01 October, 2008

74 KPFA Staffers: No-Confidence for Rijio
29 Sept 2008

KPFA Staffers No-Confidence Statement Gaining Signers:
74 Now Endorse Call For a Change

Statement of no-confidence in current management following the banning and arrest of unpaid programmer Nadra Foster has now been endorsed by 74 staffers.

KPFA Staffers Release No-Confidence Statement as Fall Fund Drive Begins; Community Supporters Express Dismay at Use of Police

Berkeley, CA – Nine years have passed since Pacifica radio station KPFA, the seminal community radio outlet founded by pacifist Lew Hill in 1949, last had the police inside its doors to arrest its workers, but on August 20, 2008, the Berkeley police were again summoned to 1929 Martin Luther King Jr Way, and asked to eject programmer Nadra Foster, who had been allegedly banned for a disagreement involving usage of a copier.

Sixty-five of the station’s workers, paid and unpaid alike, have joined together to condemn what they describe as a growing atmosphere of intimidation, including increased security measures, restrictions on airing discussion of internal issues, the return of banning individuals from the premises, and the use of police force to address non-violent policy issues.

Several prominent members of the progressive community the station serves have decried the use of force, including authors Michael Parenti and Norman Solomon, devorah major, former SF poet laureate, Jack Heyman of the ILWU, Mills College professor Julia Sudbury and advocacy groups Critical Resistance, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and Copwatch.

Project Censored Executive Director Peter Phillips commented "KPFA should only use outside police in the station when a serious life-threatening circumstance is evident or major crime is in progress. A progressive self-managed system of mutual respect and communication must take priority over outside force”.

After Pacifica Radio surmounted a major crisis in the late 1990’s that involved ousting a Board of Directors that planned to sell the stations, a subscriber-elected governance system was put into place, allowing listeners who pledge $25 annually to select the network’s directors. An attempt to replace the current interim manager, the station’s former development director, with a permanent hire was stymied last year and the hiring process is again underway.

Media Alliance director Tracy Rosenberg, an elected local board member, commented “It is way past time for KPFA, and Pacifica as a whole, to move away from discredited command and control tactics to manage its diverse workforce”.

The Unpaid Staff Organization, (UPSO) which from 1990-onwards organized the 160+ unpaid programmers, was de-recognized in August 2007, leaving the majority of the station’s producers and hosts with no avenue for internal appeal of disciplinary actions and/or loss of status.

Programmer Foster, who suffered a severe sprain and bruises during her arrest, is still facing five misdemeanor charges in Alameda County, including trespassing, resisting arrest and battery on an officer. Her pre-trial hearing was on September 22nd. Fellow staffers are trying to arrange a fundraiser to assist her with legal expenses stemming from the August 20th incident.

The Pacifica Radio network, one of the few national media outlets that features news, information and culture with a decidedly progressive slant, is said to be facing significant financial challenges in what is clearly a difficult economic environment for journalism.




" We, the undersigned paid and unpaid KPFA staff, do not have confidence in the management of KPFA's Interim General Manager Lemlem Rijio. Rijio's actions during the past 2 years have caused the alienation of a large of number of staff members, have created turmoil within the station and have resulted in her losing credibility with many staff members. Her shift of KPFA's culture away from one of collaboration and mutual support helped create the climate leading to the tragic and unnecessary police arrest of unpaid staff member Nadra Foster.

" KPFA and Pacifica management's transformation of a workplace dispute, internally resolvable through collaborative means, into a major police action violates KPFA's mission to promote peaceful ways to solve conflicts. Moving toward a more restrictive work environment will distance the station further from grassroots communities that Pacifica aims to serve.

" We look forward to the appointment of a new General Manager from the list of 11 candidates, prepared by KPFA's Local Station Board, in order to bring comprehensive teamwork, support, and peace to the station. We agree with the some 80 staff members who signed the "Open Letter on New KPFA Leadership Attributes/Priorities" that it's time for fresh leadership.

Matthew Abaya, Filmmaker, Educator, API Specials
Shahram Aghamir, Producer, Voices of the Middle East and North Africa
Nick Alexander, KPFA Producer, Reporter
Naji Ali, Graduate First Voice Apprenticeship,
Co-producer, Full Circle, Executive Producer/Host Crossing The Line: Life in Occupied Palestine.
Rosie Austin- First Voice Group 33
Nora Barrows-Friedman, Senior Producer & Co-host, Flashpoints
Amanda Bellerby, Producer, Flashpoints
Donna Bellorado, First Voice Graduate 2007, pending Lead Segment Editor
Khalil Bendib, Producer & Co-host, Voices of the Middle East & North Africa
Mary Berg, Music Programmer, Host of a Musical Offering
Dennis Bernstein, Host, Senior Producer, Flashpoints
Bonnie Bone, Engineer, Early Morning Music Host/Producer
Allison Budner, First Voice Apprentice, Full Circle Producer
Erica Bridgeman, Engineer, Co-Producer, The Radio Chronicles
Greg Bridges, Host of Transitions on Traditions
Afrikahn Jahmal Dayvs, Producer/Host of BAJABA on JazzLine, and subsitute voice @ KPFA
Darren J. de Leon, Producer/Co-Host Radio 2050
Angela Fautt-DeCastro- First Voice Group 33
Lisa Dettmer, KPFA Producer, Women's Magazine
Meg Dixit, News
Tara Dorabji, Co-Host La Onda Bajita
Emiliano Echeverria, Producer: Radio Cuba Canta (sub for Con Sabor) and at KPFA since '68
Doug Edwards, Programmer/Producer, Music of the World and Ear Thyme
Professor Samera Esmeir, Producer, Voices of the Middle East & North Africa
Bonnie Faulkner, Host and Producer of Guns and Butter
Anthony Fest, News Anchor
Rainjita Geesler, First Voice Co-Director, Co-Host Apex Express
Victoria Gutierrez, Co-host, Radio Zapatista (La Onda Bajita)
Shawn Hamilton, News Reporter
Stephenie Hendricks, former producer, Pacifica Radio National Programming, Sunday Salon,
Flashpoints, Visionary Activist Show"
Francisco Herrera, Co-host and Producer, Flashpoints, La Onda Bajita
Yvette Hochberg-producer Women's magazine I~los, Roots Kommunikations kru, API Specials Team"
Ras Ivier, KPFA DJ & Producer, Reggae Express
Shuka Klanatari, Producer, Voices of the Middle East and North Africa.
Robert Knight, the Knight Report on Flashpoints
Anita Johnson, Senior Producer, Hard Knock Radio
Kayumanggi' Kaloy, KPFA DJ, API Specials Lead Producer, Apprenticeship Grad '89
Wildecy de Fatima Jury, Apprentice, graduated from Quilombo Group
Rahul C. Lagura, KPFA API Specials, Smartmoves/East Oakland Boxing Association Athletic Director
Adrienne Lauby, Producer/Host Pushing Limits
Fabian Chavez Martinez, Live Music Engineer
M. Mayzes, Producer/Engineer
David McBurnie, Producer, Music of the World
Evelina Molina, Co-Hosts, Flashpoints in Espanol
Miguel Molina, Executive Producer, La Onda Bajita; Roving Producer, Flashpoints
Jill Montgomery First Voice Apprentice, KPFA Board Operator
Tony Moses, KPFA Reggae Programmer (Since 1974)
Daniel Nemser, Co-Host, Radio Zapatista collective of La Onda Bajita
Kevin Pena, Flashpoints Haiti correspondent
Miguel Perez, La Onda/Vox-Populi Co-Host
Emmit A. Powell, DJ and Programmer, The Gospel Experience
Kate Rafael, Producer, Womens Magazine
Malihe Razazan, Producer, Voices of the Middle East and North Africa
Alejandro Reyes, Radio Zapatista (La Onda Bajita)
and Mexico correspondent, Flashpoints.
Pedro Reyes, Co-Producer, La Onda Bajita
Rosi Reyes, Host, Ritmo de las Americas
Raynelle Rino, Scientist, Educator, API Specials Team
Art Sato, Host, Producer, In Your Ear
Jan Santos, Producer, Pushing Limits
Attorney Rene Saucedo, Co-Hosts, Flashpoints in Espanol
Doyle Saylor Host, Producer Pushing Limits
Adália M. Selket , Brazilian Music Program Producer , 1st Voice Graduate
Nina Serrano, Co-producer La Raza Chronicles, Host/Producer, Open Book
Preeti Shekar, Producer, Women's Magazine
Ruthanne Shpiner, News Reporter, Host, Producer, Pushing Limits
Frank Sterling- First Voice Technical Fellow
Kirsten Thomas, Board Op/Producer, Morning
Show/Democracy Now! Apprentice Alumnus
Walter Turner, Producer, Host of Africa Today
Minister of Information JR Valrey, Producer of POCC: Block Report Radio
Carla West, News, Apprenticeship Graduate
Gabrielle Wilson, Producer, Co-Host of The Gospel Experience
Ali Zadeh, Voices of the Middle East & North Africa
Dr. Zeina Zaatari, Producer, Voices of the Middle East & North Africa