REACHING THE VOTERS
KBOO Community radio is hosting its annual Elections. This election comes in the context of a struggle for control that has seen, among other things, the imposition of a corporate-boilerplate business model, and an attempt to fire all of the Staff by the former Treasurer and by the current Executive Director. These changes were thwarted and reversed when the Staff got wind of the "Friday morning massacre" and formed a Union. The business model and the ED are under pressure from organized members, who formed the Keep KBOO As KBOO Committee and the Friends of KBOO. Four members friendly to the KKAKC/Friends have since taken seats on the Board, but four seats are up for grabs.
After one of the Board candidates sought to mobilize a subsection of the Democratic Party to buy minimum memberships and throw the election, the KKAKC/Friends used their (Bylaws specified) member contacting rights to form a phone bank. Since the KBOO Member list does not have phone members, the initial calls have been made from a subsection of that list. As every Union member and elections activist knows, such lists are essential to democratic action.
PULLING THE PLUG ON KBOO DEMOCRACY
Now, as the ballots have hit the mail, the calls have been suspended, due to a claim from the Station Manager (on sick leave, but still on the payroll) that it is somehow illegitimate to call using the list with phone numbers. That list, the Volunteer List, should be the first to be used, as the Station Volunteers are historically the most active in the elections. No KBOO election can be won without the Volunteers....
THERE IS A POWER IN A UNION
I view this prohibition as another antidemocratic gesture from a group of people that have constantly made use of fearmongering and intimidation at Board meetings and versus the Staff. We Keepers and Friends have noted the hiring of an anti-union law firm (now removed), threats to call the FCC (over what?), threats to call the State Attorney General (also for an imaginary crime), etc., etc. What we have not seen is an open, transparent effort by the pro-corporatization faction to justify their top-down ideas. KBOO needs to move forward with a visibility campaign, so that we can expand our service on air and on the Web, and have successful membership drives.
I encourage all KBOO members to vote, and to call other members to participate. It's our right.