ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

January 26, 2001

2001.01.26: Delegate Council Bulletin #75

DCB75

Delegate Council Bulletin #75

[January 26, 2001]

Agenda:  Tuesday, January 30, 2001, 6:30 p.m. Sharp

•Estimated length:  2 hours.

•All ALAA members welcome (only elected representatives may vote).

•Free Pizza/soda served.

1. Adoption of DC Minutes for July 18, 2000 and November 21, 2000 (attached).

2. Criminal Divisions (20 minutes).

2.1. Funding.

2.1.1. City Council budget modification.

2.1.2. Staffing consequences.

2.2. Litigation.

3. Collective Bargaining (30 minutes).

3.1. Results of written member survey (attached).

3.2. Contract amendment to apply parental leave in two-employee LAS households.

1. Internal Business (30 minutes).

4.1. Garnethia Pettiford case.  Report on Executive Board investigation of union representation.

4.2. Election of vacant Joint Affirmative Action Committee representatives.  Nominations (closed as of January 10, 2001; alternates in parentheses):

•Co-Chair:  Shanti Narra (CDD/Manhattan).

•Civil Division:  Marie Mombrun (Josephine Flores).

•Criminal Appeals Bureau:  (Juan Beritan).

•Juvenile Rights Division:  Dod Terry (Michelle Rochester-Rae).

4.3. Part-timer representation.  First notice of proposed bylaws amendment to add part-timer representative to the Executive Board (for discussion at subsequent DC).

2. Contributions and Endorsements.

5.1. March 27 Rally to repeal Rockefeller drug laws.

 

ALAA Delegate Council:  July 18, 2000

Legend:  Large/Bold=Present; Lowercase=Alternate; Italics=Adopted motion

President

LETWIN

Sec’y-Treasurer

ALBRO

Recording Sec’y

HITCHCOCK

VP­CAB/CAP

Fed

BRISKEY

A1:  Kaye

VP­CDD/Bx

GELTMAN

A1:  Bigelow

VP­CDD/Bk

ZUSS

A1:  Torres

A2:  Korotzer

VP­CDD/M

GEIDA

A1:  Mulligan

VP­CDD/Qns

POPPER

A1:  Byrne

VP­Civil

HOLDER

A1:  Valentine

VP­JRD

REEVES

A1:  Hochberg

VP­Vol. (CLO)

BING-HAMPSON

A1:  Rosa-Rios

A2:  Fishman

ACLA*

CODLING

Aff. Action*

VACANT

Health & Safety*

NARRA

Health*

BENJAMIN

Junior*

HUGHES

Lesbian & Gay*

BAHR

Senior*

TORRES

 

CAB

COHEN

FABIANO

GRAVES

HARPAZ

HOPKIRK

KAYE

LANDAU

LITTLE

PETERS

A1: Taglieri

A2: Blum, P

A3: Sender

Capital Defense

VACANT

CDD­BxA

ROGERS

SIM

A1: Rush-Fox

A2: Montoya

A3: Roman

CDD­BxB

GARCIA

GURWITCH

A1: Meyerson

A2: Peppito

A3: Warshowksy

CDD­BxC

ABBANDANDO

BOMBA

A1: Rudin

A2: Beltre

A3: Kelly

CDD­BxD

CHEREBIN

IPPOLITO

A1: Sturman

A2: Albo

A3: Follett

 

CDD­BK1

BAKER

BELL

A1: Costigan

A2: Hughes

A3: Dinjian

CDD­BK2

ANGRISANI

ASHWORTH

A1: Korotzer

A2: Pitts

A3: Wright

CDD­BK3

RITTER

SHEEHAN

A1: Alzugaray

A2: Flanders

A3: Morris

CDD­BK4

PELLEGRINO

CASHMAN

A1: Kurtz

A2: Rudnick

A3: Rahall

CDD­BK5

DAVILA

MARTIN

A1: Newman

A2: Pratt

A3: Khashu

CDD­M1

DALEY

NEVINS

CDD­M2

GROSS

NARRA

CDD­M3

BAHR

SCHWARZ

A1: Michaeu

CDD­M4

MARON

MULLIGAN

A1: Shapiro

CDD­M5

ROBERTS

SOTO

CDD­M6

AFFLER

HARRIS

A1: Wright

A2: White

A3: Zablocki

 

CDD­Q1

GRUNDSTEIN

MORRISON

A1: Linneman

A2: Flamholtz

A3: Butchin

CDD­Q3

FREDERICK

KNIGHTLY

A1: Haase

A2: Savage

A3: LoPiccolo

CDD­Q4

AUSTIN

DIFLUMERI

A1: Byrne

A1: Auguste

A3: Horowitz

CDD­Spec Lit

WASSERMAN

Civil­Aging

BOEHM

A1: Hosannah

A2: Bart

A3: Durham

Civil­App./HRP

BLUM, R

KELLEHER

A1: Goldiner

Civil­Bronx

FRIEDER

STOLLER

A1: Goetz

Civil­BNO

PIZZIMENTI

ROSENBERG

Civil­Far Rock

SHORTELL

A1: Dierking

A2: Fielding

Civil­Harlem

SACKEY

A1: Shaeffer

A2: Barbosa

Civil–Imm.

FLOYD-MAYER

A1: Navarro

Civil­LMNO

DAVOL

A1: Beritan

Civil­Queens

FLORES

A1: Mombrun

A2: Kim

A3: Friedheim

Civil­SI

MARCUS

A1: Sanchez

A2: McCann

Fed­App & SDNY

STATSINGER

Fed­EDNY

PADDEN

Solotaroff

JRD­App/Sp Lit

EGGER

A1: Rosenbloom

JRD­Bronx

ROMAN

A1: Abbey

A2: Nevergold

JRD­Brooklyn

KARASYK

A1: Koslow

A2: Baum

A3: Nolan

JRD­Manhattan

LAMB

MARTIN

Pappadopoulos

JRD­Queens

BOWLER

SCREEN

A1: Mittler

A2: Chiu

A3: Dandridge

JRD­SI

LEE

Parole

LOPEZ

Prisoners Rights

ZELERMYER

Volunteer (CLO)

MARIS

CODLING

A1: Epstein

A2: King

*Nonvoting in this capacity

 

3. MOMA Strike.

UAW 2110 member Harris Drew reported on the MOMA strike, including the role of management attorney and former LAS labor counsel Bob Batterman.

MOTION (Albro/Geltman):  Contribute $500 to MOMA strike hardship fund (passed unanimously with 1 abstention).

4. Outside Counsel for Anthony Chilliest.

MOTION (Zuss/Narra): Approve request from Brooklyn CDD member Anthony Chilliest for up to $1500 reimbursement of outside counsel costs (matchable by LAS) to defend grievance committee investigation following an ADA’s complaint (passed 21-0-1).

5. Transit Checks.

Secretary-Treasurer Albro reported that LAS management is willing to continue TransitCheks (a non-contractual benefit) in the next quarter (7/1/00-9/30/00), provided that it had the necessary $125,000 and ALAA to charge cost against collective bargaining agreement effective October 1, 2000.

MOTION (Albro/Geltman): Charge cost of next quarter (7/1/00-9/30/00) TransitCheks against collective bargaining agreement effective October 1, 2000 (passed 19-1-3).

6. LAS Email Policy Committee.

Discussion of whether ALAA should participate in the LAS email policy committee.

MOTION (Blum/Albro):  Authorize ALAA participation in the LAS email policy committee.  MOTION (Codling/Popper):  Table (passed 12-9).

7. ALAA Finances.

The Secretary-Treasurer distributed to all members present the independent auditor’s statement of ALAA finances for the year ending 12/31/99; statement will be posted to all members via email.

6.  Meeting Adjourned.  Next meeting:  July 18, 2000.

 

ALAA Delegate Council:  November 21, 2000

Legend:  Large/Bold=Present; Lowercase=Alternate; Italics=Adopted motion

 

President

LETWIN

Sec’y-Treasurer

ALBRO

Recording Sec’y

HITCHCOCK

VP­CAB/CAP

Fed

BRISKEY

A1:  Kaye

VP­CDD/Bx

GELTMAN

A1:  Bigelow

VP­CDD/Bk

ZUSS

A1:  Torres

A2:  Korotzer

VP­CDD/M

GEIDA

A1:  Mulligan

VP­CDD/Qns

POPPER

A1:  Byrne

VP­Civil

HOLDER

A1:  Valentine

VP­JRD

REEVES

A1:  Hochberg

VP­Vol. (CLO)

BING-HAMPSON

A1:  Rosa-Rios

A2:  Vegas

ACLA*

CODLING

Aff. Action*

VACANT

Health & Safety*

NARRA

Health*

BENJAMIN

Junior*

HUGHES

Lesbian & Gay*

BAHR

Senior*

TORRES

CAB

COHEN

FABIANO

GRAVES

HARPAZ

HOPKIRK

KAYE

LANDAU

LITTLE

PETERS

A1: Taglieri

A2: Blum, P

A3: Sender

Capital Defense

VACANT

CDD­BxA

ROGERS

SIM

A1: Rush-Fox

A2: Montoya

A3: Roman

CDD­BxB

GARCIA

GURWITCH

A1: Meyerson

A2: Peppito

A3: Warshowksy

CDD­BxC

ABBANDANDO

BOMBA

A1: Rudin

A2: Beltre

A3: Kelly

CDD­BxD

CHEREBIN

IPPOLITO

A1: Sturman

A2: Albo

A3: Follett

CDD­BK1

BAKER

BELL

A1: Costigan

A2: Newton

A3: Dinjian

CDD­BK2

ANGRISANI

ASHWORTH

A1: Korotzer

A2: Pitts

A3: Wright

 

CDD­BK3

RITTER

SHEEHAN

A1: Alzugaray

A2: Flanders

A3: Morris

CDD­BK4

PELLEGRINO

CASHMAN

A1: Kurtz

A2: Rudnick

A3: Rahall

CDD­BK5

DAVILA

MARTIN

A1: Newman

A2: Pratt

A3: Khashu

CDD­M1

DALEY

NEVINS

CDD­M2

GROSS

NARRA

CDD­M3

BAHR

SCHWARZ

A1: Michaeu

CDD­M4

MARON

MULLIGAN

A1: Shapiro

CDD­M5

ROBERTS

SOTO

CDD­M6

AFFLER

HARRIS

A1: Wright

A2: White

A3: Zablocki

CDD­Q1

GRUNDSTEIN

MORRISON

A1: Linneman

A2: Flamholtz

A3: Butchin

CDD­Q3

FREDERICK

KNIGHTLY

A1: Haase

A2: Savage

A3: LoPiccolo

CDD­Q4

AUSTIN

DIFLUMERI

A1: Byrne

A1: Auguste

A3: Horowitz

CDD­Spec Lit

WASSERMAN

Civil­Aging

BOEHM

A1: Hosannah

A2: Bart

A3: Durham

Civil­App./HRP

BLUM, R

KELLEHER

A1: Goldiner

A2:  Goldfein

Civil­Bronx

FRIEDER

STOLLER

A1: Goetz

Civil­BNO

PIZZIMENTI

ROSENBERG

Civil­Far Rock

SHORTELL

A1: Dierking

A2: Fielding

Civil­Harlem

SACKEY

A1: Shaeffer

A2: Barbosa

Civil–Imm.

FLOYD-MAYER

A1: Navarro

Civil­LMNO

DAVOL

A1: Beritan

Civil­Queens

FLORES

A1: Mombrun

A2: Kim

A3: Friedheim

Civil­SI

MARCUS

A1: Sanchez

A2: McCann

Fed­App/SDNY

STATSINGER

Fed­EDNY

PADDEN

Solotaroff

JRD­App/Sp Lit

EGGER

A1: Rosenbloom

JRD­Bronx

ROMAN

A1: Abbey

A2: Nevergold

JRD­Brooklyn

KARASYK

A1: Koslow

A2: Baum

A3: Nolan

JRD­Manhattan

LAMB

MARTIN

Pappadopoulos

JRD­Queens

BOWLER

SCREEN

A1: Mittler

A2: Chiu

A3: Dandridge

JRD­SI

LEE

Parole

LOPEZ

Prisoners Rights

ZELERMYER

Volunteer (CLO)

MARIS

CODLING

A1: Epstein

A2: King

A3:  Edwards

*Nonvoting in this capacity

 

8. Political Action.

Albro:  Working Families finished fourth among all parties in the November elections.  ALAA members played particularly critical role in Liz Krueger candidacy in Upper East Side state senate race.

9. Criminal.

2.1. Funding.

Albro:  Our lobbying campaign has convinced many City Council members to support additional LAS funds in upcoming budget modification.  Regardless of the outcome, we have strengthened ground for renewed effort in Spring 2001.

2.2. Federal litigation.

Letwin:  Depositions are being scheduled for former deputy mayor Randy Levine and former criminal justice coordinator Katie Lapp.  Notwithstanding city motion to reargue its partial denial of its motion for summary judgment, court is expected to order Giuliani’s deposition.

2.3. First Department oversight report.

Letwin:  New report favorable to all agencies, except CAB; LAS has refuted that criticism as unjustified.

2.4. CDD/Bk traffic cop.

Ashworth:  In response to Criminal Court reorganization imposed by DA’s office, CDD/Bk members have withdrawn traffic cops from AP parts.

10. Civil Division.

3.1. Discipline of Garnethia Pettiford (Civil/HRP).

Letwin:  Item withdrawn; EB proposal to authorize arbitration of Garnethia Pettiford’s discipline is mooted by severance agreement reached earlier today.  EB will resume investigation of questions about Pettiford’s union representation.

3.2. Interim supervisor position.

Holder:  Civil-Bx unable to fill long-vacant supervisory position.

MOTION (Holder/Bomba):  Authorize 90-day interim supervisor position, pursuant to bylaws (passed:  29-2-2).

11. Juvenile Rights Division.

Letwin:  ALAA and management have tentatively settled longstanding division-wide workload grievance; language being drafted.

12. Election of Affirmative Action Representatives.

Letwin:  Few additional nominations have been received.

 

MOTION (Hitchcock/Valentine):  Table election of Affirmative Action representatives to next DC (passed:  unanimous).

MOTION (Briskey):  Nominate Juan Beritan as alternate CAB affirmative action rep. (accepted by nominee).

MOTION (Albro/Blum):  Set January 10, 2001 deadline for all additional joint affirmative action rep nominations (passed:  unanimous, with 1 abstention).

13. Collective Bargaining.

6.1. Survey.

Albro:  Membership surveys are being collected.

6.2. TransitCheks.

Albro:  Pursuant to vote at previous DC, TransitCheks will be distributed with first payroll in December 2000.

MOTION (Valentine/Popper):  Suspend TransitCheks.

MOTION (Narra/Bomba):  Table (passed 26-5-3).

6.3. Pension Plan.

6.3.1. Loans.

Frieder:  EB has voted unanimously (with 1 abstention) to approve pension trustees’ proposal to amend plan to permit loans against individual earnings; details forthcoming.

6.3.2. Attorney fees.

Frieder:  Due to loan amendment (above), etc., management proposes negotiating, in upcoming contract negotiations, higher annual cap on pension legal fees (which has been unchanged since 1988).

MOTION (Valentine/Goldfein):  Ask pension trustees to consider, and report back to DC on, retaining firm other than Proskauer (passed:  17-5-9).

6.4. Health benefits.

Albro: Oxford (staff attorneys) and Cigna (supervisors/exempt) seeks combined $700,000 rate increase in CY01; Oxford and Empire have offered major savings if plans combined (Cigna did not make competitive offer).  In response, EB voted unanimously to support combined plans (subject to membership ratification) without compromising benefits or quality of service.  Albro and Letwin met with management and agreement was reached to continue current policies (which can be cancelled on 30-day notice) until July 1, pending disruption reports and further bids.

14. Part-Timer Representation [Add-on Item].

Goldiner:  Part-timers’ caucus seeks permanent representative on Executive Board.

Letwin:  Since bylaws require prior notice at two consecutive meetings, proposal will be noticed for March 2001 DC.

 

Results of Survey on ALAA Bargaining Goals

December 15, 2000

We received 194 surveys, distributed as follows: Bklyn CDD: 44; CAB (all): 32; Queens CDD: 31; JRD: 28; Civil: 22; Manh. CDD: 14; Bronx CDD: 13; and CLO: 10. Unfortunately, many members did not follow the instructions to pick up to five total  items and rate them in priority from 1 to 5. Instead, they either rated more than 5 items, picked and rated 5 items within each of the six categories, gave the same priority number to multiple items, etc. Therefore, rather than exclude those many non-conforming surveys,  in the following table we simply tabulated the number of times each item was designated as any choice on any survey.

 

 

ITEM

 

BK

CDD

 

QNS

CDD

 

BX

CDD

 

MANH

CDD

 

CAB

 

JRD

 

CIV

 

CLO

 

TOTAL

 

perm tran

checks

 

30

 

17

 

10

 

8

 

21

 

18

 

11

 

6

 

121

 

steps > 13, etc.

 

17

 

22

 

8

 

8

 

18

 

18

 

10

 

4

 

105

 

higher pensions

 

21

 

24

 

5

 

3

 

17

 

13

 

10

 

4

 

97

 

+ comp & vac cash in

 

25

 

17

 

5

 

11

 

7

 

6

 

9

 

2

 

82

 

loan forgiven

 

27

 

12

 

5

 

6

 

11

 

9

 

9

 

2

 

81

 

workload

 

15

 

11

 

2

 

7

 

8

 

14

 

7

 

0

 

64

 

+ dental,

vision

 

19

 

11

 

4

 

4

 

7

 

10

 

5

 

4

 

64

 

affirm. action

 

9

 

6

 

2

 

4

 

14

 

10

 

3

 

4

 

52

 

contin-

uity

 

11

 

14

 

3

 

4

 

6

 

10

 

3

 

0

 

51

 

retiree

benefits

 

13

 

10

 

7

 

1

 

7

 

8

 

4

 

1

 

51

 

sickleave

to care 4 family

 

12

 

11

 

5

 

3

 

8

 

5

 

5

 

1

 

50

 

> P/T options

 

7

 

10

 

2

 

4

 

7

 

6

 

10

 

4

 

50

 

+ pers. &

relig lv

 

12

 

12

 

1

 

4

 

2

 

5

 

5

 

3

 

44

 

Non cdd

comp.

 

7

 

5

 

0

 

1

 

7

 

10

 

7

 

4

 

41

 

full P/T step inc.

 

4

 

7

 

1

 

1

 

10

 

8

 

7

 

1

 

39

 

+ life insurance

 

5

 

13

 

2

 

1

 

2

 

5

 

2

 

0

 

30

 

donate leave

 

4

 

6

 

1

 

6

 

3

 

2

 

6

 

2

 

30

 

standard fel. cert.

 

9

 

10

 

2

 

2

 

0

 

1

 

1

 

0

 

25

 

1 health plan

 

9

 

4

 

0

 

0

 

4

 

3

 

3

 

1

 

24

 

no P/T premium

pmts

 

1

 

3

 

0

 

0

 

6

 

3

 

8

 

2

 

23

 

= P/T wk

 

4

 

7

 

1

 

1

 

2

 

2

 

5

 

1

 

23

 

paternity lv 4 both las prnts

 

7

 

6

 

2

 

1

 

4

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

23

 

opp. sex

partner benefits

 

4

 

2

 

0

 

1

 

5

 

2

 

4

 

1

 

19

 

90church

bike rm

 

2

 

4

 

1

 

1

 

3

 

3

 

2

 

0

 

16

 

rev. bar

failure policy

 

1

 

4

 

0

 

1

 

3

 

1

 

3

 

1

 

14

 

change ins. co.

 

1

 

4

 

0

 

1

 

3

 

1

 

3

 

1

 

14

 

gatekeep.

<Rx fees

 

4

 

3

 

0

 

0

 

4

 

1

 

2

 

0

 

14

 

 

Advertisements

January 8, 2001

2001.01.08: Joint Affirmative Action Representatives

From: MLetwin@HQWEST.WEST
Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 3:15 PM
Subject: Joint Affirmative Action Representatives
Importance: High

As previously noticed December 6 ALAA Union Update, elections for the vacant ALAA affirmative action positions listed below will take place at the January 23, 2001 Delegate Council meeting.

Please note that, to be considered, nominations must be received at ALAA HQ by Weds., January 10, 2001 (nominations already received are in parentheses).

These key representatives represent ALAA, which speaks for Staff Attorneys in regard to formulation and implementation of the Society’s affirmative action policies.

Given the importance of this responsibility, each representative (or their alternate) is expected to regularly attend meetings of the Joint ALAA Affirmative Action Committee and to hold meetings with their constituents.

**Union-Wide Representative.  The union-wide affirmative action representative is a member of the ALAA Executive Board, co-chairs the ALAA Joint Affirmative Action Committee, and attends meetings of the Delegate Council.

**Civil Division.  Representative and alternate.

**Criminal Appeals Bureau/Capital/Federal Defender.  Alternate:  Juan Beritan (PRP).

**CDD–Brooklyn.  Representative and alternate.

**CDD–Manhattan.  Alternate representative.

**CDD–Queens.  Representative and alternate representative.

**Juvenile Rights Division.  Representative and alternate:  Dodd Terry and Michelle Rochester-Rae.

January 5, 2001

2001.01.05: WBAI Protest Saturday

Filed under: Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 1:14 pm
Tags:

From: MLetwin@HQWEST.WEST [mailto:MLetwin@HQWEST.WEST]
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2001 12:44 PM
To: Everyone At The Legal Aid Society@HQWEST.WEST
Subject: WBAI Protest Saturday
Importance: High

WBAI Protest
ALAA has endorsed a rally at 12 Noon tomorrow (Saturday) to oppose a management purge now in progress designed to undermine WBAI radio’s long-time commitment to activist public broadcasting (see details below).

The demonstration will take place at WBAI, 120 Wall St.  (2/3/4/5/N/R).

Supporters are also asked to register their opposition to management policies by announcing the rally at the station’s on-air number (212.209.2900).

An overview of this issue is attached below.*  Further information is available at: <http://www.glib.com/vvi_removal.html&gt;

Inauguration Protests
Buses for protesters against Bush’s inauguration will depart at 5 a.m.  on January 20 from a variety of NYC locations.  Round-trip tickets for $30 ($25 low income) must be purchased in advance from International Action Center,  web:  212.633.6646.

*WBAI Background (Provided by WBAI Staff) This past Friday, December 22, at the start of the Christmas weekend, a coup took place at New York Pacifica station WBAI led by Executive Director Bessie Wash and former WBAI “Talk-Back” host Utrice Leid.  Leid has been named interim General Manager by Wash, and both Wash and Leid changed the locks on the station doors and individual office doors at roughly 11:00 p.m.

Reminiscent of the firing of Berkeley station KPFA’s general manager last year, several weeks ago, WBAI’s General Manager Valerie Van Isler was summarily fired after 10 years on the job, and 20 years at the station.  She was told that her last day would be December 31.  The events of this past weekend effectively ended her tenure.

At roughly 7:00 a.m., Saturday morning, December 23, just hours after the station was taken over, Program Director Bernard White, along with producer Sharan Harper (“Wake Up Call”) received termination letters at their homes, along with 2-weeks severance.  No reason was given for the firings.  They were told that if they came to the station it would be considered trespassing.  They were ordered by the messenger to sign the letters, which they refused to do.

Many WBAI producers, as well as Leslie Cagan, a member of the national board, who went to WBAI Saturday morning, were refused entry.  All through the day, only specific people whose names were on alist with front-desk security were allowed into the station, contrary to the usual open-door policy at the building.

All regular WBAI programming has been maintained for the moment, including portions of a previously-scheduled four-hour teach-in on the WBAI/Pacifica crisis, which was broadcast Saturday morning.

Several dozen people held a vigil outside the lower-Manhattan studios of WBAI on Friday night, despite the freezing,10-degree weather.  Several hundred demonstrated Saturday afternoon, and producer Grand-Pa Al Lewis took a call on-air from Bernard White outside the station during the demonstration.

On Saturday, a memo from management was read over the airwaves twice, saying that White, Harper and van Isler were terminated, and that anyone who gave them entrance or facilitated their entrance to the station would be subject to severe disciplinary action.

Since Friday night, on air, Leid has insisted that this is an internal managerial issue that is being blown out of proportion.  It is true that many producers at the station have had serious differences with WBAI local management over the years.  But what is happening right now is much more serious and a much graver threat to WBAI than simply an internal personnel or personality problem.  All the evidence suggests that Pacifica is exploiting some internal rifts amongst the staff in a power grab that could eviscerate the station and eliminate its base of progressive politics.

What is the evidence?

For several months Pacifica has been trying hard to undermine host Amy Goodman and what many say is her courageous and politically audacious show, Democracy Now!.  After Nader appeared on the floor of the Republican National Convention, Pacifica erroneously blamed Goodman for it, and withdrew her press pass, preventing her from providing the same sharp coverage of the Democratic convention as she had for the Republican convention.

Management then imposed a new set of “work rules” on her, including the demand that she provide them each week with “a list of possible shows the following week and a short status report on each.”It insisted that she could not have any volunteer producers working with her.  (See Goodman’s memo to Pacifica, http://www.savepacifica.net/strike/index.html).  On Saturday, Amy Goodman was one of the many producers locked out of the station.  It’s not clear whether she will be allowed in on Tuesday.

Pacifica has been interfering with WBAI’s coverage of various controversial issues.  For example, after receiving a complaint from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Pacifica upbraided van Isler for allowing coverage of the Palestinian Right-To-Return march in Washington D.C.  on September 23rd, and demanded that Program Director Bernard White remove that program.

But most tellingly, the evidence lies in the current composition of the National Board.  This celebrated non-profit, community-based, listener-sponsored radio foundation can now boast of serious capitalists on its national board: Pacifica treasurer Michael Palmer is developing maquilas in Northern Mexico.  Pacifica vice-chair Ken Ford is a lobbyist for the National Association of Home Builders.  Businessman Burt Lee has extensive experience buying and selling broadcast licenses.

Executive Director Bessie Wash had nominated, to the board, Francisco Ricciola, Vice President of Citicorp for Africa and the Middle East.  Elected to the national board this past February was John Murdock, a corporate attorney whose firm, Epstein Becker &Green, is known for “maintaining a union-free workplace.” Murdock has offered to rewrite the bylaws of the Foundation, and board-watchers expect these changes to be presented at the March 2001 national board meeting.  Much of this happened because the National Board managed to rewrite various organizational bylaws, giving itself the power to appoint “at-large” members and entirely bypassing the earlier structure of local advisory boards.

WBAI has through the years been under attack, and of late has helped fuel resistance–particularly through Democracy Now!–to the WTO, the death penalty, police brutality, violence in East Timor, to name a few.  Ironically, this year, WBAI is finally in better financial health with its last record fundraiser of $900,000.  Many feel the claim that station management needed to be replaced overnight in such a precipitate manner is disingenuous.  This current move has to be recognized as an attempt by Pacifica to take control of the station, as it tried to do in Berkeley last year.

The large body of listeners and supporters of WBAI is really its strongest asset at this point.  First and foremost, stay informed.  For excellent background information, go to <http://www.savepacifica.net.&gt;

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