Thank you, Street Roots readers. We have met our $20,000 goal for the Winter Fund Drive! We appreciate each and every donation made to the organization throughout the winter fundraiser. Your contributions are helping Street Roots upgrade its technology in the office and address staffing needs with the organization. Your contributions are also helping vendors sell additional items, including buttons, postcards and bumper stickers.
Your suport plays a part in dispelling the myth that homeless people are lazy. Each issue we work hard to tackle subjects that matter to the world in which we live. And with each issue more than 60 vendors work just as hard selling the newspaper. This morning, I arrived at the office with more than 2 inches of snow on the ground. I expected vendors to take the day off and remain in the office, conversing and playing dominos. Two hours later, not one vendor was left in the office – all of them went out to sell the newspaper in the pouring snow. I asked, "Why are you going out today?" And one vendor responded, "It’s only snow. The people need their Street Roots, eh."
The simple act of buying and reading the newspaper is one step closer to breaking down NIMBYism about people living in poverty. We believe in people, and we thank you for believing in us.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough. Street Roots is proud to unveil Act Now to our back pages this issue. In each issue, the organization will profile a social-justice cause that readers can take action around. We encourage other organizations, and individuals to point us to campaigns, legislation and upcoming actions to get readers involved. Sometime in 2007 we will link the Act Now back page with on-line action items that will allow readers to send letters, or take action through the Street Roots Web site.
Our first Act Now is a project developed by three Portlanders who are helping raise awareness about Adel Hamad, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner who many believe has been unfairly detained for more than five years. His story brings to light the abolishment of habeas corpus (the right to a fair trial) by the United States government. Without these basic rights, we as a society continue to allow our representatives to strip away the basic human rights we deserve. We encourage you to Act Now!
Also: This week in Street Roots has an in-depth feature on immigrants and refugees living in Portland, columns by Alejandro Queral with the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center and Michael Anderson with Affordable Housing Now. Also included is a street vendors take on the cities new SAFE ordinance, and an excellent op-ed piece about Lt. Robert Bedgewood from the Portland Fire Bureau. Not to mention Soup Can Sam.