Open letter from the Coordinating Committee of Concerned Friends of WBAi to the LAB
July 26, 2001
Dear Members of the Local Advisory Board:
As you know, Concerned Friends of WBAI has been working intensively to improve the situation inside the station and within the Pacifica National Board. Our working groups include an array of regional groups, all committed to the principle of democratization of the network. We have just learned that at your July 31st meeting, the Local Advisory Board will be nominating four people for membership on the LAB. If this is true, we are quite concerned about it.
Since you have endorsed the principle of democratization of WBAI and the Pacifica National Board, we are uncertain as to why you would appoint new members at this crucial juncture, and we ask that you not do so.
One of the long-standing points in the Concerned Friends Statement (adopted on January 11, 2001) reads: "We call on station staff and listeners to support: "... establishment of local election procedures for the ongoing selection of Local Advisory Board members." When the LAB took your two voting seats on the Coordinating Committee you indicated your support for that Jan.11th statement.
We believe the nominating of new members to the LAB will be viewed by many people as inconsistent with efforts to establish procedures for the democratic election of the LAB. We urge the LAB, as we have previously, instead to engage in discussion with the Elections Committee, and others, of the draft election proposal which we believe you have already seen. Our goal is to create a mutually agreeable set of procedures that the LAB will support and help move forward by its endorsement. (If any of you do not have the draft document you can view it at http://wbai.net/elec_prop_7-18-01.html or contact us for a copy.)
In the spirit of transparency and sharing information, we encourage the New York Local Advisory Board to share your reasons for wanting to add new members at this point. Perhaps you will even consider postponing the appointment of new members until the issues can be fully analyzed, with listeners having ample opportunity to respond.
We also request time on the agenda of the July 31st meeting to open up dialogue with the Local Advisory Board on these issues, most especially, how to best move the democratization process forward. (The lack of a forum for our views is one of the losses felt most profoundly in the WBAI community.) Hopefully on July 31 we will be able to reaffirm our commitment to work together toward the goal of a reclaimed WBAI and Pacifica.
Concerned Friends of WBAI
(This letter is being sent by a unanimous vote of the Coordinating Committee taken at its July 23 meeting.)
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