This Week in Resistance from Oakland to Sacramento

Starting with Friday, January 5th, we have a very busy activist week coming up–important stuff from sanctuary to rent control, coal to electoral organizing, it’s all happening from the Bay Area to Sacramento. Get your walking shoes on, hop on BART or Amtrak, you are needed.  images

Friday, the 5th [from the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant]3 pm at the San Francisco Federal Building, 90 – 7th Street

Rally to Save Temporary Protected Status for Immigrants

“The Trump administration is threatening to remove Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from Salvadorans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Syrians, and Haitians and send them back to situations of life-threatening violence.  Many came to the United States because of former wars and natural disasters and have been here for years, and for some, even decades. Removing Temporary Protected Status will put hundreds of thousands of people at risk of deportation. Sending them back to countries where there are ongoing conflicts or economic instability is a human rights disaster.” haitians

Bay Area Coalition to Save TPS-
For further information, contact CISPES at 415-503-0789 or bayarea@cispes.org   

Saturday, January 6th, OJC, 10 am, at the ACCE Office, 2501 International Blvd, Oakland Electoral Organizing for 2018-

The Oakland Justice Coalition is calling progressives together to strategize for the upcoming elections this fall when the mayor’s office in addition to city council and school board seats in Districts 2, 4 and 6 will be up and some challengers are already running. “Our elected officials do not deserve a free ride in 2018. Who is ready to step up?”    25594003_10159734810420150_3593693008047131124_n

 

Tuesday, January 9th, Oakland City Hall, Council Chambers, 6 to 9 pm

Deport Ice– The Public Safety Committee of the Oakland City Council will consider a Resolution by CMs Kaplan and Brooks to prevent OPD from assisting ICE in deportation raids such as happened on August 16th 2017.  images (8)

The resolution had been postponed during the December Workers’ Strike and after the City Council prevented the Public Safety Committee from hearing the issue in November.

https://www.facebook.com/events/758631214332796/

Wednesday, January 10, SF Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate, 8:30 am

“Join No Coal in Oakland on January 10 at a crucial hearing that could put an end to developer Phil Tagami’s lawsuit against the City of Oakland. NCIO-150x150

Rally outside the courtroom at 8:30 am (but come even earlier to make sure you can get a seat inside the courtroom if you want to attend).”

Wednesday evening, 6:30 pm in City Council Chambers, 3rd meeting of the Oakland Police Commission

The new police commission is still getting its sea legs and is not yet staffed. Members of the Coalition for Police Accountability have been present at each meeting and the commissioners claim to have learned more about their mission and its implementation from them, audience members, than the city administration. We’re all beginning to wonder if the current administration is up to working with citizen groups like this and others like the Soda Tax Advisory Board.

 https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oakland-has-yet-to-spend-soda-tax-funds/Content?oid=11372565

Check https://www.coallitionforpoliceaccountability.com for more info on police commision meetings.

Thursday, January 11th, Rally Against Costa Hawkins, in Sacramento [from Tenants Together] http://wellstoneclub.org/rent-control-for-all-repeal-costa-hawkins/

“A first vote on the bill to to repeal the state restriction on rent control – the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act – AB1506 – is scheduled! This was hard fought. Housing justice groups across the state have been pressuring Housing committee chair Assemblymember Chiu, lead author Assemblymember Bloom, and Assembly Speaker Rendon to bring this to a vote.

Meet us in Sacramento at the state capitol on Wednesday January 11th at 8:30am in State Capitol, Room 4202 at the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee meeting. It’s important to get their before early so we can get seats in the hearing room. Stay tuned for lobby days prior to the vote!”

https://www.facebook.com/events/161315931153430/

Women’s March Redux, , Saturday, January 20th in Oakland and other cities around the country-

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https://www.facebook.com/womensmarchoak/

Stop circling the Firing Squad!  

All this great stuff, progressive change and signs of resistance should energize us but we have more enemies than Trump and the GOP or the moderate Dems, we have ourselves as Pogo once said, and we’re a tough audience.  images

We are losing KPFA–the only listener sponsored radio, no Kochs, no commercials a la NPR–founded in 1949, then developed into a network called Pacifica which now has 5 stations including our successful one in Berkeley. But the wolf is at the door of WBAI in New York due to their own incompetence masquerading as ultra left purity, and because they are clueless and see conspiracies where there is actual failure, they have led the wolf directly to the door of KPFA too. It is probably too late for us to rectify this situation and because so many listeners have heard the cry of the wolf too many times, they may no longer care but this is a grave loss. And it is ours to own, not the Right’s, more’s the horror and the pity.

Then on a smaller scale, a brilliant and witty progressive senator has been taken down by our own Democratic women andd many of us are left wondering which of the charges brought against former Senator Al Franken were actually valid and how serious were they anyway?? His name is now mentioned in the same sentence as accused pedophile Roy Moore and serial abuser Harvey Weinstein!

How did we let that happen without any type of investigation of the incidents or analysis of how to handle them? And BTW, let’s retire the term zero tolerance or let’s admit that it also means zero nuance, zero thought and no tolerance at all for mistakes.

Ok, enough criticism-self-criticism, onto the fights at hand but don’t forget how easily we become our own enemies, no more nose spiting or cutting off or whatever, we can’t spare the blood-we no longer have the bandages. We’ve got a civilization to save and hopefully improve.

Let us know what you are willing to help, drive a carpool, sign up to speak at a meeting, make a phone call, carry a sign in the next march or all of the above?

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The Long Sordid Record of Oakland’s Neglect of Affordable Housing, continuing saga…

I turned on the radio today, KPFA of course, in time to hear my old friend, architect and well-respected political and tenant activist, James Vann being asked by Kitty Kelly Epstein why a progressive council in a city like Oakland couldn’t seem to pass serious tenant protections. James answered, “I just don’t think we have anyone on the present city council who is progressive.”

That’s quite an indictment, especially when that little island city of retired military across the Estuary, Alameda,just passed stricter renter protections and extended a moratorium on no-cause evictions plus a cap lower than Oakland’s on rent increases.

James also stated (also embedded in his letter) that the city manager in charge of the mayor’s housing cabinet declined to even pass on the recommendations of the Renters’ Working Group to the mayor because….

I don’t think I need to add much more to this long, sad history of Oakland’s abrogration of its responsibility to its renters which is equivalent to neglect of its citizenry since the majority are tenants. What the hell is going on, Oakland??

[I have changed only typos in the following. Warning:read only with a strong drink, a good glass of wine, or your suitcase packed.]

Sordid Record of Oakland City Council on Rental and Housing Issues

jamesevann@aol.com

I presented this letter in October to the Renter’s Working Group of the Mayor’s Housing Cabinet process:
_______

Oakland’s current affordable housing crisis — particularly for renters — is not new, and has been acknowledged as a “crisis” by successive city councils since before the economic downturn of 2008. Events that have characterized the “crisis” over many years have at least included:
• the real estate “flipping craze” of the late 1970s that caused tenants to qualify “Measure E,” a rent control initiative that barely failed 53% to 47% in 1980, because Mayor Wilson and landlords quickly wrote the current and one-sided “Rent Arbitration Ordinance,” backed by over $20,000, and trumpeted as “Oakland-style rent control.”
• the condo conversion explosion of the 1970s, that resulted in the flawed condo conversion ordinance of 1981.
• appeals by tenants to make the “Rent Arbitration” ordinance more fair for tenants. Referred by CM Spees to a task group of tenants and landlords. No mutual decisions reached. No action by CC.
• the condo conversion rush of 2005-08. A tenant offered proposal not acted on by CC.
• appeals to end the passing to tenants of LLs (landlords’) “mortgage payments” from Rent Law (2007-08). Rent Board approved removal in 2008. Not acted on by CC until 2015.
appeals for needed revisions of the Condominium Conversion Ordinance; a continuing request since 2006. No actions ever by CC.
• appeals for “inclusionary zoning” in 2006; No CC action on “Inclusionary Zoning” and “Condo Conversion’ proposals. Referred by CM Brooks to a Blue Ribbon Commission. CC took 8 months to appoint the Commission.
• Blue Ribbon Task Force of 2006-08. After meeting for 18 months, and presenting a report of “lukewarm” recommendations, CC took no action on the Committee’s report.
• Mayor Dellums’ comprehensive Affordable Housing Program Plan of 2008; Presented to CC in 2009. No action by CC.
• uprising by tenants in 2013 – 14 against excess pass-through of 100% capital improvements, and lack of action after 5 years on “elimination of debt service pass-through” from Rent Board. Referred by CM Reid to “landlord & tenant work group. Repeal of debt service and compromised report of work group on capital improvements accepted by CC in 2014.
• “Tenant Protection Ordinance” struggle of 2014. CC approved text in 2014, but stripped “implementation and remedies” sections from the ordinance, rendering it useless to tenants.
• revised condo conversion ordinance developed by OTU in 2008 – 10 with CM Brunner, who refused to submit to CC unless prior assurance of passage.
• Condo Conversion Ordinance refined by housing advocates in 2014-15. Resubmitted to CM Kalb in early 2015. Held Up 5 months by City Attorney’s office for legal review. Finally released by CA in Nov 2015. No action by CC in last 2 months.
• CED staff announces “crisis” in Rent Program because tenant petitions increased from 1/2% to 1% of tenants, and applied to CC for a quadruple rental fee in order to double staff capacity. Both LLs and tenants strongly disagreed, and called for audit of Rent Program’s efficiency. OTU also argued that the city’s “one of a kind” rent program is the problem; that because it is a program that is activated only by tenant petitions, and that the program relies on landlords to inform tenants of their right to file a petition against that same landlord’s exorbitant increases or other illegal action (which many LLs don’t do), that tenant petitions should actually be at least 20% of tenants, not 1%, thus as more tenants learn of their right, it is impossible that increasing staff will solve the problem. It is the program that must change. What Oakland needs is a real rent control program, rather than the present landlord designed farce.
• As an assist to the current RAP problem, OTU submitted to the Renters Work Group of the Mayor’s Housing Cabinet the draft of a “Rent Control” ordinance recommended for inclusion in recommendations of the Housing Cabinet for the mayor. Manager Byrd decided against forwarding the recommendation to the Cabinet, perhaps considered “too radical.”
• Renters Work Group urged that a “resolution of urgency” be recommended directly to Mayor (not thru the Mayor’s Housing Cabinet) for immediate submission to CC to declare a “state of emergency in rental housing and a moratorium on rent increases and no-cause evictions” (as Alameda has done) to permit time to work out the problems in the rent program. T Moss, mayor’s chief of staff, reported at next meeting of the Work Group that instead of addressing the rental crisis (even though Mayor Schaaf has stated that ending displacement of long term residents is among the highest priorities of her administration), that the mayor decided to submit to CC an “emergency resolution” only for homeless programs. No action would be taken on declaring a rental housing emergency (despite the fact that the adopted Housing Equity Roadmap found that btw 2011 & 2014, Oakland had lost over 25% of its African American population and over 14% of families with school age children)

Through all these and other recurring housing and renter problems, the common identifying characteristic has been that hearing after hearing, and proposal upon proposal, the City Council of the time has almost never taken action.

This time, something different needs to happen. All council members, on several occasions, have acknowledged that Oakland is in a severe housing crisis, particularly for the majority of Oakland’s residents — the renters of Oakland’s flatlands, here the median income for a family of four is only $34,000, not nearly enough to pay current fast rising rents in Oakland. Many of these households presently pay 60 to 80% or more of their income for rent. By 2014, the city’s housing crisis had led to a loss of 25% of Oakland’s African American population and 17% of families with school aged children as documented by the city’s adopted Housing Equity Roadmap .

Declaring a “Housing Emergency” and enacting a “Moratorium” on rent increases and no-cause evictions will go a long way toward assuring tenants that city fathers (and mothers!) are serious about the crisis and, this time, will do more than just talk. Declaring a “Housing Emergency” is also a powerful signal to the suffering community that City Hall finally hears their pleas, and establishing a moratorium timeframe expresses to the community that the city is finally committed to assure that this time, action, not just talk, will happen.

James Vann

To add to this long list of inaction, Oakland is one of the only surrounding cities without developer impact fees and the city is poised to ….perhaps….maybe….enact a weakened fee, not comparable to those of other cities and which excludes 4,000 units presently in the pipeline and offers significantly lower fees in areas where the threat of gentrification is imminent.

Or it may postpone the whole thing until the building boom is over. The discussion will finally get started on January 26th at 1:30pm (is that a problem for you?)

Please, please, please, if you are a renter, know a renter, or might have a family member who would like to be a renter (rather than, you know, living with mom) let your council member know how seriously you take these issues. It truly is a State of Emergency in Oakland!

 

Contradictions R Us

Design by Rha Bowden, "Co-Exist"

Design by Rha Bowden, “Co-Exist”

It’s head exploding time in these United States and maybe in Venezuela, too. As Rachel Maddow declared it’s another day “in which all of this news does not seem possible.” I started writing about about the various and opposing views of Hugo Chavez who just died and whose legacy is being discussed on the social media and the MSM (mainstream media), but social media, as usual, is more interesting and more nuanced.

But only just. Being “friends” with so many folks on the Left or at least left of center, wherever the hell that is now in times of challenging women’s right to birth control and the right to vote for folks who waited for hundreds of years before even getting to register, I have read a lot of tributes on my news feed. Then a bunch of disagreements started to pop up and as one wag, radio critic, Matthew Lasar wrote, “Hugo Chavez was a wonderful monster who destroyed and saved Venezuela, which will never recover from his life/death.”

Now I am not, I repeat, not, an expert on Hugo Chavez but I did admire his chutzpah and his ability to completely change the conversation in Venezuela and around the world. As the first person of Native and African origins to be elected in his country, he gave the populace who looked like him a reason to hope.

He told the world that the most valuable resources of his county, oil, belonged not to international corporations, but to the people of that country. He thumbed his nose at baseball owners who were used to running a plantation system where young players were treated as commodities not people.

He also shut down newspapers and went after opposition press. He spent his country’s wealth on literacy and health clinics AND goodies for his friends and family(so they say). For Americans, for whom the MSM’s version of a dictator or strong man who terrorized the (wealthy) newspaper owners who fomented  (funded) a failed coup against him, he wast billed as both scary and a clown. Well, if the first image didn’t work to belittle him, the other surely would do the trick.

For many of us regular viewers of the MSM who don’t read the Nation as often as we watch cable news but hated Bush-he was a breath of fresh air. When he told the UN, “Yesterday, the devil came here. Right here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today.” Well, Mastercard, that really was priceless.

Now that he is gone, no matter what he did or did not do, many of us fear for his countrymen and for the help he lent to other countries. But we have enough problems dealing with our own politicians and the policies of two parties beholden to corporate CEOS and their boards.

Now along comes Rand Paul and more head exploding politics, personalities, and contradictions. I listened to part of his filibuster against possible murderous drone strikes in the US on KPFA. Rand Paul on KPFA should have been enough to hurl me into migraine territory much less the fact that I found myself nodding along with him.

When I later caught Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC haranguing against Paul’s long speech and describing him as a mad man, I got more confused and bewildered. Then O’Donnell asked his guests to join him in berating the “stark raving mad” Paul; but they declined and went on to talking about the president giving out his secret list of terrorists who may be killed (Ryan Grim, HuffPo) and bringing attention to the use of drones (EJ Dionne). Then we got to hear Republicans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham denouncing Paul for implying this president was that horrible??

At that point I had to finish eating my whole day’s ration of chocolate before my brain shut down. This morning I read that Eugene Robinson agreed with Rand Paul and almost went into a coma writing it (I’m only imagining that).

At least Eric Holder has now stated that no, we won’t be doing that unless of course there’s a little caveat to that statement like, unless necessary. I never even got the wonderfulness of drone attacks in other countries against people without my grocery-store-surfing-third-world-exploiting-talents-and passport-owning-non-burka-wearing-music-downloading rights who might be attending a wedding with the wrong entourage, never mind the bad bridesmaids dresses. I never really felt good as an American about our apparently god-given technologic advances that are making this all possible.

It seems that now some Americans are waking up to a few of these new threats. Back to facebook and twitter, and tumblr, and whatever else they invented last night that I haven’t found out about yet, there’s Bradley Manning and Aaron Swartz, and, oh for those of us in the Bay, KPFA’s contradictions could fill, well, many a book-as they already have.

One thing I want to know though. If we voters elected Barack Obama, he of the brightest smile since JFK, and of the drones, and the I-could-cut-a-little-out-of-your-social-security-checks for the sake of the deficit which happened because people are out of work , which happened because the investment bankers ponzied us all out of a living, not our greedy grannies and grandpas buying their cat food; if we (yes, this is the definition of a run-on sentence) could vote for him because we recognized the scariness of the other guy or just because the other guy wore mom-jeans, then why can’t we learn to live with the contradictions??

I, for one, maybe you for another, don’t want to be caught using all my energy hating a president the way I did in the 60’s who turns out to have been probably the best one in my lifetime. After all, LBJ gave us Medicare and food stamps, and the Voting Rights Act which we may now be losing.

I don’t want to be in long arguments against a now dead president of a country I have never visited.

I don’t want either to read about my mayor (you knew I’d get around to that) and wonder  if she were either a head breaking, proponent of police violence or a criminal-coddling-cry- baby-liberal, neither of which comes close to the person I know who has ably engineered a budget that has maintained our libraries, youth and senior services through a deep Recession.

What’s my point-ferkrissakes-how would I know while my head explodes?!The only guess I have would be that these are tough, volatile times. They come close to the polarization of the 60’s which means I am now too old to be trusted anyway. Sometimes I don’t trust myself so I have to back up, study a little more, write it all out or paint it or whatever works and then be responsible for what I say, write, and do, how I am in the world.

I need to figure out how to live with the contradictions of loving my president while fearing his power, his mentors, and his isolation from people like me. I need a place to mourn the loss of a charismatic leader who spit in the eye of the world’s most powerful states. I need to listen to my enemies and, more importantly, resist the need to have enemies and the desire to have heroes.

By the way, Happy International Women’s Day!

KPFA’s Interim Managers Take the Station for a Joy Ride–How will it Affect You?

It’s hard to write much less think about all the problems which beset us these days. After all, it is the anniversary of the BP oil disaster and we are only now getting reports about the true devastation while President Obama’s government is busy giving out new permits to drill in deep water. Our entire social safety net from laws against child labor to the provision of social security and Medicare is under attack.

In Michigan, whole towns are being taken over and given to corporate ownership. Our own Robert Bobb has become one of the overlords and is busy shutting down democracy as I write. I’m really not too surprised at that. I always thought he had a strong authoritarian streak and was a very top-down manager who didn’t necessarily know what was going on beneath him-that’s why I never joined the Robert-Bobb-for-mayor movement.

Given all this, I have always turned to KPFA for real news local, national, and international. Of late, it’s been more difficult. The majority of us listen to radio in the morning or evening drive-times. For many years KPFA hosted the excellent “Morning Show” which encompassed local news stories, national and international interviews, and cultural events. One of the former hosts, Aimee Allison, has gone on to provide local news and culture in the “Oakland Seen”.

Everyone who relied on KPFA for information and as an organizing tool were saddened and shocked when the tradition that was the Morning Show was so abruptly removed (many listeners organized to raise additional funds to bring it back-see SaveKPFA.org for more info on that). The anchors were then laid off (a month later though not allowed on air during that time), but Brian Edwards Tiekert has been brought back based on the CWA contract.

In a few days Pacifica will enter arbitration over its treatment of Aimee Allison. Here is a letter from some of the KPFA staff who are concerned about the cost and effects of Pacifica refusing to return Ms. Allison to her position in favor of expensive arbitration at listener expense.

Dear KPFA Colleagues,

We’re writing to let you know about some very serious choices facing KPFA in the next week.

On April 28th, Morning Show co-host Aimee Allison’s grievance over her termination is scheduled to go to arbitration. Pacifica management has hired the $400/hour law firm Folger Levin to represent it. Pacifica will be charged $500/hour by the arbitrator just to hear the case. But the bills will be sent to KPFA.

We know that Pacifica already spent more that $32,000 of KPFA’s money on Folger Levin before it conceded Brian Edwards-Tiekert’s grievance and returned him to work. As nearly every union member at KPFA is part-time, this is more than most of us earn in a year.

Now, Pacifica is poised to do it again.

This is a lose-lose proposition. If our union wins at arbitration, Pacifica still will have wasted the equivalent of someone’s annual salary defending an action it never should have taken in the first place. If Pacifica wins, KPFA is stuck without its biggest fundraiser—and, soon enough, it will be laying off more of the staff who keep the station running.

Here’s the calculus: The Morning Show accounted for one out of every four dollars that came in to KPFA during pledge drives. In our most recent fund drive, every hour of KPFA’s schedule changed by Pacifica – 6 AM, 7 AM, and 8 AM – raised considerably less than before. In addition, fundraising dropped significantly during the 9 AM broadcast of Democracy Now! The drop in 9 AM fundraising was a predictable consequence of moving the first airing of Democracy Now! up to 7 AM, where it essentially depletes some of the 9 AM audience. In total, morning pledges dropped nearly $140,000 from the 2010 Winter fund drive.

If we extend that gap over a year’s worth of fundraising, translate it into cuts, and work up working from the bottom of KPFA’s seniority list, here’s what we could get: John Hamilton and Brian Edwards-Tiekert would be out (again). So would Laura Prives. Flashpoints would lose Eric Klein and Miguel Molina. Letters and Politics would come to an end:Mitch Jeserich would be out. (Since Mitch is currently KPFA’s biggest fundraiser, that could trigger still more cuts.) There’d be no-one updating KPFA’s website–Miguel Guerrero would be gone. So would Chris Stehlik – which means there would be no-one to actually bill KPFA’s subscribers for the pledges they make . . . If management decided keeping a website and a membership database were indispensable, Chris and Miguel might keep their jobs – but KPFA would lose its state capitol reporter, Christopher Martinez, and the only paid staffer left running its Apprenticeship program, Mickey Mayzes.

There’s no way to continue down that path, and preserve KPFA as we know it.

But there is an alternative: Pacifica management could work with KPFA’s staff and listeners, instead of against us. When John Hamilton got a layoff notice, five union members and one manager willingly sacrificed some of their own pay to keep him funded – that’s problem-solving. When Pacifica announced it was cutting The Morning Show purely for financial reasons, SaveKPFA raised over $63,000 in pledges from people willing to give extra to KPFA to bring The Morning Show back. That money’s still on the table.

Pacifica management could concede Aimee’s case right now, and welcome her back to the air. The SaveKPFA pledges would pay her salary, and benefits, and then some. Pacifica would save the listener money that’s about to go to overpaid lawyers. And it could put The Morning Show back to work raising money for the rest of KPFA.

Between now and April 28th, we have to convince the powers that be that management should be working with KPFA’s staff and listeners to bring Aimee back, not fighting to keep her away. Please, talk to whomever you can in KPFA and Pacifica management, and ask them to work this out instead of fighting it out.

In solidarity,

Aileen Alfandary, News Dept. Co-Director

Phil Osegueda, Subscriptions Director

Chris Stehlik, Database Manager

Okay, that was bad enough. When I personally asked Ms. Englehardt, the Pacifica overlord, I mean, Executive Director, how much more of KPFA’s money would be spent on lawyers this year, she told me $5,000 to $10,000 and no more. That would be bad enough, given the station’s financial condition and the low pay of its programming staff, but now it looks to be much more.

Last night the station’s Interim General Manager and Interim Program Director, note the interim, sent out a letter announcing a complete overhaul of programming without any kind of input from anyone-at least that we know of-not the Community Advisory Board, not the Program Council, which doesn’t even exist yet, nor station department heads, nor any listener or staff input.

These changes will turn listener habits on their heads and completely eliminate local news programming from the morning drive-time while abolishing the traditional 9 AM slot for Democracy Now. If you missed it at 7 AM, you missed it.

They have determined that young adults will tune into Hard Knock Radio, cultural and political programming for the Hip Hop generation, at 9 AM and folks used to getting a full hour of Dennis Bernstein at 5 PM will want to hear national and international news, similar to that covered by Democracy Now, at 8 AM just following DN.

Here is there announcement. Note these changes will occur immediately following the next fund drive. By the way, just for fun, the Pacifica bureaucracy will be collecting an extra tithe on this fund drive just for them, subtracted from the funds donated for the station.

FROM: Carrie Core iPD, Andrew Leslie Phillips iGM.

A CHANGE IN OUR LINE-UP.

As you all know KPFA has been struggling to maintain itself over these
past years and months.

Since 2005, KPFA suffered a 27% drop in annual income, including a 30%
decline of more than $1.2 million in annual listener support.  There
has been a corresponding drop in membership. In the meantime the
overall economy is depressed and raising money is difficult.

The old model is not working. Programming is not the only reason but
is likely part of it. On going internal disputes have also drained our

resources.

We all know that a controversial program change was made by Pacifica’s Executive
Director Arlene Engelhardt when the KPFA Morning Show was removed from
the air. There were staff layoffs. Some paid staff agreed to resign
their positions and were offered compensation packages. And some staff
agreed to reductions in hours. Restoring the old Morning Show is not
the answer. We need to step into the future, not back to the past.

With this in mind and in an effort to get KPFA on a new track, it is necessary
to make program changes. It is one of a number of strategies new
management is working on with staff, to move the station and the
network forward.

We note that under the Union Contract; Section 2 – Management Rights –
management rights include: “…the right to hire, classify, assign,
promote…” and “…to locate or relocate work assignments.”

Immediately following the May fund raiser and membership drive we will be

instituting the following program changes:

1) The Morning Mix and the 9am rebroadcast of Democracy Now will be
replaced by Flashpoints and Hard Knock Radio – Flashpoints at 8am and
Hard Knock at 9am. Both programs are lead by amongst our most experienced
broadcasters and award winning producer/hosts. As well as reaching out to our
current audience they will embrace a new, vibrant, multi-cultural audience.
We have plans to take our new morning line-up on the road reaching deeply
into our community.

We want to thank and praise those who pitched in on the Morning Mix
over these past months. Most were unpaid staff and they did a good job
under difficult circumstances.

2) Against the Grain and Living Room will be moved to 11am following
Letters and Politics.

3) The morning music line-up will move to noon and be given an
additional 30 minutes. This means our afternoon line-up will move
forward one half hour commencing on the half hour at 1:30pm – 4pm.

There will be no changes in this line-up other than the time.
4) Free Speech Radio News will run at 4pm followed by an updated
thirty minute newscast from Al Jazeera.

5) A proposed new program slated for 5-6pm called Talk Back will
run five days a week and will invite our audience to “talk back” to
the host. There will be five different hosts for Talk Back. Hosts are
currently under consideration.

As you probably know, we want to reinstate the program council and we

are moving forward in that regard. The program council will be invited
to review and evaluate these changes.
Finally, you will note that nobody has lost their program. Nobody has
lost their job. We believe these changes will strengthen and diversify our
lineup.

The above mentioned program changes will be shared with the
KPFA Community Advisory Board and LSB over the weekend. They will
be announced to our audience during the Morning Mix this Monday.

It’s probable that the evening drive-time will turn into the Afternoon Mix, with no cohesive programming. As one of the union staff put it-have they checked the Arbitron numbers, looked at the online listening statistics or pledge drive behavior-given that they turned down additional funding to bring back the Morning Show-that would also be a no.

Most importantly, have they attempted to gather listener input? As one wag said, “of course not, then they’d be managing the station instead of just taking it for a joy-ride!”

This is how interim managers operate at KPFA. They see the station as a giant jar full of pieces which they can upend and shake without causing any disturbance. They do not see the station and its evolution as anything they need to respect and the listeners are just those folks who pay their legal bills.

I don’t know how listeners will take this wholesale shift but I would like to hear from you, unlike the managers hand-picked by Pacifica, I still think this is our station. Go to SaveKPFA.org and let us know what you want to do about Pacifica’s takeover of programming, spending, staffing and our complete loss of local control. Do it now!