2021 by-laws referenda vote: quantitative analysis of NES Peñaloza’s report to the Th8July PNB, & a prediction

[Originally posted 8July, as an addendum to a discussion of the FY2020 auditor’s report in relation to California law. Upon request, it’s re-posted separately. Agreed – even a case of light & bushel?]


The breakers decisively win the listener-member referendum (6 000 — 5 800?, maybe 6 050 — 5 750?) – but lose the war … with maybe 220 blocking 6 000

An important indicator of the likely referenda results was disclosed by a frazzled Renée Asteria Peñaloza, the National Elections Supervisor, at the Th8July PNB. She said the electorate was ~44 000 listener-members & 1 035 staff-members (40:32 after roll-call; UPDATE: that time seems to be in error, it being 42:55 according to the now published audiofiles; the agenda item starts at 0:27 on the ‘b’-file, & the electorates are given at 1:12 – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb210708/pnb210708b.mp3). Prior to this, the latest figures disclosed by Pacifica were 42 491 & 993, respectively, at 2Jan2020, the record date for the first by-laws referenda. (The anti-breakers won both referenda: 6 340 — 3 273, & 331 — 177.)

https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/non-financial-pacifica-data/the-knell-pacifica-membership-passing-over-time/; & https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2020/03/30/referenda-station-results-approx-absolute-numbers/


total electorate up, +~3.4%; mostly a net extra ~1 500 listener-members. Have the anti-breakers been on a recruitment campaign? We know who’s been organised, been organising, & been mobilising peeps for a few years now

• this is surprising, to say the least: according to official figures (buyer beware), Aug/Sep2015 ⭢ 2Jan2020, total listener membership in this 4⅓yr period fell at the rate of ~2 340 a year. So, going against the grain current, we may have here 1500 + 2340 = 3840. Where did these people come from? Who’s been recruiting/retaining over 3k peeps, all in little more than a year? This contrasts with the lack of a ‘bump’ before the first referenda. This time is different. (The ~2 340: (52582 − 42491) ÷ 4⅓) – https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/non-financial-pacifica-data/the-knell-pacifica-membership-passing-over-time/

• listener-member referendum: at the Tu6July KPFT Development Cttee, Robin Lewis (Membership Lead) disclosed that membership “is at 2 900” (57:54) – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpftdev/210706/kpftdev210706a.mp3. At 2Jan2020, it was ~4 537 (~4 368 listeners, ~169 staff), so a drop, in unemployment CoronaTimes, of –36.1%. If this membership has dropped (moreover, at the only station where the breakers won a 2020 listener referendum, ~453 — ~423), whilst membership has grown for Pacifica as a whole, there’s only one rational conclusion: it’s the breakers who’ve been recruiting massively, & on the West Coast – whilst the anti-breakers sat on their laurels, singing Freddy Mercury

• staff-member referendum: membership +4.2%, but with much smaller numbers involved it’s more uncertain who the recruiters are

turnout: compared with the Mar2020 by-laws referenda voting, listener-member turnout, as a share of an increased electorate, is +~17.9% (22.9% ⭢ ~27%), & staff-member turnout, as a share of a decreased electorate, is –~18.6% (51.6% ⭢ ~42%). The killer stat is the +~17.9%. Seriously. And one needs to say again: have the anti-breakers been on a recruitment & mobilising campaign? We know who’s been organised, been organising, & been mobilising peeps for a few years now

• listener-member turnout: in 2020, 42491 x ~22.9% = 9714; in 2021, 44000 x ~27% = ~11880. Increase of ~2 166, by +~22.3%. (Assuming the ~1 500 net increase to the electorate all voted, that means at least ~650 ex-abstainers voted – peeps more likely to be roused by the call for a new day, a new beginning, than holding fast to the status quo.) Is anyone seriously suggesting that the anti-breakers, who had no unified national campaign, & got into the action so, so late, magically got even 1 000 new peeps to turn out to vote for them?

• staff-member turnout: in 2020, 993 x ~51.6% = 512; in 2021, 1035 x ~42% = ~435. Decrease of ~77, by –~15.0%

Only one rational conclusion is derivable from the evidence.

Conjecture: listener-member result = 6 000 — 5 800, maybe 6 050 — 5 750, a win by 200-300. (Excludes invalid ballots: 101 in the last referendum. The main assumption is the anti-breakers suffering attrition by a ⅐th (900) of their Mar2020 referendum support; also, the breakers mobilising 800-850 other new members or former abstainers, plus winning 1 900 out of the described 2 166 increase.)

As noted in previous posts, the breakers may win the listener-member referendum, & even win the staff-member referendum at three of the stations (as in 2020), but lose the staff referendum coz the highest turnout rate remains at WPFW & WBAI . . . so with ~435 Pacifica staff voting, 220 may block 6 000 . . . a voting potency of x27.

NES Peñaloza said she may have the results tomorrow afternoon (East Coast), otherwise on Monday (42:28 after roll-call; UPDATE: at 0:45 on the audiofile). In a typical lack of precision, from a purported elections supervisor, she didn’t speak of either the certification of the results or the announcement of the results. But the stuffing has been knocked out of her.

She didn’t say, but the results announcement may be at the site she runs, https://elections.pacifica.org/wordpress/ – and presumably soon after on the Foundation’s homepage, scrubbed clean today, ready & waiting, https://pacifica.org/.


(This P.S. will be incorporated into a post made tomorrow [UPDATE, Th15July: please see the end of this note] on the worrying habit of the NES, the ED, & other Pacifica decision-makers to continually speak, & in the NES’ case, write, of ‘the referendum’ rather than the referenda. By by-law Article17, Section 1(B)(3), both (v) & the final sentence, & (4), both classes of members have to approve any change having a differential material adverse effect on voting rights: “the Members shall vote in classes and the majority vote of the Members of each class shall be required to approve the amendment” (emphases added). This has been explained in previous posts. Also please note the confused question put by Lawrence Reyes to the NES, & her reply (58:54 after roll-call; UPDATE: at 17:11 on the audiofile). https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art17sec1.html.)

[UPDATE, Th15July: two posts will appear in the next few days: (1) on the referendum/referenda idea, focusing on the most obvious sufficient reason, per California law, that requires two referenda, namely, Corporations Code, Section 7813(f), the (f)https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CORP&sectionNum=7813; & (2) a quantitative & qualitative account of the referenda results announced M12July, including the political effects – https://elections.pacifica.org/wordpress/bylaws-proposal-petition/. Note, the NES’ statement twice says “[r]esults”, not ‘certification of results’; just sloppy? Her announcement also says “[t]he final report will be published by July 26th, 2021”.]



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