So, we’re getting to the end of January, which is the second month of my three-month crowd-funding experiment / life gamble, and it’s time for an update / plea for help! Ahahah.
I’ve raised $2150 over the 2 months that I’ve been raising money. This has been my only income during this time, as I’ve poured myself into #OWS. I’ve vastly appreciated all of your support.
Still, this puts me about $1850 behind my goals for December and January (and puts February’s additional $2000 seemingly out of reach). This is proving to be a serious challenge for me personally, so I’m hoping that we can push together to raise funds that bring me a little further from the brink! (If I had you at “further from the brink,” please see my WePay campaign here - if not, I invite you to keep reading for the rest of the deets).
More accounting details to follow, but first, a little bit about what I’ve been up to.
December was a more outwardly-eventful month than January’s been so far, but as much as the cold has been a limiting factor for Occupy Wall Street, it’s also provided many opportunities for internal community-building, organization-growing and inter-occupational networking.
First and foremost, I’m continuing to bottomline the @LibertySqGA coverage (which I consider to be the primary and most obvious service I’ve been working to provide). I’ve gotten help on some key nights from fellow team member @jopauca and guest tweeters @shawncarrie and @PoweredByCats but, for the most part, this is a nightly gig for me. So far, we haven’t missed a GA or Spokescouncil since we started, and that’s a streak I’m deeply proud of!
I’ve been helping to plan an inter-occupational skill-sharing and movement-building bus trip, which leaves tomorrow for Providence, Rhode Island, which is its first stop! This is a great example of the kind of internal work we’re doing to grow as a movement during the coldness of winter.
I’ve also been, as ever, providing live coverage, mainly via Twitter, of #OWS actions and events. First Night in Liberty Square was a great start to the new year, complete with bogus NYPD aggression, and then the next evening I was able to document the DI Winski of the NYPD hassling us in trying to hold our General Assembly at 100 Williams Street. This video was posted on Gothamist and led to our next GA, on January 3rd, being a successful direct action. We showed up in massive numbers and were able to collectively assert our right to gather in the public space at 100 Williams Street. If you haven’t seen the video, please check it out — it’s pretty nuts, IMO:
Since then, I’ve also covered the #NDAA actions at Senators Gillibrand and Schumer's office and at Grand Central Terminal. I hope that these events raised public awareness of the creeping militarization of the United States' law enforcement and justice systems and the insane injustice of indefinite detention, which had already become the status quo even before the #NDAA provided (unconstitutional) legal cover.
Perhaps my proudest moment was the publication of “Eviction Memories,” co-written by myself and @Molly__O, on nplusonemag.com. I’m hopeful that further donations of coverage to more widely-read publications can increase awareness of Occupy and the challenges and suppression we’re facing. N+1 have done a great deal already towards that end with their first 3 issues of the Occupy Gazette, and should be applauded for it, IMO.
So, since my last update, I’ve received:
28 generous donations! That’s so amazing. Here’s the spreadsheet that breaks it all down, by contribution, but the takeaways:
Average donation: $47.51
Median donation: $33.78
Total Contributions: $1282.71
Total Deducted: $1080.21
Current WePay Balance: $202.50
Here’s how the deductions add up:
I paid myself back my $300 food budget for December, so that’s -$300.
I paid $625 in rent for January (for myself and 2 day-one occupiers)
I paid my phone bill for the second time, that was $-120.
I’ve purchased four $27 weekly unlimited Metrocards (rather than the one monthly), which totals $108.
I’ve also allocated the $300 for my January food budget.
Added up, that’s $1453 in expenses. The total deducted was $1080.21…
So, I have $200 in my account, which is rad. But I’m actually $-372.79 overall! Oh, plus the additional -$0.86 from last time. So, adding back the $202.50, I’m $-171.15 all told.
That’s based on the core budget — there was some wiggle room included, though, which is where I got the $2k/month from. That wiggle room has still been required — for example, to fill prescriptions without insurance, to purchase warm clothes, holiday travel, etc. That means that all told I’m $-1850 off-plan, in a tough spot, with my savings very much drained.
So, what’s the plan?
Here’s the plan! I’d like to try to raise at least the rest of my January budget, meaning an additional $1850, between now and Februray 5th. I’m extending the WePay campaign (which was originally to end at the end of January) until then. At that point, I will hopefully have paid rent through the month.
For the rest of February, and March going forward, the goal is to find other ways to fund what I’m doing. A new citizen journalism guild that myself, the @LibertySqGA team, the OWSNYC livestream team, and others are forming, may help with this. I feel better about fundraising as a collective, as collective, consensus-driven fund allocation provides more accountability (as much as I am proud of how I’ve done solo on that front).
So, please — if you do enjoy my coverage, or find the @LibertySqGA team’s output useful, please throw down (even just a little bit!) so I can stay on top of this and other projects! I really, really appreciate all the help. Folks who have contributed should expect some kind of personal thank-you within the next couple weeks, because I really appreciate your trust and faith and hope and support. So so so much love!