When They Go Low, We Go High

I love the clichĂ© “When they go low, we go high“. There have been a lot of opportunities to apply that lately, in reference to the proposed new Pacifica Bylaws.

You’ve probably seen some of the flurry of e-mails from opponents of Bylaws reform, many with some very misleading statements (to put it politely). Most are coming from current and past board members. I’m sure most Local Station Board members have good intentions, but that’s not enough. They’d like our governance to work, and may wonder how they can help their stations if the LSBs are ended. After all, they got to be LSB members under the current Bylaws, and many of them sincerely would like to think that if they just keep trying, we can use our boards to solve the problems of our stations.

But a few of them keep sending out insults, empty and meaningless rhetoric and slogans  about the new Bylaws, along with some completely false statements about the new Bylaws. These are scare tactics, which unfortunately others keep repeating. Some of the people opposed to reform have even contacted the proposed new Transition At-Large Board members (named in the new Bylaws) in attempts to run them off. None of this is the way to resolve problems. We are not going to stoop to the level of our opponents who are doing that and questioning the motives of those of us working to reform Pacifica’s governance to make it work for our stations, instead of continuing a system that so many people have realized does more harm than good. Those people include managers across our network, accountants, attorneys, auditors, and even the deputy California Attorney General responsible for non-profits chartered there, all of whom have said we must reform our governance if Pacifica is to survive.

Pacifica needs solutions to its financial and organizational problems, if our mission is to survive and thrive, not empty slogans and scare tactics.

So what are well-meaning LSB members to do? Instead of fighting to preserve a failed system (See our Why New Bylaws web page) and spreading misinformation, under the new Bylaws they can join the CPB-required Community Advisory Boards and various committees and work groups at our stations, to do actual work to help ensure our stations meet community needs, to help raise money, and help get new listeners. This is a lot better than wasting huge amounts of time and energy fighting with each other for control of a governance system that has failed Pacifica and which has been unable to reverse our very serious financial and listenership declines – which have dramatically interfered with fulfilling our mission.

So when you hear people throwing around slogans and trying to scare you into keeping a system of governance that has so clearly failed to promote the Pacifica mission, tell them you’d rather look at hard facts and real data (on this web site), and vote for the new Bylaws to give Pacifica a chance. Our country, and our world, needs Pacifica more than ever, with the increasing dominance of a few giant broadcasters. Stand up for independent media and a Pacifica governance structure that can succeed.

Bill Crosier