About Pacifica Safety Net

What is Pacifica Safety Net?

The Pacifica Safety Net is a California non-profit organization formed by Pacifica radio listeners, volunteers and donors to protect the Foundation’s five local stations from the immediate dangers they face. Our mission is vital. Its creation was inspired by our love for the original Pacifica Mission Statement and service to our communities and the World. We need to keep our stations on the air so they can provide programming that truly supports and protects the health, the rights and access to knowledge for listeners in the communities they serve.

We are raising money for a “safety net” of funds outside of the control of Pacifica Foundation management to protect the stations, whether the response is legal, operational or otherwise. This action is a necessary response to Pacifica’s current existential crisis that has been created by a dysfunctional and conflicted national board of directors.

We have come together to restore and lift up the Mission of the Pacifica Foundation

The Pacifica Foundation is the only progressive terrestrial non-commercial national radio network in our country, and it is vitally important, now more than ever. Many of the current Pacifica National Board of directors have retained control of the organization’s governance for 15 years. Their poor decision-making has been catastrophic to Pacifica’s stations and a betrayal of its important founding Mission. These unqualified individuals (who lack Financial or radio experience) serve revolving door 6-year terms, cycling off for one year, and then being re-elected with support from dark money 501(c)(4) corporations and fringe ideological groups.

For the past 20 years, Pacifica Radio has seen a consistent and steady decline in its listening audience, membership and revenue. Those responsible for managing and improving this precious resource have violated their legal fiduciary duty as members of the Board of Directors of Pacifica to remedy this situation. Instead, they took out a $3.25 million subprime loan that comes due in April 2021 to rescue the New York station from being seized by its creditors. Adding insult to injury, they have failed to devise a repayment plan for the loan for the past three years, and are now desperately seeking an extension of one year from the lender.

If we fail to act soon, the network will be forced to sell off assets, assets that you, the donors, paid for. Pacifica’s broadcast facilities and/or the irreplaceable Pacifica Radio Archives will likely be sold to repay the loan, which would threaten the stations as we know them. This may result in losing the station(s) forever, or worse turning them into the 24/7 programming of quack cures, alternative beauty products, conspiracy mongers and marginal sectarian splinter groups.

Why do we even need a Pacifica Safety Net?

We are a “Friends of” organization, similar to ones that support many other non-profit organizations. There are large numbers of U.S. public TV and radio stations that have “Friends of the station” groups. It is not unusual for nonprofits such as public broadcasters, museums, or schools to have them. The reasons are varied.

What can you do to save your local Pacifica station?

We are offering our fellow listeners a chance to support and enhance our important work with The Pacifica Safety Net; an opportunity to join a community of people who share a collective vision to keep Pacifica independent. 

Please take a look at the other materials on this website and learn about the underlying and often convoluted backstory surrounding Pacifica’s governance and colorful history.

Then get involved by contacting your local elected officials and let them know that Pacifica is important to you, and we need their support to save and strengthen it.

The Pacifica Safety Net is powered by donations. This means there isn’t a safety net of corporate funding, major endowments and underwriting like other public broadcast entities. Your financial support makes it all possible. Please click on the donate button to show your support for this vital effort at this most critical moment in our history as a nation.

Thank you for caring and giving.

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Pacifica Safety Net (PSN) Officer Biographies

Sherry Gendelman (PSN President)

Sherry Gendelman has been a practicing attorney since 1968. She is a former District Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in San Francisco, she is former Executive Director of the Grey Panthers of San Francisco, she is a volunteer consulting attorney to the East Bay Community Law Center. She has been associated with KPFA radio since the 1980s. She was former chair of both the KPFA Local Advisory Board and the KPFA Local Station Board. She was on the Pacifica National Board for two years and served as its Chair, and interim Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation. Sherry currently hosts a classical music show on KPFA, Sunday Classics.

Donald Goldmacher  (PSN Treasurer)

Donald Goldmacher is a longtime filmmaker, social justice activist, and community psychiatrist with decades of experience observing, documenting and participating in social change. He most recently co-produced The Long Shadow with Frances Causey, and co-produced and co-directed Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? with Frances Causey. In his first film, Do No Harm, he was a gadfly to the medical industrial complex and dared to investigate and expose the controversial marketing and research practices of the pharmaceutical industry. His 2001 documentary Ruthie and Connie: Every Room in the House, about two lesbian activists in New York City, premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, won over 20 festival awards, and aired on HBO and television stations around the world.

Craig Alderson (PSN Secretary)

Craig Alderson has been involved in the labor movement since the mid-1980s and has worked in the Central America solidarity movement, pro-choice movement, and community issues. He was among the 52 arrested at KPFA in 1999 during the crisis with Pacifica. From 2010 to 2016, he served as the secretary to the KPFA local station board.