April 13, 2012
The petition describing the charges against Tracy Rosenberg makes several allegations that I have first hand knowledge of, as I was chair of the Board during the events described.
It is charged that “”Specifically, she circumvented the notice requirements of Pacifica’s bylaws by misrepresenting her motions, in writing, as the work-product of a board committee that had not even met to consider them.” She introduced the motion at the January 21, 2011 meeting of the PNB, referring to the invalidation of the KPFA election because of a bylaws violation, as the chair of the coordinating committee. It was not presented as coming from the coordinating committee, and therefore required and received a second. I ruled it in order, in accord with the practice I had announced at the beginning of my term, and had followed throughout, of allowing committee chairs to introduce motions that were germane to the charge of the committee and the subject at hand, even if the motions had not been announced 7 days in advance. The ruling of the chair was sustained by a large majority of the PNB.
The second motion she is charged with introducing improperly, referring to the KPFK election process, was actually introduced by Richard Uzzell as an amendment to the motion Tracy had introduced. In short, there is no substance to the charge that Tracy misrepresented her motions, or misused the process of the board.
It is charged that “Rosenberg’s list broke the seniority provisions of KPFA’s union contract, Rosenberg clearly placed her partisan interest in eliminating her opponents, above her concern for the well-being of the institution on whose board she serves.” I was privy to many of the conversations involving Tracy and other PNB members from KPFA who were working with Arlene to find a way of reducing staff that did the least damage to the station and the network. In all of those conversations, there was unanimity, as there was on the entire board, that seniority and agreements with the union would be respected. No suggestions that didn’t do that would have been, or were, considered.
It is unclear what board is being referred to in the statement accusing Tracy of violating her fiduciary duty by placing narrower interests ahead of those of the board. I have worked with Tracy for several years on the PNB, and have never observed her do that. In this case, the cutbacks at KPFA were necessary, as they were at other stations, to preserve the financial stability of the network. Perhaps it is referring to the LSB. Which gets to what I think is the heart of the matter.
This recall appears to be a tactic, used by a faction that would prefer to have KPFA independent of the network, a network that previous generations of listeners and activists there have created, to eliminate the voice of someone with whom they have a fundamental disagreement on this issue. To be clear, I stand for a strong network, and would do so even if there wasn’t the pragmatic fact that the Pacifica Foundation holds all the licenses and is empowered by the bylaws to manage the network. I think the times demand that the stations and the affiliates work together in response to the ecological and organizational crisis we are living through to provide a national voice for the growing progressive movements in the country.
Tracy’s intelligence, diligence and creativity are an enormous resource for the network and the progressive movement. There are many in the opposing faction of whom the same could be said. The balance between local autonomy and central direction is one that all large organizations face. Lets deal with it directly, through honest dialogue, and not in proxy battles like this recall, which if it succeeds, will deprive the network for three years of someone who has served it well, and even if it fails, will have cost the network money badly needed elsewhere.
Chair, Pacifica National Board, 2010