NEW YORK — Readers and supporters of the People’s Weekly World are wasting no time.

The 2007 Fund Drive kicks off on Labor Day, yet readers have already raised $44,000 — more than 20 percent of the drive’s $200,000 goal. The drive ends on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving.

All across the country Friends of the PWW are making plans to raise the money in a variety of ways: forums, phone-a-thons and more.

Why are PWW friends and readers so eager to raise money for their favorite paper?

“Because the PWW supports them,” said Tony Pecinovsky of the Missouri and Kansas Friends of the PWW.

“I was at the Veterans for Peace convention,” Pecinovsky continued. “The only national newspaper that was there to cover it was the PWW.”

Pecinovsky continued, “We cover things that even the other alternative press doesn’t cover,” particularly labor struggles and the electoral battle to defeat the ultra-right. As for the mainstream press, he said, “They’re not there because they’re controlled by big money. They aren’t concerned with reporting news that concerns working-class people. They get their money from big advertisers instead.”

“One of the key reasons why groups like the Council of Black Trade Unionists’ St. Louis chapter support us is because of the special emphasis we place on the fight against racism,” he said.

People are more than happy to give to the paper, he said, and he is in a position to know. His Friends of the PWW group has set a goal of $5,000 and has already raised nearly $2,100 of it. This is up from a goal of $1,000 a few years ago.

Other areas are reporting increased fund-raising activity as well. New Jersey, Connecticut and Southern Minnesota have each already completed about half — or more — of their goal.

The Washington, D.C., PWW friends group is planning a major event to honor Luci Murphy, well-known folk singer and local activist in the D.C. area. “Our readers have come to count on the news and insight that we deliver each week. We give a unique voice and perspective to current events,” said Editor Teresa Albano. “Readers can help drive this newspaper forward and help widen its reach and deepen its coverage by contributing to the PWW annual fund drive. We receive no corporate money. We are reader-supported.”

Readers can give via credit card, check or money order. Send all donations to: PWW, 235 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011. To give over the phone call: (646) 437-5363. Or you can donate via our web site: