Listener Candidate Statement

Cheryl Ife Griffin (progressive attorney; board member, Bed-Sty Community Legal Services Corp. and Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium; experienced fundraiser)

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Cheryl Ife Griffin, (212) 591-2111

I am proudly running with the WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign (

I have been an avid listener and financial supporter of WBAI for 10 years, and the station is my main source for news and information. After the "coup," Democracy Now! and the WBAI Local News continued to be my lifeline. Once the coup ended, I was thrilled to again embrace the vital perspectives that WBAI offers. I volunteered during fund drives for many years, but now I'd like to be more involved and do more for the station. Hence, my desire to run for the Local Station Board (LSB).

One issue of concern is the inactivity of the WBAI Committee of Inclusion, whose mandate to help diversify staff, programming, and governance is urgent. I would advocate for that work to accelerate.

I also want to help overcome the threat of budget cuts and staff layoffs promoted by the current LSB majority. I believe this approach to solving WBAI's fundraising problems is both needless and harmful to a community radio station struggling for ample funds. I think the station must expand its off-air fundraising. We can do things from the simple -- like raising funds through direct mail or social events -- to the elegant, like black-tie dinners. I would work hard to create projects like these as a member of the LSB's Membership, Outreach, and Fundraising Committee.

I have been a staff attorney at Bronx Legal Services, representing poor people, am currently in private practice, and have taught business law. I believe my legal and pedagogic skills can add considerably to the LSB's resources. I served as president of the board of the Yonkers YWCA. In collaboration with a strong director and dedicated board, we removed an IRS lien of $90,000. In less than two years, the YWCA was not only solvent but had greatly increased its community credibility.

I also served on the Advisory Board of the NYC chapter of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. We advocated for children's rights by advising city and state legislators, holding forums and conferences, and creating public service announcements. In the 1990s, when Governor Pataki tried to deregulate group family day homes, my legal expertise enabled the Bureau of Child Care to strengthen the regulations to protect the safety of vulnerable children.

Currently I sit on the board of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium. This consortium of nonprofits works to keep jazz alive in Brooklyn. Our fundraisers generate crucial dollars as well as build awareness of this essential art form. I am also on the fundraising committee of the board of Bedford Stuyvesant Community Legal Services Corporation. The organization faces an enormous deficit this year and our task is extraordinary, but we've created an exciting menu of fundraising events.

I have led a determined, energetic life, and I intend to bring the full complement of my energies to the work of the LSB. I thank you for your vote in the upcoming election.

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