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Street Roots. Does anyone read it?

Does anyone read Street Roots regularly?
I am a freelance writer working on an article about the changing face of street papers. I am trying to find someone who reads Portland's own "Street Roots" and who would be willing to share their thoughts on the paper.
I buy it 05.Aug.2006 22:45

Portlander

But I don't get much out of reading it. Occasionally it carries articles that are of relevance to a wider Portland audience, but mostly it is directed towards the homeless. I am interested to a degree about homeless issues, but not with respect to the poetry, directories for services, and the like. I would like to see it expand into a paper that covers issues of serious concern for the social, ecological, and economic welfare of all Portlanders, issues that Willmette Week and the Mercury don't begin to cover or take seriously. I'd like to see it continue to provide useful information and formats of expression for homeless and disadvantaged others while providing this greater coverage and acquiring advertising dollars from local businesses so as to provide more income and aid to homeless folks.

yeah we have this shit in Seattle too 05.Aug.2006 22:49

kirsten anderberg kirstena@resist.ca

I have A LOT to say about this...I do not know about street roots but I do know about "street papers" of this ilk...
Real Change, is a paper supposedly to empower the homeless in Seattle, so how do they do that? They raised half a million dollars LAST YEAR under the guise of "helping the homeless" then they write a piece of shit paper, and DO NOT PAY ANY HOMELESS PEOPLE WHO WRITE IN IT< BUT DO PAY $13 AN HOUR TO OTHER WRITERS< and the papers themselves cost 5 cents each to make so they CHARGE THE HOMELESS FOLKS 30 CENTS a PAPER for them to go sell...and the EXEC's, such as the EDITOR OF REAL CHANGE PAYS HIMSELF $50,000+ a year, syaing HE MUST HAVE THAT MUCH TO LIVE, then the next in commands also get over $30,000 each a year, so when it all comes down to it...

1) Real Change raised half a million bucks on the NAME of the homeless TO PAY MIDDLE CLASS WHITE MEN'S SALARIES, NOT THE HOMELESS
2) Real Change MAKES 25 CENTS PROFIT on EACH PAPER the homeless BUY FROM THEM TO SELL
3) that half a million dollars raised for the homeless in Real Change's name NEVER REACHED ANY OF THE HOMELESS IN MY OPINION since A) they BUY the papers THEY SELL at 25 cents profit to the company that makes them, B) THEY SELL THE PAPERS THEMSELVES SO Real Change is not SPENDING ANYTHING ON THE SELLING OF THEM except to charge the homeless for them...

HOW DOES THE HALF A MILLION REAL CHANGE COLLECTED FOR THE HOMELESS IN SEATTLE TOUCH/REACH the homeless???

When I wrote an article on this, the editor, Tim, of Real Change said he had been called a "poverty pimp" before...so apparently that is the term for this, when you use the poor to collect MASSIVE MONEY then SPEND ALL THAT MONEY ON YOURSELF as an executive of a homeless project!!! Jesus! What a damned mess!

My belief is YOU SHOULD NOT LIVE AT ANY HIGHER LEVEL THAN THOSE YOU ARE HELPING IN THE SITUATION WHERE YOU ARE RAISING MONEY IN THEIR NAME LIKE REAL CHANGE IN SEATTLE...

NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE reads Real Change. I, too, have thought of doing a local survey to see who in the hell reads that thing...it is really just a thing homeless people wave around, standing in the cold, the rain, to get tips and donations to survive...and Tim the editor claims THIS IS GIVING DIGNITY to the poor...

So he got half a million dollars to GIVE THE DIGNITY OF STANDING IN FRONT OF STORES BEGGING WITH REAL CHANGE PAPER? No one I know takes that paper seriously in any capacity. People DO NOT buy it to read it...I would prefer Real Change use that half a million to PAY HOMELESS PEOPLE FOR THEIR WRITING...but when I asked to write ABOUT homelessness for Real Change, WHEN I WAS HOMELESS they told me that the PAPER IS NOT ABOUT OR FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS - it is for yuppies who want to SUPPORT the homeless, so they had no need for a homeless advocacy and resource column as I offered them!

So, it all makes me sad. If it is so damned dignified to stand on corners hawking a SUBPAR publication so that Tim can get his $50,000+ and Adam his $30,000+, um, if it is so wonderful earning your money like that, why don't tim and adam TRY IT?

There are a million problems with that the paper in seattle named Real Change is doing and I assume this Street Roots may have similar leaning and problems...


It's a good paper 06.Aug.2006 09:33

Bear

I read Street Roots every week, and I think it's a good paper. I make sure I buy a copy every week. Of all the local papers, my favorites would be the Alliance and Street Roots, because the political analysis is pretty much on target in my opinion. Street Roots articles are often anticapitalist and focus on social justice issues. Ruth Kovacs is a writer for Street Roots who frequently writes about poverty issues and how this society places profits over people. Every issue of Street Roots contains a directory of resources for low-income folks- the only source I know of where all this information is in one place. There have been many articles about local gentrification; Street Roots and Indymedia are the only ones who seem to be addressing this. There have also been articles in Street Roots that are anti-war and anti-imperialist, and these articles make the connection between our tax dollars going for war and militarism and the lack of priority given to human needs. Street Roots also has original poetry and art work of great originality done by local folks.

In the front of Street Roots it says that 70 cents of the dollar goes to the vendors. I've noticed that it seems to be the same vendors for the past few years, and they seem to have a good opinion of the paper. I don't know anything about the Seattle street paper that Kirsten Anderberg was talking about, so I won't venture to guess anything about that paper or others- Street Roots is the only one I have seen.

Talk to the vendors 06.Aug.2006 11:26

pp

I suggest you go out and talk to the vendors; some of them are out there every single day. They have good insight into the way Street Roots is run. See the woman in front of the Bijou Cafe, she's there every weekday morning and has a lot to say about the organization. Or the guy at Wild Oats on Burnside.

good paper with greater potential 06.Aug.2006 12:42

clyde

As others have said, the vendors work hard for their money, and do a good job interacting with the public. Anybody thinks it's easy to do that job should try it. This is an opportunity for employment taken by people for whom our society makes little effort to make employment available.

Quality of the writing and reporting varies according to who is willing to volunteer their work. That's where the public comes into the picture. StreetRoots welcomes submissions. In this paper, novice writers have a vehicle for the exposure of their work. Professional writers may benefit similarly if they have some work they can afford to make available to the paper without monetary compensation.

It's a bi-weekly paper, so there are limitations to what service the paper can provide as a "news as its happening" paper.

The paper has a professionally designed layout that's nice to look at and easy to read. What more could you ask for?