Listener Candidate Statement
I am honored to run with the WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign (www.justiceunity.org) slate to maintain a truly progressive majority on the Local Station Board. I share the slate’s commitment to expanding activist and anti-racist programming and to promoting affirmative action throughout WBAI and the Pacifica Network and urge you to vote for myself and my colleagues in this precise order to maximize the impact of your vote:
For over forty years, I have been a ‘BAI listener/supporter. This station’s programming changes have reflected the controversies raging in Movement and New York arts circles; it was and remains the commitment of the producers that expands the listeners’ universe of ideas.
WBAI is the voice of the Movement. As an activist, I have come to depend on WBAI for on-the-spot coverage of political crises and uprisings. WBAI practices a dialectic between producer and listener that results in a mutuality of information and activism. When I was in San Salvador in the ’80’s for the inauguration of a fascist “presidente,” we were able to call in about our confrontation with the Death Squad army; when I was in Palestine in ’02 with Justice & Unity slate-mate Samia Halaby, we reported directly from besieged villages; and how vital WBAI has been in airing Mumia’s commentaries and in publicizing actions to free Mumia!
On many shows, activists are welcome to give their report-backs and mobilize for future actions. We organizers know that we couldn’t hold a demo here without WBAI. I’ve met many people who may never have heard me address a rally, but who became activists through listening to ‘BAI.
Highlights of my political life include developing direct action disobedience in New York CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) in the ’80’s and ’90’s; working in the NY Coalition to Free Mumia since ’95 and with Mumia’s friends in Philly; confronting the Israeli Defense Forces with the International Solidarity Movement in Ramallah, Palestine; sharing the life of a Spanish Civil War Vet; and organizing a new trade union in Paris in May ’68.
In between the battles were too many meetings, from which I acquired an extensive knowledge of and distaste for Robert’s Rules. I’ve attended many WBAI Board meetings and, if elected, pledge to research humanist alternatives to this hierarchically alienating method.
This is especially important now as other local and national board members are manifesting hostility to such programming. I’m really excited about Justice & Unity’s proposed five-year plan to expand the station’s channels through existing and new technologies, such as analog sideband (such radios are an affordable $30), High Definition radio, and webstreams.
If elected, I pledge to work to expand the station’s diversification by using my organizing skills in the Membership, Outreach, and Fundraising Committee.