$30,000 jump-starts PWW fund drive

NEW YORK — This year’s People’s Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo Fund Drive kicked off with a bang, with PWW writers engaging in fundraising events, local fundraising committees formed, and tens of thousands of dollars turned in for the drive, which runs from Labor Day through December.

This year, the PWW aims to raise $200,000 — $50,000 more than in 2005.

“There’s no question,” said PWW editor Terrie Albano, “that we’ll achieve this goal. It’ll take a lot of work, but we have many supporters and contributors across the country — and that list is growing — who want to see the PWW succeed.”

Well over $30,000 has been turned in to jump-start the drive, national fund drive coordinator Pamella Saffer reported.

Local fund drive committees have formed across the U.S., many of whom have already put together detailed plans for how to reach their goal.

“This year we raised our goal from $35,000 to $39,000,” said Jenn Perna, of the New York Friends of the PWW. “It’s a big increase, but we’re sure we can do it, though it’s going to be a lot of hard work.”

Perna outlined one of the programs, “50 for $50,” that the N.Y. Friends have set up. “It’s important that we raise the funds, but it’s also important that people read this paper,” she said. The program aims to get 50 new subscribers within the month of September. The new subscribers will pay $50 for a one-year subscription, instead of $30 — the additional money going to the fund drive.

“First, this will give us another thousand dollars,” Perna said. “Secondly, it will increase the readership of the paper by 50 people. We’re sure that after they’ve read several issues, they’ll also want to contribute more later in the drive.”

The N.Y. Friends also plan to hold a theater party.

Of course, each area of the country has its own plans. In Chicago, the PWW’s friends are hosting a tailgate party and trip to the Sept. 23 Seattle Mariners vs. Chicago White Sox game, to benefit the paper.

“The idea is to raise money and have a good time,” said Lance Cohn of the Illinois Friends of the PWW. “And hopefully to watch the Sox win!”

While PWW readers in Seattle may disagree over hopes for the outcome of the game, readers from Washington to Florida are united in working to reach their fund drive goal. In Saint Paul, Minn., for example, dozens of supporters gathered for a picnic and book sale, where they heard PWW Editorial Board member Pepe Lozano speak.

Lozano, son of Rudy Lozano, the Mexican American political and union organizer slain in 1983, spoke to the crowd about his writing assignments, much of which focuses on the current battles for immigrant and labor rights and the Nov. 7 elections. Lozano said the PWW is unique, because it brings people a class analysis and news not covered in the mainstream press.

Donations at the picnic ranged from $25 to $125, bringing in about $800 altogether.

Other events being planned include banquets, house parties, one-on-one visits to PWW readers, speaking tours, yard sales and more.

“We’re going to make this goal,” Albano said. “Wherever you go, whether it’s into the struggle for immigrant rights, labor rights, women’s rights, racially and nationally oppressed people’s rights, wherever people are fighting for democracy, the PWW is there.”

“And we know that people will be there for us.”