Listener Candidate Statement


Sam Spady (President, NAACP/New Rochelle branch; leader of several Westchester civic groups; small business owner)

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Sam Spady

Sam Spady

I am a lifelong resident of New Rochelle, New York, where I am a self-employed small businessperson. I have been a community activist since 1961 and have held a leadership position in several organizations whose mission is to improve the quality of life for youth and oppressed members of my community, including serving as president of the New Rochelle NAACP branch since 2000.

WBAI represents the principles that I practice in my daily life. I am proud to be on the WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign ( team and strongly recommend a vote for our other candidates.

Please vote for me and my colleagues in this precise order to maximize the impact of your vote:

1. Fr. Lawrence Lucas
2. Nia Bediako
3. Berta Silva
4. Ray Laforest
5. Marianela Tricoche
6. Bernadette Ellorin
7. Sam Spady
8. Samia Halaby
9. Imani Henry
10. Tibby Brooks

I’m proud to join this slate because I share a commitment to affirmative action and unity at WBAI. My decision to run for the Local Station Board (LSB) comes after attending LSB meetings and observing the disorder and resulting confusion. It was clear that the actions of some LSB members were intended to prevent the board from working cohesively to address the issues confronting WBAI. My more than forty years of experience as an advocate and skilled consensus-builder will serve the LSB and the WBAI listeners well. The community needs a unified voice to fend off the attacks of the right-wing neo-cons and corporate robber barons.

I currently produce, pro bono, a weekly radio show, “Straight from the Ghetto,” focusing on contemporary issues plus music (blues, R&B, jazz, and related genres) and guest poets on WVOX, AM 1460, a local radio station based in New Rochelle. This gives me insights into the dynamics of radio production.

When the city of New Rochelle refused to employ several qualified African-Americans, I was one of eight who were arrested, jailed, and later exonerated for demonstrating on a major thoroughfare. Our action resulted in the immediate hiring of all workers involved.

When the New Rochelle City Council reduced the voting strength of African-Americans in a district from 60% to 47%, I was one of four plaintiffs who filed a federal lawsuit against the city. We ultimately prevailed.

I have been a certified Equal Employment Opportunity officer and the co-author of three affirmative action plans. It is critical that a board lead by example and demonstrate positive teamwork. This also applies to labor relations. I am a member of Teamsters Local 802. If elected to the LSB, I will work to ensure that WBAI honors all contractual agreements and encourages a positive atmosphere in the workplace.

I would like to see WBAI hold more fundraising events (e.g., awards dinners, special-topic speaker forums) outside New York City, such as in Westchester, Nassau, New Jersey, and Connecticut. These events could be organized by members of those communities. I will work to that end.

If elected, I look forward to working with the other LSB members to carry out the mission of Pacifica Network. I believe I have the experience, qualifications, determination, and leadership to be an asset to WBAI and the listening community.