Listener Candidate Statement
I’m an activist/organizer with the New York Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a proud member of the National Writers Union. I’m honored to run for re-election to the Local Station Board with the WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign (www.justiceunity.org) to help our station face its current financial challenges and grow to meet the needs of our communities for progressive news, insightful analysis, and resistance to the dismantling of civil rights and liberties.
During my past year’s term, I’ve been an active participant in the Membership, Outreach and Fundraising Committee (through which I helped recruit many new members and raise thousands of dollars for WBAI), Secretary of the Board, and a member of the Pacifica Archives National Task Force. I pledge to continue bringing in new listeners and persuading them to join WBAI, while working in cooperation – not confrontation – with management.
I completely identify with Justice & Unity’s commitment to activist programming, particularly that based on self-expression of communities of color, and affirmative action outreach, especially in the face of hostility manifested to such programming by some on the board. These members claim independence, but serve as a faction that’s repeatedly defamed staff with unsubstantiated gossip, brazenly undermining listener confidence in WBAI’s integrity. One dared to attribute our financial problems to the glorious racial diversity of our city and station in contrast to the fiscal success of the Pacifica affiliate in 98% white Boulder, Colorado!
WBAI is truly the voice of the Movement. I depend on it 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. This summer, Justice & Unity former board member Michael Tarif Warren and his wife Evelyn Warren, both attorneys, were brutalized by Brooklyn cops when inquiring about a beating they witnessed. Within the hour, WBAI mobilized hundreds to descend upon the precinct and ensure that the Warrens did not stay overnight in lock-up. For the mass rally in Jena, Louisiana, it was WBAI that publicized how New Yorkers could actually get there.
How vital has WBAI been in airing Mumia’s commentaries and publicizing actions to free him! On so many shows, activists are welcome to give report-backs and mobilize for actions. We organizers know we couldn’t hold a demo in this city without WBAI. Yet the faction that opposes the station’s current direction is bitterly resentful of the activist organizational base of Justice & Unity. Indeed, our slate has been endorsed by a wide range of well-known activists and progressive organizations, including among others Fred Ho and ACT UP.
Through the years, I have met many people who were brought into activism by listening to WBAI. Let’s keep it that way! Please vote for me and every candidate of the Justice and Unity Campaign:
Long live the power of WBAI, based upon the people’s movements!