Pacifica Bylaws Survey
The Pacifica Bylaws control how our local and national boards operate, how board members are selected, and more. Many Pacifica members have said they want changes to our Bylaws, and have suggested some general areas that might be changed. Help us learn more about what specifics you think are important.
For reference, our Bylaws are here:
For more information about the group of current and past board members conducting this survey, see
Please check all statements with which you agree, and add your comments/suggestions in the "Other" blanks below.
2. Pacifica Bylaws Controversies
The Bylaws are OK the way they are now. (Go to the bottom to record your responses if you wish to skip the remaining questions)
The Bylaws should be rewritten to reduce or eliminate inconsistencies and ambiguities.
Changes are needed to better insure that those governing Pacifica have the necessary professional skills to do the required oversight of the operations of an organization with over $100 million in radio media assets.
Changes are needed to better insure democratic representation for the membership. Please give us your suggestions in the "Other" blank below.
The Bylaws should be rewritten to make them shorter and simpler. (They are currently 45 pages long, including 4 pages of contents.)
Changes are needed to better insure a stronger centralized system of financial management for the network.
3. About the size of our boards -- Each Local Station Board (LSB) currently has 24 voting members. The Pacifica National Board (PNB) has 22 voting members, of which two represent our 300+ (and growing) affiliate stations, and 20 represent the Pacifica-owned stations:
The LSBs are too big.
The LSBs are too small.
The LSB size is OK now.
The PNB is too big.
The PNB is too small
The PNB size is OK now.
The Pacifica affiliate stations have too little representation on the PNB.
The Pacifica affiliate stations have too much representation on the PNB.
4. About the effectiveness of our boards -- The Bylaws say LSB members should help with station fund raising and getting new listeners, but many of them do not do that, and the boards have not been able or willing to enforce those requirements. What should we do about that?
Overall, the LSBs effectively fulfill their responsibilities to help the stations.
The LSBs spend way too much time and energy on factional battles and on driving away productive LSB members, rather than working together to help the stations.
Board members need more skills and qualifications than just being political activists, to provide effective help with outreach, fundraising, and financial oversight.
We need to try harder to recruit LSB members who will work effectively and with others to help their stations.
Change the Bylaws and let's get all new board members to give us a fresh start, as it's clear our governance has failed to address many serious problems.
Change the Bylaws to fix problems, but don't prohibit those who have served before from continuing, as we need their experience.
We should not make big changes in how we select board members.
5. About Pacifica Elections: The Bylaws call for station members to elect Delegates for each station, who in turn make up the Local Station Boards and who select the National Board members. The elections are held two out of every three years, have cost between $100,000 and $250,000 each time, and in many elections we have trouble reaching quorum (10% of the members) without extending the elections, making them cost still more. What should we do?
We should find ways to simplify the electoral process, reduce the cost of elections and change the Bylaws accordingly..
There are too many candidates to choose from. It’s difficult to tell them apart, and this makes it confusing and discourages voting.
The on-air candidate statements and forums are helpful during elections. There should be more education and information about membership and the election process.
The elections take up too much air time on our stations and the on-air candidate statements are not that helpful in distinguishing between them..
There should be more air time dedicated to our elections.
Station members should directly select representatives as Directors of the Pacifica National Board, rather than having the Delegates/LSB members select Directors, so the PNB will be more accountable to the membership.
The elections are OK. Don't change the way board members are chosen.
Instead of elections, we should find an alternative method to choose board members, as long as there's a way of recalling board members who are not doing their part to fulfill the Pacifica mission.
We should consider a process like sortition to eliminate the problems with our elections and to ensure that board members are more representative of the membership. More info:
6. Membership Requirements: To be a Pacifica member eligible to vote in our elections, you must have donated at least $25 or three hours of volunteer time in the last year. These have not changed since the current Bylaws were put in place over 15 years ago, and this was done to make it very easy to be a voting member. One concern is that requiring only $25/year makes it easy for a well-funded individual or group to control our elections by paying for memberships for others. Some say the minimum should be increased to provide more revenue to our stations, while others say we should allow anyone who's interested to be a member and that commitment to their station should not be measured by either monetary or volunteer time donations. Should this requirement be changed? (Note: the average amount each member donates is above $100/year already.)
The $25 minimum donation level to be a voting member is OK.
The $25 minimum donation level should be at least $50 to be a member.
The $25 minimum donation level should be at least $100 to be a member.
The 3 hours/year minimum volunteer time to be a member, in lieu of a monetary donation, should be at least 20 hours/year.
7. Other comments or suggestions about the Pacifica Bylaws?
8. Besides changing the Bylaws to make Pacifica more functional, what other changes are needed to bring stability to Pacifica's stations?
9. What station are you a member of (have donated in the last twelve months)?
KPFA - Berkeley
KPFK - Los Angeles
KPFT - Houston
WBAI - New York
WPFW - Washington
A Pacifica Affiliate
I have not donated in the last year but plan to do so soon. (Go to your station's web site to do that now!)
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