Good News! Judge Says Pacifica Must Allow Members to Vote on New Bylaws

On Thursday, January 23, Judge Frank Roesch ruled that Pacifica must stop delaying a vote by the members on the proposed new Bylaws, set the new notice period with on-air announcements as starting on January 2, and ordered that ballots be sent to the members on the 46th day after Jan. 2 (which would be Feb. 16) or as soon after that as possible.

The judge did not like the argument from members of the Pacifica National Board who urged everyone on the PNB to vote yes for the new Bylaws in order to defeat them by sending them to the stations Delegates for a meaningless vote (that could take up to two more months) and thereby delaying a member vote until after the deadline. Under our current Bylaws, Bylaws changes proposed by petition of the Members (as these new Bylaws are) can be approved by the Members and it does not matter whether the PNB nor Delegates (LSBs) of each station approve them or not.

Still be to be determined is whether the leadership of Pacifica’s broken governance will allow a fair presentation of both sides of the new Bylaws issue. On Dec. 20, 2019 (the same date that the PNB majority followed the pro-tem chair’s direction to vote yes on the new Bylaws in an attempt to kill them), the PNB directed that an extremely one-sided and misleading essay on the new Bylaws be posted on Pacifica’s web site, and broadcast announcements on our stations have directed listeners to go there where they see that essay first. PRP hopes that Pacifca’s governance will allow both sides to get an equal chance to be heard.

So far, the Pacifica National Board has caused tens of thousands of dollars of listener donations to be spent on legal fights and maneuvering in order to prevent Pacifica members from exercising their right to vote on the new Bylaws, but then have blamed PRP for supporting this right of the members. The vote on the new Bylaws is expected to cost much less than elections for Delegates/LSB members. The latter require separate elections at each station for listeners and staff (10 elections total), with huge numbers of candidates and candidate statements to deal with, while the Bylaws election will have just one yes/no question on it (and no separate elections for each station), making it much simpler and less expensive for that election.

Of course, the Pacifica Restructuring Project encourages all members to vote yes for the new Bylaws, to end the ongoing dysfunction and failure to deal with Pacifica’s financial and governance crisis, and to support management who can work to fulfill the Pacifica mission instead of micromanaging by board members.

Bill Crosier