Listener Candidate Statement

Wellington Echegaray (long-time Ecuadoran labor and solidarity activist)

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Wellington Echegaray

Wellington Echegaray

wellington@justiceunity.org, 212-591-2111

I'm proudly running for the WBAI Local Station Board with the Justice and Unity Campaign (www.justiceunity.org), which has been endorsed by the Free the Cuban 5 Committee, Amiri Baraka, and many other activists and progressive organizations. WBAI is a key source for community education and organizing, especially now that the U.S. government is determined to destroy any struggle for national self-determination.

I was born in Ibarrra, Ecuador, and after confronting repression of the labor movement there, I was forced to leave Ecuador at the age of 18. I chose to come to New York and became part of the immigrant community here.

I had the energy and determination to continue fighting for social justice. The reality of being an immigrant and a worker in New York City drove me to look for a place to discuss what was happening in the world. I discovered the Centro de Educación de Trabajadores (Workers’ Education Center, CET), of which I’m now chair. For many years, I have taught Spanish as a second language, as well as electricity and math.

Since 1982, I've worked as an electrician for various contractors and have been a member of IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), Local 3. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to organize around various social and political issues. I’m currently a member of the Cuban Solidarity Committee of New York, which holds activities supporting the Cuban revolution and demonstrations against the U.S. blockade of Cuba. We also support many different struggles and conferences about working-class issues. I also help with the Circle Alberto Lovera of New York, a solidarity organization for the Bolivarian revolution and President Chavez in Venezuela.

WBAI is the most important radio station in the New York City area. It is the only one that provides comprehensive coverage of many struggles against capitalism and in favor of socialism, and especially for increased democracy, in places like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, as well as throughout the world. It is also the only radio station in this area that takes a strong stand on human-rights issues, such as immigrants’ rights, health care, housing, police misconduct, and social and economic inequities.

I feel very strongly that the diversity of voices we hear on WBAI should be expanded, so that our listeners can be informed directly about issues in the many different communities that make up our metropolitan area. We must continue to strengthen WBAI’s progressive programming, and work hard to keep WBAI strong through its listeners’ donations. If elected, I will work hard to increase outreach to New York City’s Latin American and other immigrant communities to alert them to ways they can get involved in the station.

Please vote for me and my colleagues on the Justice and Unity slate:

Omowale Clay
Tibby Brooks
Lisa Davis
Sara Flounders
Marianela Tricoche
Marian Borenstein
Bok-keem Nyerere

Thank you.

“Hasta la victoria siempre.” -- Che Guevara