Petition to Establish a Just Review Process at KPFK
Pacifica Radio is presently carrying out a performance review of Eva Georgia, the General Manager of its Los Angeles station KPFK. During her six-month tenure, Ms. Georgia has opened the station\'s airwaves to previously under-represented groups, including youth and communities of color. In response, those communities have dramatically increased their interest and participation in KPFK. Unfortunately, Georgia\'s tenure has also been marked by an extreme and negative campaign of personal attacks engineered by a small but vocal group within the KPFK community. Although investigations of this group\'s charges by Pacifica\'s Executive Director and by the committee that selected Georgia have revealed them to be without merit, they have nonetheless had the effect of undermining her authority, including her relationship with station staff, thereby threatening her agenda for positive change at the station. These unfounded personal attacks are being directed at a person of color who has made the first serious attempt in years to increase programming by under-represented communities. The attacks have been tolerated, and in some cases actively promoted, by members of dominant groups that share an interest in restoring the former status quo of airtime and paychecks favoring the privileged and primarily white political and financial base that KPFK has always served. This raises the concern that the General Manager will be unjustly blamed for a negative environment created by interested parties who are protecting privileges that, whether they realize it or not, they have traditionally had based upon their race, class and gender. If these groups were to succeed in reclaiming the station for their own use, that would immediately reverse the positive outreach to youth and communities of color that has occurred during Ms. Georgia\'s tenure, and would quickly restore the former state of skepticism regarding KPFK\'s interest in supporting the voices of those communities. We, the undersigned, believe that no objective judgment of the performance of the General Manager, including her relationship to station staff, can be rendered without first undertaking a thorough and impartial review of the dynamics pertaining to race, gender and class in the KPFK community, including the deep divisions that exist there between oppressed and dominant groups. Therefore, we call upon the interim Pacifica National Board and Pacifica\'s Executive Director to establish an independent review panel of professional diversity consultants in order to investigate the role of race, gender and class dynamics at KPFK, and in particular to determine how these have impacted the perception and performance of KPFK\'s General Manager. We believe that the review of General Manager Eva Georgia should and must be suspended until such a panel is constituted and has completed its work.