My name is Carolyn Morra Birden.

I want WBAI to fulfill its mission, part of which is to “contribute to a lasting understanding between nations and the individuals of all nations, races, creeds and colors; to gather and disseminate information on the causes of conflict between any and all such groups; and through any and all means compatible with the purposes of this corporation to promote the study of political and economic problems and of the causes of religious, philosophical and racial antagonisms.” I want WBAI not only to “explain and analyze” the problems but to promote those working on solutions.

In the Questionnaire responses by candidates, you will find my background, some history, and my goals for WBAI: please read that file.

My long history with WBAI and the Pacifica National Board (PNB) started in 1999 when I read the statement by Lew Hill, now our Mission Statement at the beginning of Pacifica’s Bylaws, and determined to implement the noble goals of an organization with such a purpose. Except for the mandatory year off after five years of service, I was a member of the Local Station Board (LSB) from 2004 (the first LSB) through December 2015, and served as a Director on the PNB between 2011 and 2015. On the PNB I was the Secretary for one year, and chaired the Elections Committee for several years and the Audit Committee for one year. 

The role of the Local Station Board is nominally advisory, but there are many issues elected members can and should address: first, of course, is keeping WBAI alive and well: not so easy in the face of Manhattan Neighborhood Network’s attempt to buy and bury us in its cable network. I have fought, and will continue to fight, that takeover by the fifth column at work within Pacifica.

Rather than commercializing our air, we need to create programming addressing interests of listeners hungry for solutions to today’s troubles. We need more programs that present science, music, art, education, literature, and politics to more diverse audiences in more creative ways: we have hardly addressed the many needs of our potential audience. 

I believe that WBAI’s and Pacifica’s potential strength is its identity as a membership organization: we need to keep members better informed and engaged in the work of the station, and vitally connected to the station’s mission. We must empower them to stay in communication with WBAI and create a community that values WBAI’s work. 

Clearly the station should fight current disasters: the commercialization of culture, the selling of libraries, creating wars for profit, betrayal of our young, torturing immigrants and indigents, exacerbating hatred of “the other ” all require vehement defense of a free press in this country. WBAI must exemplify what a free press can be: I will work to revitalize programming and finances, and to keep ever-present destructive elements from destroying the station’s efforts to fulfill its mission. 

I’m out of space: write to me at [email protected] 

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