2019 Annual Membership Meeting Election Results

Published date: 
Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 6:14pm

2019 Annual Membership Meeting Election Results

Vote Totals:

Candidate 3 - Ruba Leech 401
Candidate 4 - Dan Raphael 249
Candidate 5 - Emma Lugo  226
Candidate 6 - Theresa Mitchell 353
Candidate 7 - KatMeow García 314
Candidate 8 - Laurie Mercier  375



2019 Board Candidate Statements


Candidate 1

Joni Whitworth - withdrawn



Candidate 2

Sue Barlett

Tragically, Sue has passed away.



Candidate 3

Ruba Leech

I am a KBOO member and volunteer, and would like to be reappointed to one of the open seats on the KBOO Board. Being a multilingual Immigrant to the US from Palestine, a teacher for over a decade in two different continents, and a professional interpreter for over 4 years has provided me with unique life experiences. I am very passionate about helping any and all communities that need help, as I have shown through my commitment to underserved youth, immigrants and refugees. Working as an interpreter allowed me to both sharpen my communication skills and develop trust and long lasting relationships with multicultural communities facing co-occurring disabilities. I also worked as a school administrator managing a preschool classroom and all students’ individual caseloads. I have had numerous responsibilities as an educator and administrator, including management, budgeting, curriculum choice and implementation, parent conferences, data entry and data analysis. I am very comfortable with paperwork and have excellent organizational skills. 

My work as a teacher, school administrator and activist for social justice has provided me with a wealth of transferable skills that will be useful for my work on the KBOO Board. While I have not served on a Board before, I have received leadership training from the Unite Oregon Pilot program that aims to empower immigrants and refugees to assume leadership positions in the community. Through my work as a teacher, I have worked with kids and families from different social, financial and cultural backgrounds; building long lasting relationships and developing a good rapport with parents, coworkers and children. 

Some of my activist experience includes: working with Unite Oregon for the past two years, canvassing for measure 102 to support affordable housing in Portland, canvassing for Greenpeace, volunteering with Meals on Wheels and being a leader for Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights.

As an immigrant from Jerusalem with experience working with the Arab and Muslim community in Portland, I have a deep understanding of multiculturalism, and a tremendous respect for the importance of diversity. I have spent the past 6 years consciously seeking jobs that allow me to be of help to marginalized communities, assisting them to feel heard and understood.

I would like to serve on the KBOO Board because I wholeheartedly support KBOO’s values and mission, and want to ensure that the station remains steadfast in upholding those values. I have read the strategic plan for KBOO 2017-2020, and am impressed with the commitment to intersectionality, decolonization and diversity. As a person who embodies diversity in my life and my work, I am excited to be part of the leadership of an organization that is so committed to this important work as well.


Candidate 4

Dan Raphael

KBOO is going through a critical time—I only know a bit of the details. Four paid positions are open, and it sounds like the board is divided on important issues. I’ve been listening to KBOO for around 40 years, and have been a volunteer for just over 3. The community feel of the ‘Boo, the trust, mutual respect and creativity of staff and volunteers, are palpable and vibrant.

Oregon DMV, where I worked for 32 years is one of the most diverse work places in the state because everyone has to come there. They don’t come there because they want to, so my job there was to help everyone through the process, one on one. In my last 6 months with DMV, I did only drive tests, over 1300, with people from 63 different countries.

In groups, I’m good at balancing, speaking more when others aren’t and holding back when others are energized (though I always express my ideas and opinions.) During my time at DMV, especially the 10 years I was in management, I was the outside-the-box one—someone who’d come up with a different perspective or two, still within the parameters of the organization. For 2 years towards the end of my DMV time, I was an OPEU shop steward, and kept 2 people from being fired. My experiences in management had taught me DMV’s rules well, and gave me insight into how the ‘other side’ was thinking.

I’ve arranged maybe 200 poetry readings, and being inclusive has always been a prime consideration. Poetry in Portland, as in many cities, is a bit factionalized—people are divided up in groups and tend to go to readings by people of their group but not to others, When I hosted the I Love Mondays series (once a month for 13 years at the downtown Borders Books) I deliberately chose 3 readers not associated with each other, Thai gave the factions some exposure to each other, and also increased the size of the audiences.

I live in deep southeast Portland, four blocks from my beloved 82nd Avenue. For the last 3 years I’ve written and recorded a news poem for the KBOO evening news. Since with my own poetry I am not deliberate, can’t just sit down and write, I’ve amazed myself in being able to keep up with this weekly deadline—so I am continuing to grow, My non-KBOO poetry is rooted in Whitman, music, the worlds around me, and the many depths and capabilities of our English language. Despite having 20 published books (#21, Manything, will be out this September from Unlikely Books), and having performed in 116 different places in Portland alone, I also hold the record for the most grant applications to Literary Arts without success.

There’s more to me, but what matters here is KBOO’s important to me, I want it to continue and prosper, and feel I have the experience, intelligence, and inter-personal skills to help the
station thrive into its 50’s.


Candidate 5

Emma Lugo

My name is Emma Lugo and I am reapplying for the Board of Directors. I served on the Board in 2017 for one year and then stepped down due to constant fighting and a lack of willingness to address systemic issues at KBOO including taking appropriate legal  action concerning a lawsuit brought by an employee. Since then I have seen things go from bad to worse at the board, seeing staff of color resign, or get fired by the board. I have seen three women of color leave employment at KBOO in the last year. I have seen a station manager who prioritized dismantling white supremacy and upholding beloved community get fired and leave the country. I am so tired of this that I am willing to come back to the board, with the very real possibility I will be rejected by the current board, because someone needs to serve and help make sense of what is going on. Regarding my qualifications I have served on the board before and have served on the finance committee. I am a programmer and produce two shows dedicated to giving voice to disempowered communities, as a producer for Prison Pipeline and Transpositive. I have also proven at KBOO that I am willing to step aside when my own privilege is called into question as it was in 2018 when Transpositive turned into a collective and one of our members also created a separate show in order to find a solution to an imbalance of power in the producing group. Now we have a real collective and we gave one of our time slots to a member who I was in conflict with as a way of resolving our impasse. I understand how to work with conflict as the Secretary of the Pacific Green Party where we have to challenge white supremacy, patriarchy, and efforts by the alt-right to impact our work. Resolving conflict respectfully is an essential part of our work as a community. As to my broader qualifications and life I am a member of KBOO and a journalist of 35 years having produced grassroots media my entire life since college. Also a community organizer I am a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, PeaceJusticeWorks Iraq Working Group, Transgender Day of Remembrance Interfaith Vigil Working Group and the Secretary of the Pacific Green Party. In my personal life I care for adults with Developmental Disabilities and run a Landscape Maintenance business.


Candidate 6

Theresa Mitchell

I am Theresa Mitchell, a transgender woman, 61 years of age. I am a KBOO member in good standing.

I wish to serve as a KBOO Board member. I served on the KBOO Board from 1995-1998 and am well familiar with KBOO policies, and also with IRS, CPB, FCC, ORS 65, KBOO Bylaws, and Robert’s Rules of Order. I am on good terms with KBOO Staff, and served as an Interim PM News Director (with Sam Bouman) last year.

My emphasis on the Board will be to address excessive and inappropriate legal expenses, and to move the Station forward as a multimedia hub in the 21st century digital context. We have the potential to become a much larger piece of the news and public affairs audience in this region. With more publicity, our excellent music broadcasting could also become better appreciated.

Our culture of equality and participation, hand in hand with the Staff Union, is what distinguishes KBOO and keeps it vital. That is what I will support.


Candidate  7

KatMeow García

I want to ask to be reappointed to the board because I want to help KBOO continue its 50+ year legacy and succeed at its 2017-2020 strategic goals. For the past three years I have had a track record of advocating for equity and humanitarianism on the KBOO board, within its policies and communications. I will continue to do this important work because it resonates with me, living a life with multiple intersections of marginalization. I am a Latinx, nongender conforming, queer person. I am trilingual and come from a working class migrant farming family. I have a degree in film and social justice from the Evergreen State College and studied successful nonprofits while living and working in rural Nicaragua and China. I can offer my strong background in social justice, and independent media production to KBOO. I have many ties to underserved communities in Portland and have experience in activism. Recently, I was featured in a zine published by POW highlighting local women and non-binary directors. I was also part of the documentary, Arresting Power, resisting police violence in Portland. During my time on the KBOO board I have served as the Nominating Committee liaison, the Development Committee liaison, and board Secretary. I have done work amplifying the voices of youth and immigrants, reaching out to current and new members and donors for sustained giving and documenting board meetings in order to stay in accordance with CPB funding requirements. I have also severed on multiple hiring committees and for a time served as a check signer and served on the Community Advisory Board. I have continued my regular volunteer work at KBOO as well, producing and subbing for radio programs, recording KBOO promos volunteering for drives and participating in other KBOO events.

As a producer at Open Signal, I have links to many local producers of independent media and a vast library of resources that can be utilized to help promote and support KBOO. I have served on the board of the Northwest Alliance for Alternative Media and Education. I have immense experience volunteering and working with many local media nonprofits like, Outside the Frame, Sista Sistah, Reel Abilities, Freeform Portland, Voz, the Muslim Educational Trust and many more. I look forward to working for KBOO for many more years and finding solutions to oppressive systemic problems.


Candidate 8

Laurie Mercier

I moved to Portland-Vancouver in 1995 and immediately became a fan and supporter of KBOO. For the past two decades I have been a member of KBOO’s Old Mole Variety Hour collective and a contributor to/producer of its Monday morning public affairs show, which features interviews, reviews, and commentary from a socialist-feminist point of view. In the 1980s I contributed monthly commentaries to Montana Public Radio in opposition to US policies and wars in Latin America. As a long-time activist and supporter of community radio, and as a labor and gender history professor, my work has aligned with KBOO’s values--in particular with its commitments to community, progressive perspectives, and diversity, and to amplifying the voices of activists and scholars from diverse communities in struggle for a more just society/world. Like many KBOO volunteers who have long supported the station but have not yet been able to step up to serve on the board, I believe that this is an important time—with so many empty board seats, the need to insure a quorum on critical decisions, and staff positions to fill—to volunteer for this work. If elected to the board, I will work to strengthen board transparency and process, and increase staff and volunteer input, to help improve station climate, financial health, outreach, and programming. I embrace a collaborative and democratic working style and have several decades of experience serving on various nonprofit, professional, and editorial boards, and as an officer for a union and faculty organization. KBOO is a public treasure that needs to be preserved, its progressive values respected, and its reach expanded. In an era of climate crisis, increased inequality, and military aggression, our public airwaves and community-run radio stations are key for delivering alternative, non-corporate news, analyses, and music. I hope to work with others to advance KBOO’s mission, expand its audiences, and help it embrace the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.