Staff Candidate Statement

Bob Lederer (co-producer/co-host, Health Action; Editor, WBAI Website and Folio; anti-racist/queer activist; writer/editor on health/AIDS issues; member, Resistance in Brooklyn) Click here for candidate questionnaire.

Bob Lederer


I’m asking my colleagues to re-elect me to the Local Station Board (LSB). I want to continue institutionalizing respect for staff rights and contributions while building bridges to listeners to keep the station and network adherent to Pacifica’s mission, particularly advancing peace with social justice.

The past three years have been a difficult time for WBAI, between financial crises, painful layoffs, management changes, and bitter conflict on the LSB. I’ve tried to bring thoughtfulness, practicality, and adherence to principle in forging solutions. I have consistently argued that our hard-working staff, paid and unpaid, must be respected and our contract-mandated rights to fair treatment upheld. Equally key, the historic autonomy of each Pacifica station must not be encroached upon by dictates from Pacifica’s Executive Director or National Board.

To these ends, as a staff representative on the LSB and on the Pacifica National Board (PNB), I have worked with colleagues to achieve the following:
• Successfully fought devastating budget cuts (and thus even more layoffs) proposed by other board members
• Personally obtained a large donation for ongoing funding of WBAI’s online audio archives
• Helped pass an LSB motion urging Pacifica to return to WBAI 80% of the rental income from our sideband frequency
• Fought to establish that national programming must be based on local stations’ input, and opposed imposition of any “must-carry” mandate
• Helped prevent Pacifica’s adoption of arbitrary new rules for staff without staff input
• Worked to stave off PNB proposals that threatened producers’ copyrights to their programs
• Defended unpaid staff voting rights in LSB elections
• Gained passage of motions insuring adequate representation of paid and unpaid staff on the General Manager Search Subcommittee, and insisting that the Executive Director obtain local recommendations before hiring or firing a General Manager
• Helped pass a motion establishing a Pacifica national Spanish-language news program, potentially extending the network’s reach to Latino communities hemisphere-wide
• Supported holding board members accountable for racist and sexist conduct.

For years, I’ve made my WBAI and Pacifica work my major priority. Besides my three years as Website/Folio Editor and my ongoing co-production of Health Action, I’ve held these positions: Chair, LSB Elections Review Committee and LSB Bylaws Review Committee; member, LSB Finance Committee, PNB Personnel Committee, and PNB Governance Committee.

In the future, I will make a major push for a comprehensive inventory and full funding of badly needed equipment upgrades to ease production work and improve listenability. I will also pursue the idea of establishing a Pacifica record label to showcase independent cultural workers while generating revenue for the network. Finally, I will support LSB involvement in a capital campaign to purchase a permanent home for the station.

I also want to communicate better with staff about board business: soliciting input and proposals, reporting back after PNB meetings, and facilitating discussion of important policy issues.

I ask for your support to continue working on behalf of us all to build a stronger station and network.

Contact me at bob@healthaction.info.

Click here for candidate questionnaire.