Volunteers Make a Difference

The big money and their hired guns are against us. Our side is led mostly by devoted volunteers.


Station Manager Dave Chaos just before a KNON meeting

Trying to understand and work with volunteers is a major challenge for anybody who hopes for a better future. About twice a year, I get a chance to meet, up close, with some of the most interesting ones.

KNON 89.3 community radio usually holds its meetings at Herman Hall in the Deep Ellum section of East Dallas. The radio station only has 4-5 poorly paid staffers, but 60-70 volunteers keep it on the air 24/7. They present an incredibly eclectic variety of music and a handful of talk shows. Nearly all the “commercials” are public service announcements. The volunteers support the station by holding a steady stream of music concerts and with quarterly on-air fund drives. Community activists call in all the time.

My show “Workers Beat” has been on the station since it was begun by the ACORN community organizers in the 1980s. I was on-again and off again for some time before I took the program over regularly in 2006. There are only 3 pro-worker programs in the entire South; Bonnie Mathias and I are proud to host one of the three.

Station Manager Dave Chaos brought up the police shootings at the July 12 meeting. He said, “Dallas needs KNON, maybe more now than ever!” The station brings people together.

There’s a lot of enthusiasm at KNON. The volunteers love the station and promote it every chance they get. They wear KNON shirts and have KNON bumper stickers; they talk it up on social media and in public activities. Each volunteer has her/his major passion. With some it’s zydeco, some like folk music, some like 60’s pop, some go for soul music or acid rock. They all serve the community, and they all do it out of love.

–Gene Lantz

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