Tough times, a vision, and hope

I’m Bill Crosier. I’m going to share something that’s very personal, important, and special to me. I don’t just want to help KPFT and Pacifica, although that’s certainly important. I want to change the world, to help people learn that violence is not the way to solve conflicts – and more. But we need a better and bigger Pacifica, and KPFT and other stations, to do that. Read on to see why we MUST learn to work together, and fix the problems we have in Pacifica – and about why there’s hope.

About two years ago, the Pacifica National Board named me as Pacifica’s interim Executive Director. My friends know that I did not ask for this job, but was asked me to take it on because I was one of the Board members who had been so outspoken about how our worsening finances were threatening our very survival and the Pacifica mission. So I said yes, that I would do whatever I could to help Pacifica.

I served as interim ED for almost a year, did not accept a salary, did not want that as a permanent position, and asked that a search for a professional Executive Director should be started as soon as possible. That was done, and we now have someone who I think will be an excellent ED – Maxie Jackson III. But his success depends largely on whether our boards will work with him and other management to improve operations, and support making changes to move Pacifica and all of our stations forward.

Pacifica is facing some very tough times, and I want to be frank. There is no way our new ED can fix our problems by himself. I made some changes when I was iED to help stabilize our finances some, but much more is needed. Pacifica has serious financial difficulties, late audits, and more. We even received warning letters from California’s Registry of Charitable Trusts about probable loss of our tax exemption if we don’t get caught up with our late audits very soon. Steps have been taken to get caught up, but it takes time. Loss of our tax exemption could even threaten our licenses. It’s very serious.

Pacifica also has serious governance issues – dysfunctional Local Station Boards, other committees, and the National Board. I know, I’ve been there, and I’m still part of this. We have a lot of very dedicated and well-meaning people. But it’s still not working. I hope you’ll read more details on this, and fill out a short survey about our governance problems, at RethinkingPacifica.org.

We’re going to need help – from all of you. You already are doing a lot, but we all need to do more, including trying to put aside some of our internal fighting and struggles to save time and energy for our real adversaries – the mainstream commercial broadcasters and fake news distributors and purveyors of hate and intolerance, who care more about making money for themselves, and who helped make the White House a center of intolerance, xenophobia, misogyny, scapegoating, and attacks on the Constitution. We need to focus on the future of Pacifica, which is indeed rather scary – almost as scary as the future of our country. But to save our stations (and yes I do want to save all of them), we have to remember the big things – our survival – and there might have to be some changes needed to help get more listeners and donations. But of course we need to preserve the Pacifica mission – what I think is the absolute highest priority. 

Hope

However, there is much good news. While I was iED, I received many phone calls and e-mails from people across Pacifica who care so much about this precious gift that we all have – this beacon of hope and justice, this essential element for a functioning democracy, this incredible network started over a half century ago.

What our members care so much about is not just that we have a bunch of radio stations on the air, or that we have programming they can’t hear anywhere else, or even that we have this diversity of independent voices and music and ideas (which could always be better) that makes us so unique. Those things are important, but I don’t think that’s what makes people care so much about Pacifica and our stations, and I’ll bet it’s not what makes you and me, deep down inside, so passionate about making sure that Pacifica not only survives, but grows and expands and reaches more and more listeners.

I think maybe the reason they care so much about our precious Pacifica is that it gives them hope – Hope that we can really contribute to a lasting understanding between nations, and between the people of all nations, races, creeds, and colors. Sound familiar? It’s in the Pacifica mission.

Vision

But there’s more. Pacifica gives us hope that there’s another world out there, a future world, and that there’s a way to create it. It’s a world where we’ve been able to get past hatred, intolerance, hurt, and emphasis on violence and war to solve conflicts. Pacifica gives us hope for a world where people understand what’s happening (and why) to our planet’s environment and its finite resources, and who work to preserve it for future generations. Pacifica gives us hope that we can move forward, not backwards, in our evolution towards a new way of living together, with mutual respect even if we disagree. It’s a world of justice, where we will not tolerate the exploitation of each other nor of our planet — by those with more power over the powerless. Pacifica gives us hope that we can create that world.

I want that world. It’s going to take work to get there, and it won’t be easy. Perhaps it’s the dream many of us have but which we don’t talk about. It’s why I care so much about Pacifica. Frankly, I don’t think we can get to that world without Pacifica.

But Pacifica needs you to help us reach that better world, together.

So when we say we need you to help with outreach and fundraising to get more listeners, members, and donations, please remember this very important point. It’s not really about just talking with your friends, creating and distributing flyers, telling everyone about your favorite shows on social media, and asking your friends to donate. Yes, those are all essential. 

It’s about so much more than that. It’s about creating and getting to that better world. It’s out there. WE can do it, together, with Pacifica.

I know there’s been a lot of factionalism and infighting and even bullying, harassment, and slander on our Local Station Board, We need to stop this and agree to disagree about minor points, so we can work together on the big issues – the vision for a better world that I’m talking about here – which I hope can be a vision for all of us.

Thank you so much for what you have been doing, and what we will continue to do, to reach that world.

Thanks, and peace,
Bill Crosier

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