Let Us Work For You
by Chris Bowers, Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 09:27:03 AM EDT
Two years later, I am ready to ask again. Today, Matt and I are trying to raise $10,000 from 200 donors who give $50 each. You can donate here. Why should you give to us? The best and most honest answer I can think of is so that we can work for you. If you like the work we do on behalf of the progressive blogosphere, then allow us do that work for you, full-time, for a few more months.
As any regular reader of my writing knows, I have often complained about the difficulty in finding funds for progressive bloggers and the progressive blogosphere. However, there is a flip side to this problem that I have not focused on, even though it is probably a greater threat to the progressive movement than the lack of funds for progressive bloggers. Simply put, the progressive blogosphere is severely lacking in full-time employees who look out for its interests in the world of professional politics. We have virtually no lobbyists, no organizers, no fundraisers, no policy analysts, no professional spokespeople, no pollsters, no booking agents, no media trainers, no interns--basically, no nothing. Every fight we engage in online, from Trent Lott's racist comments to the Fox News debates, is conducted almost entirely with volunteer labor and no budget to speak of. Our opponents, of course, have a wealth of resources at their disposal. Even hacks such as William Donahue, who we struggled against two months ago, pull down salaries of over $300,000 a year, plus benefits like professional booking agents to help them regularly appear on cable news networks. No matter what we do, it is as though we are constantly living in a clichéd promotional movie trailer, as a rag-tag group of rebels seek to challenge an empire no one thought could be defeated.
As frustrating as this situation is, the reason I am asking for money today is to propose one, small, mutually empowering solution to this predicament: let Matt and I work for you. Let us be your full-time employees in any number of the campaigns, projects and fights in which the progressive blogosphere engages. Now, I know that $10,000 isn't enough to pay our salaries for a full year, or even come close to solving the infrastructure problems facing the progressive movement and progressive blogosphere. However, it can still make a big difference. At least for a while, it can be the be difference that allows us to spend all of our time working on a wide number of key projects and campaigns being conducted by the progressive blogosphere. All of these campaigns that will have a greater chance of success with full-time labor behind them. Without this money, we will inevitably be forced to take consulting jobs that drain our time and energies. That will have a negative impact on both the quality and quantity of our work for the blogosphere.
Take a look at our list of projects during 2005-2006. It is really great stuff, and it doesn't even include things like the fight to keep Fox News out of Democratic debates, covering the Connecticut Senate race, public and private work on the Iraq Accountability Act, personally joining in with the silent revolution, building the Liberal Blog Advertising Network, funding local bloggers, the amazing work Matt does behind the scenes to help progressives talk to one another, and our never ending task of explaining and defending the progressive blogosphere to the media and political establishment. Already, all of this is made possible by your support, input, critiques and participation. However, if we work on it full-time, we can improve what we do and expand our efforts into other areas. In the near future, a few more resources can make the difference in, for example, finding even better ways for the progressive grassroots and progressive political professionals to communicate with each other, expanding the Googlebomb project to include not only candidates but also important news stories, or figuring out ways to help bring your best campaign ideas to fruition. Or even, you know, maybe allowing me to have health insurance! There are many possibilities, all of which become more realizable when people are working on making them happen 24-7.
Bloggers need money to get by, and the blogosphere needs people who support its efforts on a full-time basis. Whatever we do, it will be more effective with full-time employees on the job. If you like the work we do, let us expand our work, and let us work for you.
Update: In the first hour, we have received $2,364.06, from 28 donors. This is going very well! Let's keep it going...
Update 2: After two hours, we have received $3,548.98 from 53 donors. Humbling stuff. Again, let's keep pushing forward...