suggested procedure and
PNB will decide. GM of WBAI has also resigned. A lot of action at the national
Rob Robinson: CFO gave a long presentation on plan to increase capital needs.
Other stations also may need new homes. We may have increasingly difficult
problems raising revenue. So they have developed a plan to deal with rising
costs and plummeting revenues.
Mark Roberts: The other concern was that our average listener is 51 throughout
the network. Revenue has been flat. Growth is capped. So, how can we bring in
new audiences. WPFW did come up in NY. I sent a copy of comments regarding
discrimination at WPFW. We need to deal with it in executive session.
Jane: Raises a concern that Board would like to send to the PNB. Our network
does not have a human resources person. Suggests LSB send a message to PNB
Motion made by Jane: Moves that the WPFW LSB requests that the PNB move
expeditiously toward hiring a human resources director/coordinator.
Luzette: Suggesting suspension without due process sets a dangerous precedent.
We should not tolerate it. My understanding if PNB reps is that they should be
taking our concerns to PNB. Will we have an opportunity to participate in
programming discussions. I would not support notion of discussing
discrimination issue in executive session. That should be open to the public.
Billy Ray: We have a loose cannon on the national programming committee.
Recommendations to the national board have not been discussed with us before
being brought to the national PNB. We should not have a national programming
director. Suggests that Rob follow the rule of this body.
Ayo: It should be reflected in our minutes that there is no discrimination
until it is proven. Our policy and procedures need to be in keeping with the
Billy R: Why would Rob initiate a policy with the programming committee that
was not discussed with the LSB? Rob wrote a programming policy while he was
interim director of PNB. He put that proposal before the PNB now for the PNB to
consider. It should have been openly discussed by the LSB first. This will lead
to a national programming director that will control WPFW programming and other
programming around the network.
Hakam. Asks about the order of stacks.
Rob: There was a resolution passed last year by PNB that said that a national
programming director cannot be hired until a programming policy is passes by
the committee. The committee has not discussed a policy. The only policy in
place was enacted in 2003. I have been discussing it with Hakam and the
Hakam: Regarding public comments, my statement was in support of Ryme who has
done outstanding work and I've seen her working collegially with others. The
auditor or accountant raised financing ideas that we should adopt. There was a
list presented. Did any of the PNB reps get a written list and can it be
forwarded. Lonnie Hicks.
Jane, our treasurer, to write to Lonnie Hicks and request it.
Joni: Since Rob is chair of the PNB programming committee, can we receive
periodic reports of what's going in on that committee. With regard to radio
coop, we did have a committee that met several items last year. I was told that
the coop was not ready to meet with us. People should be aware that I was
distressed that the GM of WBAI left. The previous GM died. What is the culture
at Pacifica that we consistently have some of our best managers leave/ People
were very excited when Don Ross (?) came and now he's gone. What can we do to
create a more positive atmosphere?
Ron: Concerned the CPB is stacking upper management with conservatives, even
right wingers. Could create problems for future funding for WPFW. Would
dramatically impact WPFW.
Zarinah: In any of these situations where we are concerned, the longer we keep
on with the infighting, the more the right-wingers get their way. We're in a
burning house and we're fueling the fire with infighting. Let's all of us look
at how we're contributing to this. The reason I say I was disappointed, saw
that infighting continuing at the national level. Let's get the work done that
needs to be done.
Luzette: Because programming is an integral part of our business, Moves that
chair of national programming committee report to LSB next meeting on what is
happening at national level so that we can discuss the matter and take a
position before any action is taken.
Rob: Need to accept that there are two other LSB members on the national
Thomas: He is greatly concerned with what our national reps do at the national
level. I ask that all national committees get our views before initiating
Cade: I will work with Rob to be sure you are informed before national
recommendations are made.
Hakam: Rob has kept me informed and requested input.
Billy Ray: Many people on the LSB don't know what's going on with the national
programming committee. Seconds Luzette's motion.
Mark B: calls the question.
Acie: We have a place for the PNB and other committees to report. Sometimes
votes come up at the national level and votes need to be taken. We already
require reports. The Pacifica network is threatened. We need to be responsible
in our criticism. Extend my respect to those elected
14 ayes to end discussion. None opposed. Discussion closes.
2 ayes 9 opposed. 6 abstentions.
Motion is defeated.
Thomas: Moves that we reaffirm that our national representatives be accountable
to us and our local station board members who are on national committees also
be accountable to us.
Billy Ray seconds.
Chair asks how motion is different from our bylaws.
Chair rules motion as out of order because it is already stated in our bylaws.
Hakam seconds appeal.
4 ayes. 12 opposed.
Norberto arrives at 9:20 pm.
Move to open to community comment.
Chair asks community to limit comments to 2 minutes.
Rob moves that we go to community comment
Jane seconded .
15 ayes none opposed. Move to community comment at 9:20pm
Community comments conclude at 9:35 after all community participants had
2. LSB Committee Reports
Finance committee reports. Minutes are not yet final. Heads up, we hope to
involve the whole board in the budget process early on. Tuesday the week prior
to regular LSB meetings. Meet monthly. At station. Secretary will post.
MASC Setting up a mechanism to evaluate GM. We will do a preliminary
evaluation, share with LSB. Our responsibility to come up with a pool of
candidates for PD to provide GM. Doesn't look like we'll have a PD quickly
enough to need to plan for evaluation. I expect that we will be successful by
the end of summer or early Fall. The committee has asked us to consult with LSB
and parl. Regarding quorum. How can committees act if we don't have a quorum?
My interpretation is that since the committee will only be a recommendation to
the LSB, that those committee members who have been active will make proposals
to the whole committee. If quorum still fails, they will present the proposals
to the board.
Chair asks how many on committee?
Have had 3 meetings. A
Had more than 5 at first meeting. At last two meetings there was no quorum.
Chair appeals to those on the committee to attend.
Mark Roberts: Quorum concern has been raised nationally. One solution is that
anyone missing 3 meetings is off the committee so that committee is narrowed
down to those who will actually work.
Next MASC meeting has not yet been scheduled, but its always on a Thursday.
Acie: People need to reaffirm their commitment.
Chair: Asks if MASC has had a meeting with the GM regarding his views of needs
Thomas: Not yet. But we will definitely do that.
Ron: Is there anything in the bylaws that prevents new members from joining the
Hakam: working on an evaluation mechanism. On questions of quorum. What's going
on with governance committee? Station April 20 at 7:00 pm is next Program
Luzette: Did Berman rule make the agenda?
Hakam: Yes it did. It was determined that specials are not included in the
Berman rule. If any rule should apply to specials, it should be adopted by the
entire LSB. Hakam will check on minutes.
Billy Ray: Believes that if you're on the governance body, you should not be on
Hakam: Believes he should make a motion if he feels strongly about that.
Joni: Jane mentioned that this discussion is taking place throughout the
network. It doesn't serve a purpose to move people of the board without reason.
The definition is that if your under 10 hours per a week, you're still a
Ron: The Berman rule is very effective. It does put some parameters on delegate
involvement with on air programs. I support having limits on exposure. I also
have not issue with LSB members contributing their talents to the station. I
favor limits to be sure no one abuses the privilege.
Zarinah: I spoke with Mark Berman about his motion. He said that the people he
was suggesting not be on air are the people who are on programming and Masc
committees. That's for reasons of confidentiality. Some of this discussion is
moot. Those who were on the Board should revisit the motion and see what was
said. A number of people have violated that rule. Some on those two committees
have overstepped their bounds.
Jane: Someone from KPFT was grappling with the same question. It appeared that
it would come before national governance committee. She asked for feedback. Got
little response back.
Mark R: If you are elected as a listener, you remain a listener even if your
status changes. That rule is coming before the governance committee and will be
looked at in the Bylaws review.
Hakam asked if a non-LSB member could chair. The bylaws say not. Jim will chair
until another one can be found. Many good ideas were raised and we need to go
into feasibility studies.
Luzette: AS a member of MaSC, I thought we were discussing doing a review of
the station to determine needs. I don't remember that we decided that. Two jobs
are going to be posted and we don't know how much money we will have. We did
budget for a web site coordinator and news director. What will happen if we go
ahead with these and we don't have money for the other. We do have a director
of operations. Shouldn't engineering be part of that.
Chair clarifies that engineering is maintenance and repair. Operations uses the
Ron: Has a question about proprietary of MASC serving in any other capacity
that what it was mandated for: evaluation of GM and search for PD. MASC does
not evaluate other staff.
Mark: I disagree with Luzette on what MASC is intended for. It is only to do
the above. Not to decide who should be hired and fired. I support what Mr.
Ruffin has put forth as mission of MASC and that's where it should stay.
Thomas: Requests that staff and volunteers be trained as soon as possible to be
operators. Hakam brought u =p that he would like to learn how to be an
operator. Can that be done.
Ron: Sidrach is developing training now. The 22nd will be the first training
Who was named convener? Jim will convene governance committee. Had one meeting
but only 2 or 3 people could come.
Development and Outreach had a very good meeting. We have a town hall meeting
that we are required to do Friday, May 6 from 6 - 9 pm at 4704 13th Street, NW,
People's Congregational Church. Topic is Social Security. Lona Elias is point
person. We're trying to get some legislators and AARP and Social Security and
other areas. Would like to have as many LSB members and volunteers there as
For our May LSB meeting, we want to dedicate that meeting to veterans since
veterans day is in May would like to show film at that meeting. Hope that will
fit into the agenda. Cleveland Spears has several upcoming events that he'd
like station to participate in and volunteers to work with.
Hakam; We can't have a film on veterans. We're for pacifism.
Kalonji: This movie destroys a a lot of the myths about war. And uncovers the
pathos people go through when they go through war. Makes you want to go out and
take action to oppose wars this country has been in. Its not a film to glorify
veterans. It shows what's wrong with it.
Mark Roberts can we see it at 6:30?
Next meeting is May 11.
Norberto: I am with Hakam that we shouldn't use our meeting time. We can show
it at a different time and date. It sounds like a good film, but should not use
our LSB time. Would also like us to do some outreach with the Latino committee.
Can get CD's and books.
Acie: There are a lot of misconceptions. There are veterans for peace. 45% of
veterans voted against Bush.
Joni: Network with programmers. Lots we can do on the air. We will honor
veterans for peace.
Another outreach event
Ron: About the town hall meeting. We don't have to be locked into the four that
the LSB will do. We could have more than 4. There could be smaller ones, if
need be. Station will make resources available if you have an issue to put out
Pledge drive coming up May 12 - 23.
Thomas: There's a reggae performer who wants to help with fundraising. There's
another Indian performer named Ravi who wants to do that.
Ron: Please go through channels - Tiffany - before making any commitments.
Propose executive session at 7:00 pm on Wed. April 27. Will get notice of what
the meeting is about and purpose of the meeting will be public.
Under new business: should send a card to Damu. Mark, Ron and Thomas will take
care of it.
Important that we get all reports. Thanks CW for help in preparing us for
meetings. Thanks Ron Pinchback for help in program on Saturday night with Harry
Belafonte. Hope that its on tape. It was once in a lifetime and it was great to
see the WPFW banner there. Somehow we have misinterpreted the purpose of town
hall meetings I agree that we need to go out to meet the community. We also
need to reach out so they know what we are and what we are doing. Need to
reinstate the LSB show. There's no requirement to poll listeners on every
issue. The programming is integral. They community needs to know how
programming is being done. I hope that no changes are being made in our local
programming because of mandates from on high. Committee decisions should come
back to LSB. We need to make a decision on the Berman rule. That's not being
Ayo: For those still in this meeting. This group is undisciplined. People need
to be respectful and be disciplined.
Motion to adjourn.
Adjourned at 11:00 p.m.