On November 29th, I tweeted a link to my WePay campaign and posted it on my Tumblr. My goal is to raise sufficient funds to cover my basic expenses, so that I can continue to #Occupy full-time.
At that time, I promised a “weekly” accounting statement. It’s taken me until now to need to pay myself back for my expenses, so as I’ve initiated that process, it’s time to release my first of these accountability statements.
In the first two weeks of my WePay campaign, here’s what my contribution to #OWS has looked like:
* 30+ hours of attendance of meetings of the Facilitation Working Group, Direct Action Working Group, and other ad-hoc meetings. I make an effort to tweet out important outcomes of these meetings, but this component is primarily focused on doing work within the movement. The benefits of this focus are twofold: a) we need people available to do work within the movement! and b) the better I understand what’s going on, the better I can capture it for the benefit of folks inside and outside this occupation.
* 13 #OWS General Assemblies and Spokescouncils livetweeted. The length of each of these meetings varies but is generally between 3 and 6 hours apiece. The rest of them (4?) were livetweeted by @heratylaw and @jopauca whom I’ve been working with to run @LibertySqGA, @LibertySqGA2, @LibertySqGA3, and @LibertySqGA4. They’ve been amazing about stepping up to cover on many nights where there is an action or other event I’d like to attend. When they’re unavailable, though, I remain committed to making sure these livetweetings happen.
* A particular focus on being present at and documenting direct actions and other #OWS events. Since November 29th, I’ve posted 40+ videos at yFrog, Twitvid (which I’ve now switched to), and YouTube (which I use for anything lengthy or edited). Many of these have received upwards of 100 views. Events included: the #N30 day of action (starting at 7:30 and ending with the “Detention With Obama” fiasco), Occupy Lincoln Center, the #D6 OccupyHomes action, “Mockupy” (#D8/#D9), the #D12 action including the Winter Garden fiasco. Many videos have been widely circulated, and some even have been embedded on NYTimes.com and WSJ.com, among many others. For a more detailed attempt to track the resonance of my reporting, please see below the fold.
* Some long-form writing. See my recent post about 2012 tactics. I’m hoping to ramp this up and work it into a regular schedule. Issues I’d like to cover are explanations of our structure, inclusion/exclusion, the role that anti-racism/anti-oppression strategies have or could have in the Liberty Square occupation, and the role of Trinity Church especially re: the Duarte Square space for which re-occupation is scheduled to occur on #D17. Additionally, I’m working on pieces for other, trusted publications.
* Hosting of displaced occupiers — as I’ve noted before, the rent covered by your contributions doesn’t just keep my life and relationship from falling apart, it also helps provide a place to sleep for some other occupiers who have been left without a place to sleep by the eviction. Two occupiers are staying regularly, and others tend to cycle through.
So, how’s my fundraising going?
As of 6:00 PM EST, December 14, 2011, 23 amazing supporters have given $880.00 to help me to continue and increase my contribution to #OWS and to citizen journalism.
My initial budget, which I made for a 3-month period from December through February, was $6000. The core of that was broken down ahead of time with the remainder for unforeseen expenses which would still be diligently accounted for.
Rent: $625/month. (*3 = $1875)
iPhone data plan w/ tethering: $120 (*3 = $360)
Student loan payments: $300 (*3 = $900)
Food: $300/month (*3 = $900)
Unlimited metrocard: $108/month (*3 = $324)
3-month total: $4359
And how have I been doing?
Number of contributors: 23
All totals are post-WePay fees:
Average donation: $36.92
Median donation: $24.13
Largest donation: $193.00
Smallest donation: $14.48
Total balance: $849.27
1 Month Rent: $625
1 Month Unlimited Metrocard: $104
1 Month AT&T iPhone service w/ 4GB Tethering plan: $121.13
That leaves me with a balance of -$0.86!
What does this mean? It means that so far, I’m barely skating by! Emphasis on the “skating by” - which is great!
Except: there’s been no money for my food budget nor for my loan payments. I’ve been digging into some savings in order to cover those expenses. That’s not sustainable; I will need to expand my fundraising efforts in some way going forward.
That said, I’m not looking to clog up my Twitter or my Tumblr with fundraising requests. But, since this post seems like a natural place for me to drop one more: please, if you are able, consider contributing to help me sustain efforts both within #OWS and as a conduit of information and transparency. Tell your friends!
I’ll also be looking for other sources of funding. I’ll keep y’all advised — in detail — and will count them towards my goals.
Since the Winter Garden arrests targeting citizen journalists — which I suspect I escaped only because I was, ironically, in costume as a reporter for the “Squid Press Conference” that happened earlier, the idea of an #OWS Citizen Journalist’s Guild, or something equivalent, has picked up a bit of steam. I’m hoping this will lead to a collective framework to support all of the citizen journalism happening in and around #Occupy.
Your contributions to my sustainability are enormously helpful and I’m deeply grateful for everyone’s support. Please hold me accountable! I’m here doing this because it’s bigger than I am. Each of us here on the ground at Occupy Wall Street try to strive to remember how many other folks are involved in various ways, and truly we should all be working for you and for all of us. I appreciate your support in making that sustainable.
And remember - #OCCUPYEVERYWHERE! Always.