Listener Candidate Questionnaire

Vajra Kilgour (co-producer, Community Bulletin Board, substitute host for Housing Notebook, vice chair,
Metropolitan Council on Housing; member, New York Zapatistas)

Click here for candidate statement.

VAJRA KILGOUR, (212) 591-2111

1. I want to be on the Local Station Board to help WBAI be healthy in every sense of that word.

2. I believe that the station board must work as harmoniously as possible with Pacifica, the station, the community, and everyone else, without compromising the mission and values of the station and of Pacifica.

3. I believe the station can best serve its listeners by being as truthful as is humanly possible at all times, as well as staying wide awake with regard to both cultural and political developments - by doing more of what it's already pretty good at, actually. More listener participation would be good. Some steps have already been taken in some positive directions, such as taking advantage of modalities other than the airwaves - town hall meetings, the internet, the Folio - and it would be even better to continue reaching out in all directions.

4. I believe the influence of the station in underrepresented communities can be extended by providing excellent programming of all kinds at all times, together with perhaps a little more cultural diversity - which needn't necessarily be balkanized - and more outreach to already existing progressive organizations and institutions in those communities. I do think more bilingual programming is in order, and since I speak and understand Spanish reasonably well, I'm always available to help out with outreach and coordination in that language.

5. Other sources of funding aren't necessarily solicited. We could certainly benefit from researching foundation grants that might support the activities of the station or its staff. I'd really like to see more outreach and expansion of membership, and more imaginative forms of off-air fundraising. I've been serving on the Membership, Outreach, & Fundraising Committee, and would like to see its members' skills and ingenuity put to full use in organizing off-air fundraising events and activities. WBAI should certainly never solicit or accept corporate funding.

6. I am a tenant and housing organizer with experience in a variety of neighborhoods in New York City. I've been on the board of directors of the Metropolitan Council on Housing since 1998; at present, I'm a vice chair. I can, as noted above, speak Spanish pretty well. For many years, I edited the Letters column at Newsweek, where I served on the Newspaper Guild negotiating team that won increasingly generous contracts despite Newsweek's being an open shop. For a few years I worked as freelance reporter: my work was irregularly published both in the Talk of the Town section and the Briefly Noted book review section of the New Yorker, back in the day (the day before Tina Brown). I have experience as a volunteer on the locked psychiatric ward at St. Luke's Hospital, and am about to start working as a volunteer interpreter for the Bellevue Survivors of Torture program. I'm a member of the New York Zapatistas because I'm extremely interested in the application of such fundamentals as truthfulness, honesty, and simple human decency in progressive organizations and movements, and it's been my observation that the Zapatistas have done great work in this area. I've both studied and taught many aspects of organizing (including fund-raising, conflict resolution, and other useful skills) at the Neighborhood Leadership Institute. I'm a very good writer and public speaker, and can usually establish some kind of rapport with just about anyone. I have a B.A. cum laude from Barnard College, and I've worked as a database manager, freelance editor, and freelance translator.

7. I have no family, job-related, or transportation problems that might cause me to miss Local Station Board meetings.

8. I'm already serving on the Membership, Outreach, and Fundraising Committee, and look forward to continuing to serve on it. This is, so far, by far the most interesting area to me - and this is the one committee I know of that actively works to support the station. I would be willing to work on other committees, such as Management Evaluation and the Committee of Inclusion, if these committees were genuinely committed to evaluating management in a constructive fashion and to keeping the station open to genuine inclusion. The bylaws are in dire need of revision, and I will be happy to serve on any committee that will start this all-important work.

Contact:, (212) 591-2111