Let’s light a fire under the Local Station Board!
As a political satirist and stand-up comic, I know how to make people laugh. But I also know how to organize them to fight for meaningful change, I have been doing it for decades. During 1980s Contra Wars, I organized Comics Against War, a troupe of radicals who risked their lives by skewering Ronald Reagan’s murderous policies with weekly satirical shows in front of the US embassy in Nicaragua B under hazardous wartime conditions. (Which infuriated Ronald Reagan and Oliver North. In fact, when I got back from Nicaragua, Johnny Carson banned me from The Tonight Show because my anti Reagan jokes offended his mainstream TV audience.)
In 2010, I organized thousands of activists in a successful campaign to overturn NY=s harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws. And recently I was nabbed, grabbed, handcuffed, and tossed in jail with my buddy, Cornel West, for organizing a protest against the Police Department’s “stop-and-frisk” policies.
If you elect me, I will use my organizing skills to organize the WBAI board which has been asleep too long. The board has the power to make WBAI healthy again. And relevant again. It has the power to force fund drive premiums to be delivered on time … the power to have a phone line installed for listener feedback (and complaints) … the power to push for powerful new programs that will attract new listeners and boost donor support.
Here=s another benefit my election can bring to the board. I’ve been satirizing NY politics for 30 years. I’ve also run for Senator, Governor and Mayor. As a result, I’m on a friendly first-name basis with every important political figure in NY, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Public Advocate Tricia James, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Mayor Bill deBlasio, and Governor Andrew Cuomo. We don’t agree on many issues (that’s for sure!), but I did get our politicians to write powerful public letters (and exert powerful private pressure) in support of WBAI during its life-and-death struggle with the Empire State Building which agreed to tear up WBAI’s unfair lease and free it from $2 million in rent debt. And as host of Live on the Fly, I was also able to attract many controversial voices to WBAI — some for the first time j(ncluding Julian Assange, Ralph Nader, John Pilger, Ray McGovern, Harry Belafonte, and Dick Gregory) because they happen to be my personal friends. And precisely because they are my friends, I hope to persuade them to host their own programs on WBAI. That could boost our listenership and financial support so that we will no longer have to waste 130 days a year (one third of our air time) begging for money during fund drives. My candidacy is supported by Steve Brown, Alex Steinberg, Jim Dingeman, Carolyn Birden and many other WBAI activists. I hope you’ll support me too.
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