Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Thu, 15 Feb 2001 00:25:12 -0800 (PST)

FWD  For RELATED ARTICLES, see Chicago Independent media Center

     by StreetWise Supporters 2:55am Mon Feb 12 '01

[StreetWise is Chicago's homeless newspaper]

After the StreetWise staff had completed the paper Feb. 8, [Executive
Director Anthony] Oliver seized the disk from the production editor and
proceeded to remove the unsigned editorial written by the staff and replace
it with an editorial of his own, which does not address the events of the
past week. The unsigned editorial is always written by the editorial board,
of which Oliver is not a member.


Every week, StreetWise seeks to report the news. Last week, StreetWise
found itself in the news when the editorial staff was locked out of
StreetWise offices for two days in what we saw as retaliation for writing a
letter to the Board of Directors.

After it became clear that this issue of StreetWise could not be produced
without us, the editorial staff was called back to work. Any interruption
in production hurts the vendors, and because we believe it is essential
that vendors should not be harmed by this conflict, we agreed to return and
create the issue you are now reading.

As you read this, we do not know if the Board of Directors has dealt with
our concerns, or if we have been locked out again and fired from our jobs.
We can only hope that the problems are resolved without harming the
newspaper we work hard to produce or, most importantly, the vendors who
work hard to sell it.

A newspaper belongs to more than the directors who control it, the staff
who create it, and the vendors who sell it: the readers also have a stake
in the future of StreetWise.

Airing, and perhaps washing, dirty laundry in public is never a pleasant
task for any organization. But a newspaper must operate with a higher
standard of transparency. We have an obligation to treat ourselves with the
same honesty and accuracy that we use when examining other institutions in
the pages of this newspaper.

StreetWise, as a nonprofit organization devoted to helping the homeless
achieve self-sufficiency, has a particular obligation to be open with our

StreetWise is a good organization. It produces an excellent newspaper, it
has great vendors, and it does a lot to help them. StreetWise has become
the largest and the best street paper in America because of the commitment
of the staff who produce a quality newspaper every week.

We believe that our readers, vendors, and supporters approve of our efforts
to produce a newspaper that is, in the words of vendor Ed Cephus, "not the
Tribune or the Sun-Times in disguise."

We seek to offer Chicago an alternative source of information, one that is
committed to social justice and accurate reporting. We want to preserve the
editorial integrity of this newspaper, and work under conditions that can
best serve the vendors and the readers who benefit from it.

We look forward to informing, entertaining, and perhaps occasionally
angering our readers with the reporting, opinions, and features in
StreetWise. We hope that we will be allowed to continue with this work we
strongly defend, and we hope that you will support StreetWise.


If the future of StreetWise concerns you, please consider doing as follows:

Email your concerns & questions to Anthony & the StreetWise Board of Directors:

"Executive Director Anthony Oliver" <aoliver@streetwise.org>,
"Board of Directors: President Pam McElvaine / Black MBA Magazine"
"Vice President Peter Wilkins / iBEAM Broadcasting" <pwilkins@ibeam.com>,
"Treasurer Judd Horowitz" <juddrhcpa@aol.com>,
"Secretary Rhiannon Schmieg" <rhiannon.schmieg@zurichus.com>,
"Gail Waller" <gailwaller@net.com>,
"Bruce Crane" <brucec@cranecarton.com>,
"Congressman Danny K. Davis" <Danny.Davis@Mail.house.gov>,
"Mark Blankenstein" <markb4@visto.com>,
"Willa Holden / United Airlines" <willa.holden@ual.com>,
"Bob Szafranski / PCI Communications" <bszafranski@pcipr.com>,
"Dan Hynes / State Comptroller" Mandecj@mail.ioc.state.il.us

Also, please consider inviting them to CC Replies To:

"North American Street Newspaper Association list" <NASNA@YahooGroups.com>,

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