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Text of email to send to friends supporting
the Justice & Unity slate

**** Please forward widely ****

WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign
http://www.justiceunity.org (Check regularly for detailed information & updates)
info@justiceunity.org * Join our (low-traffic) email list!
(212) 591-2111

As always, a diverse, anti-racist, community-oriented election slate

To all WBAI members: We need your vote in the very critical election taking place right now for the Local Station Board (ballots were mailed Oct. 15 and you should already have received yours in a blue envelope from Pacifica Radio). The Board has a major role in budgets, selection of managers, and assuring that programming follows the station's mission.

The WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign stands for maintaining and expanding WBAI's progressive, activist, anti-racist programming and for advancing affirmative action throughout the Pacifica Network. Its members currently hold 10 of the 18 listener seats on the board, and another 3 of 6 staff board members are allies. However, other board members seek to reverse the gains of recent years - the inclusion of hard-hitting educational and activist programming on working class issues, particularly programs by and for communities of color. Some of those board members have mounted aggressive efforts to fire the progressive Program Director, Bernard White.

Nine listener seats on the Local Station Board are up for election this year. The WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign is fielding a truly diverse slate of 8 candidates representing various communities served by WBAI. All are experienced activists who bring a variety of important skills to the table.

We're asking those of you with voting rights (see Section 1 below) to vote for the entire WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign slate.

DEADLINE: Your filled-out ballot must be RECEIVED (not postmarked) by NOV. 15. Don't delay!


There are 9 board seats to fill. You can vote for more than one candidate by ranking them in order of preference. We've developed rankings to maximize the chances of electing all 8 Justice & Unity candidates. To make sure your favorite candidates aren't stranded in a minority on a hostile board, it's crucial to rank ALL of the Justice & Unity candidates! Do not give the same ranking to more than one candidate -- it divides and dilutes your vote. Vote ONLY for Justice & Unity candidates. If you also rank other candidates, it could hurt our chances.

For a photo of a filled-out ballot, go to http://www.justiceunity.org/2007filledout%20ballot.html.

Please rank all 8 Justice & Unity candidates, and only these candidates, in the precise order listed below:

1. Omowale Clay*
2. Tibby Brooks*
3. Lisa Davis*
4. Sara Flounders*
5. Marianela Tricoche
6. Marian Borenstein*
7. Wellington Echegaray
8. Bok-keem Nyerere

* Incumbent board member seeking re-election

For more on the backgrounds of the candidates, scroll down to:



If you became a WBAI member between Sept. 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2007, either by donating at least $25 or volunteering at least 3 hours, you have the right to vote in the current election. Ballots were supposed to be mailed to all members on Oct. 15. If you haven't received one yet, check http://www.wbai.org for a special phone number and email address to request a ballot (and keep checking back if none is listed, or email or call Justice & Unity for help).

If you're not yet a WBAI member, please join today. The station urgently needs the funds. Call during the current pledge drive (thru Oct. 31) at 212-209-2950 (or after Oct. 31 at 212-209-2800), or donate online any time via credit card at http://www.wbai.org .



The national trend of declining listener revenue that affects all of community radio has collided with rising costs and has hit WBAI hard. This trend is not unique to WBAI: a report last year by Audience 2010 projected a $30-60 million drop in public radio revenue. The financial impact of 9/11 and rising NYC poverty and unemployment rates make it very difficult for listeners to be as generous as they would like. And when the board's opposing bloc speaks of WBAI's debt to the national office, what they don't tell you is that WBAI faces a financial burden unmatched by any other Pacifica station. WBAI's operational cost (transmitter rent, studio rent and utilities) is $736,000 a year -- no other station's exceeds $146,000.

The Justice & Unity board majority has scrutinized management's proposed budgets and corrected errors and excesses, producing more accurate and economical budgets. We'll work with the incoming permanent manager to launch a major capital campaign so the station can purchase its own facility. We're working with the Pacifica National Board to bring in a professional to raise funds off-air. We'll also build on our Board's past successes and help the station hold more community fundraising events, run ads in diverse publications, and create a Pacifica record label.

Justice & Unity recognizes that racism is not dead, or even asleep, and remains committed to ensuring that WBAI maintains and expands its progressive, activist, anti-racist programming, and to advancing affirmative action throughout Pacifica. Some opposition board members are against this, and have even campaigned to fire progressive Program Director Bernard White and to purge other anti-racist programmers by disseminating vitriolic, unsubstantiated allegations against them. To stand up against this opposition and protect WBAI's legacy as a powerful tool for oppressed communities, Justice & Unity needs a stronger board majority.

Don't Be Fooled!  Most of the "independent" candidates are joined with the same hostile bloc that for years has undermined WBAI, demoralizing listeners and staff with unsubstantiated allegations. (More details at http://www.justiceunity.org/index.html#Pacifica.) Justice & Unity candidates have varied backgrounds but shared values supporting racial, gender, and class justice.


(Full statements and photos of each candidate are available at http://www.justiceunity.org/candidates.html)

1. Omowale Clay*
Member, December 12th Movement; a key organizer of National Rally for Reparations and Sean Bell justice march

2. Tibby Brooks*
Organizer, NY Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition; member, Friends of Abraham Lincoln Brigade

3. Lisa Davis*
Member of Pacifica National Board; reparations activist; chair, Tri-state Support "Like It Is" Coalition; member, Millions More Movement, NJ

4. Sara Flounders*
Co-director, International Action Center; author; resistance organizer for many mass mobilizations vs. U.S. wars

5. Marianela Tricoche
Member of Women Workers for Peace (Bronx Latina group), Bolivarian Circle (Venezuela solidarity), & Vieques Support Campaign; immigrant rights activist; former WBAI program translator

6. Marian Borenstein*
Board member, Black Radical Congress-NYC; former WBAI Local Advisory Board co-chair

7. Wellington Echegaray
Long-time Ecuadoran labor and solidarity activist with Cuba & Venezuela

8. Bok-keem Nyerere
Former Pacifica Campaign organizer/activist; former WBAI Outreach Coordinator

*Incumbent Local Station Board member

Note: IDs are past or present political/activist affiliations for identification purposes.



Justice & Unity will engage in joint work with management, staff & listeners on:
A capital campaign to buy our own studio
A grassroots, multi-media publicity campaign to recruit listeners & members
Program promotion via return of the printed Folio and email newsletter
Innovative off-air fundraising methods like awards dinners and concerts
Major expansion of digital (online) distribution/archiving of programs
Long-term multi-channel expansion of WBAI's programming and rebroadcast of shows like Democracy Now! via Internet, sideband, and HD (hybrid digital) radio
Pacifica record label to showcase progressive cultural workers and raise revenue
Reducing frequency, with membership approval, of Pacifica elections, which cost $200,000 per election



Justice & Unity and its allies have:
Raised thousands of dollars for WBAI, including the funds for the online audio archives, which have had 6 million downloads in a year from 72 countries.
Recruited many new listeners and subscribers through outreach at community events.
Fought to protect the autonomy of WBAI against top-down Pacifica control.
Defended the rights of WBAI workers to fair treatment and respect for union contracts.
Sponsored the National Board motion establishing a national daily Spanish-language news program, Informativo Pacifica, airing on WBAI.
Helped pass a National Board motion for a committee to review charges of racism and sexism by board members (strongly fought by the WBAI opposition bloc).



Justice & Unity:
Supports activist programming, especially by and for communities of color and youth.
Believes the board should be a model for anti-racism with firm opposition to racist speech and conduct.
Embraces a strong affirmative-action program and anti-racist training.
Advocates sufficient funding levels to maintain optimal station operations.
Calls for full management disclosure of station finances to inform LSB budget decisions.
Supports participation of paid & unpaid staff and their unions in station hiring and all decisions that affect them.


(partial list -- full list at http://www.justiceunity.org)

Amiri & Amina Baraka
Manning Marable
Professor of History and the Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University
Michael Tarif Warren
prominent human rights attorney, former WBAI board member from Justice & Unity
Evelyn Warren
Tim Wise
anti-racist educator and activist
Fred Ho
revolutionary Asian American musician, opera director, and activist
Father Luis Barrios
Iglesia San Romero; Chair, Puerto Rican Studies Dept., John Jay College; community activist
Larry Hamm
Chair, People's Organization for Progress
Betty Dopson
Co-chair, CEMOTAP (Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive To African People)

Alberto Lovera Bolivarian Circle (Venezuela solidarity)
Asia Pacific Action
Black Radical Congress - New York Chapter
CEMOTAP (Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive To African People)
December 12th Movement
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition
Haiti Support Network
International Action Center
Jersey City Peace Movement
La Peña - Bronx
New York Committee to Free the Cuban 5
People's Organization for Progress
ProLibertad (Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Freedom Campaign)
Queers for Peace and Justice
Women Workers for Peace - Bronx


(not on ballot this year - elected in 2006; terms expire in 2009)

Father Lawrence Lucas
Ray Laforest
Berta Silva
Nia Bediako



For more on Justice & Unity, watch "The Battle for Progressive Media" either live on Sat., Nov. 3, 10:30-11:00 p.m. on public-access cable TV in Manhattan (MNN, Ch. 34 & RCN Ch. 82), or download video on demand at www.justiceunity.org.



We encourage everyone who cares about WBAI to get involved in our ongoing efforts to do outreach and fundraising for the station, and to join the work of the various board committees. If you are interested in participating in any activity, or in joining our low-traffic email list, please contact Justice & Unity at <info@justiceunity.org> or 212-591-2111.

Please help us defray costs of the campaign. Send checks payable to "Justice & Unity Campaign" to: Ray Laforest, 113 W. 117th St., 2d Floor, New York, NY 10026.