NEW YORK — After returning from a fund-raising and circulation building trip to New York — which brought in up to $10,000 plus a number of new subscriptions — People’s Weekly World editor Terrie Albano was exuberant, saying that even she was struck by just how appreciated and “indispensable” the paper actually is.

“I got to meet with people involved in the 2006 elections, Atlantic Yards struggle against greedy developers and the Chris Owens for Congress campaign who are also readers of the paper,” Albano said, adding that “to see how much our readership is part of local grassroots movements helps to illustrate the unique and different type of newspaper the PWW is.”

Albano met with readers individually and in groups. “Our conversations were interactive, not just one-way,” she said. “The PWW is based on people who are active in their communities. When you’re the editor, or part of the editorial board, you have to know what are the struggles taking place, what are the issues, what are the key movements involved.” She stressed that the paper survives at the grass roots by the contributions of readers as well as by volunteer writers — of whom there are more than 80 regulars.

“To have these types of writers, contributors and supporters who are active in these campaigns — that really makes us a unique newspaper.”

The reason for the visit was to kick off the drive to “pledge month,” which the PWW’s Fund Drive Committee has designated for October. Though it is not October yet, the trip was necessarily early because “New York is an important state. Probably the largest number of PWW readership is in New York State, particularly New York City and Westchester.”

Albano wanted to emphasize the importance of making pledges now or in October. “We’re asking people to make pledges because making a pledge helps you to think about making a more substantial contribution to the paper, in that you can pay it off over the next three months,” she said. “People can pledge a week’s pay, or a day’s pay, some substantial amount that they feel shows their support for the paper.”

An electrical worker from the Bronx gave $700, Albano said. “That was really wonderful and inspiring.” A number of teachers pledged $400. “One young teacher — first year on the job — gave $500!” she said.

Many retirees gave $200 and pledged more, and two retirees pledged $1,000 and $3,000. Two full-time workers for the Communist Party pledged a week’s pay — or $500.

“The level of giving and working-class sacrifice and commitment in New York to this press was awesome,” Albano said. All in all some 23 people made pledges and donations. “Every donor is a stakeholder in this newspaper and message,” she said.

The entire editorial board of the PWW will be in motion throughout the fund drive, so readers can look forward to meeting the paper’s staff to exchange ideas on content and how to build the paper.

“We all want to have similar talks and meetings to discuss how we see what our main mission is, the role of the paper, and building it,” Albano said. “We want to engage our readers and supporters in building this newspaper because we think it’s an indispensable part of building the movement for peace, democracy and equality in this country.”

dmargolis@pww.org

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