2006-04/Apr David Lauer (R.I.P.) Expressing Concern to KRFC Board

April 21, 2006

Greg Krush, Jennifer Lowry, Jack Armstrong, Chris Kennison, Saul Hopper, Cat McClintock, Diane Miller, Susan Sternlieb,

This is in reply to Beth Flowers’ pre-Spring Membership Drive letter of April 12th. She claims my last pledge was $400, and asks that I increase this by $25 more to “help support the KRFC Save our Shack Fund which helps protect the KRFC transmitter.” The $400 was a lump sum contribution three years ago. I have been a sustaining member since then. You take $ out of my checking account every month. But I’m not so sure this will continue.

As the Board of Directors for KRFC you should be a bit more concerned with protecting the station’s good name than with protecting its transmitter. Kate Tarasenko’s lead article in “Watts Happening” is a well written but lame attempt to gloss over difficulties you have had lately with many volunteers, staff and listeners. Kate tries to bring closure to issues that are by no means closed. Ms Flowers is quoted as saying she wants “KRFC to be a place that lifts people up”. KRFC is not lifting me up right now, nor is it uplifting for at least 88 other listeners who signed a petition asking that you reconsider changing the mission and vision of the station, and your behavior toward volunteers that disagree with you. For many of us it is not only what you wish to change the mission and vision to; it’s how you handle dissent, how you chose a monolithic stance, much like Bush and his "unitary Executive", instead of managing change in a democratic and inclusive way.

Denise Clark is quoted as saying “the most critical components to the whole strategic planning process are “full group participation, cooperation and consensus”. None of these three have been achieved. Later in this long and detailed article is the claim that some 250 people were involved in the process. Some of those 250, including myself, feel the value of integrity (in the side bar on page 2 of “Watts Happening”) is a complete sham. It reads:

"We are accountable for our actions. We treat others with tolerance and respect. We go out of our way to be inclusive and to welcome participation."

This simply is not true. For those who have received notices that they can no longer volunteer at the station, it must seem especially ironic.

It appears that Ms Flowers’ focus on “a more diverse fundraising strategy” has clouded your collective vision. Which is more important: being accountable to your listeners & truly inclusive and welcoming, or being competitive in maximizing your ability to raise funds? I trust that you will take Denise Clark’s advice that “a regular review of the action plan at board, staff and volunteer meetings should be a top priority”. Invite your vanquished volunteers back into the fold, listen to them and make appropriate changes in your attitudes, mission statement and values.

It’s out of respect, appreciation and thanks to KRFC’s dedicated staff and volunteers that I continue as a sustaining member for now. If you do not invite your dissenters back and develop a more inclusive culture I will find more worthy places to send my contributions.

Thank you for your attention to these concerns.

David Lauer