LAB refuses to endorse elected national boards
By Carolyn Birden, 26 Nov 2001
Tonight at the LAB meeting, Miguel Maldonado was evidently voted in as the rep to the PNB (temporary). To take this position he had to step down temporarily, pending a successful vote for him as representative, from the chair. Marian Borenstein was elevated from vice-chair to chair in order to facilitate this sleight of hand.
Miguel was asked by four people - Board Member Andy Norris, CF of NJ member Larry Romsted, WBAI CF Democratization Committee Steve Brown, and
myself, CdP-NY member Carolyn Birden -- to answer several variations of the same question, i.e. where he stood on the question of listener membership and on appointed seats. He said he was in favor of listener elections, but not now. He refused to answer one question which was "Can you think of any circumstances under which you would approve of appointed seats to either the national or local boards?" Rashida intervened with a long diatribe against asking people to state their positions on issues. Vajra said she appreciated the fact that Miguel was approachable and would "listen" so that there was no need to know what he thought now, as he could be approached later and "talked to" about any position of importance to the speaker. Miguel did not take exception to this description of himself as someone who evidently could be manipulated. Lee
Kronick said that his committee was determining these very issues, i.e. who were the subscribers and what a vote by a listener would mean, so that there was no need to ask these questions now because all would become clear in due time. (No one said "Amen.")
I said these were two issues: the LAB's position and Miguel's position. The question is not how Miguel would vote once the LAB has decided how it wants their representative to vote, but how he, Miguel, the person, feels and believes RIGHT NOW about the issues of listener members and appointed seats.
Miguel remained silent, refused to answer or meet anyone's eye, sat down, and, apparently on advice of counsel, remained seated and silent until the subject was changed. Either he has no position or has not yet received instructions on how to think about this.
Evidently Jonathan Markowitz's worst predictions have come true. We are in for some difficult times ahead, but cannot say that we have not have ample warning about the position of key people on the LAB.
The vote to elect Miguel - Ray LaForest was also nominated, in absentia - was secret. I await the official returns to see how much of a mandate we have given to someone who apparently does not believe in a Pacifica National Board composed of elected seats. (We already know he does not believe in such an elected Local Advisory Board because Rashida was appointed to BAI's LAB only recently, and he opposed any listener election for that seat.)
Any listener who still retains the faintest hope of becoming a listener-member with voting rights in Pacifca should attend the Tuesday night general meeting and demand a commitment from Miguel to hold firm for listener-member status for all listeners and to reject, now and forever, appointed seats to any board, national or local. Loud and clear. Elected, not selected.
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