PWW Fund Drive: New Mexico readers go over the top

Months ago, when the People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo fund drive committee proposed to the paper’s New Mexico supporters raising their goal several hundred dollars above their 2005 goal, they balked, thinking the task impossible.

They proved themselves wrong.

Near the beginning of November, New Mexico became the first state in the country to meet — and then quickly surpass — its PWW fund drive goal. New Mexico PWW readers and friends, though, plan to continue working and raising money.

Emil Shaw, who coordinates the fundraising and PWW readership-building in New Mexico, raised over $1,000 himself.

“I was working for the teachers union during the election campaign,” Shaw said. “I was paid $10.50 an hour. I took all the money and turned it into the fund drive.”

He added that he “weighed all his options,” and decided that the PWW fund drive was the best place to put the money he earned.

“During the election campaign,” Shaw said, “the paper gave week-to-week political guidance: how to do it, what to do, why it’s being done. I think that needs to be kept up.”

“Other people contributed and our group is not big yet,” Shaw said, “but we have a lot of new members. A lot of people give whatever they can. One young woman who loves the paper very much put in all her petty cash. She has a talk show on local access television, and she constantly pushes the People’s Weekly World.”

The paper, Shaw said, is generally well received. He mentioned a friend who takes the paper to a local manufacturing plant, where the workers readily take the paper and give contributions in return.

Shaw said that he has lately been seeing an increase in the number of subscribers and new names on subscription lists, attributing this to two things: the constant work of New Mexico readers to build their favorite paper, and the PWW’s quality and indispensability in the people’s struggles.

New Mexican PWW readers are planning to raise even more money before the drive is finished. They are currently planning a yard sale, which they expect may gross a few hundred dollars.

Of course, the point of the fund drive is not just financial; it is also to actively build the PWW’s circulation and influence. “I’d like to see coming out of this whole effort a continuing series of PWW forums,” Shaw said.

dmargolis @ pww.org