Monday, December 29, 2008

Goodwill happens

In Baltimore:

Running out of money to buy food, David P. Anderson was among the first to file into the dining room yesterday at Our Daily Bread. Behind him, dozens waited in line on Christmas morning as Anderson sat down to a turkey dinner and reached first for the cranberry relish.

But it wasn't until he was walking out of the downtown Baltimore soup kitchen that Anderson learned who had prepared the meal and served it to him.

For the 15th year, members of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation stepped in so the usual volunteers, several of them Christians, could celebrate Christmas Day at home with their families.

"That's beautiful," said Anderson, 54, a disabled shipyard worker who lives in Cherry Hill. [...]

Yesterday, 48 members of the Pikesville synagogue served a turkey dinner to the needy in a room featuring a carving titled " The Christ of the Bread Lines," pictures of Pope John Paul II and a poster with quotes from Mother Teresa.

"It's the true meaning of the holidays," said Joann Levy. "When Christmas and Hanukkah overlap, it's very special. For me, we are separated by very little. We are more the same than different."

Well...there you go.

And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bush's parting shot at Women

I'm telling you, it's not just the big news-maker stories that we are up against, with the outgoing administration (I dedided to be nice and not call him a doof).

Take action.

And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In Other Words Open Letter

This is an open letter from In Other Words' staff and Board, including an update on where they are at now:

Dear friends,

In Other Words, like so many of our fellow independent bookstores, has fallen upon incredibly hard financial times. If we are unable to raise $11,000 by the end of December, In Other Words will have to close its doors in early March. Many of you may have already heard about this financial crisis and in an effort to be as transparent as possible, we want to let you all know about the specifics of the situation and to update you on our progress.

The $11,000 is needed to pay back a short-term loan that is expiring in January. We have been unable to come up with the funds on our own due to significantly decreased store and textbook sales, likely the result of the economy's recession. Unfortunately, our financial troubles will not be over once we pay back this loan. Like many others, we're affected by the recent decrease in availability of bank loans and we're going to need to raise an additional $10,000 by March to pay off our expiring line of credit.

We know it sounds crazy that a small bookstore in Portland could raise this much money in such a short time, however our community of locals, out of town family and friends, as well as feminists nationwide have responded in full force to our plea. They are making online donations, swarming through our doors to support the store by doing their shopping and attending events, and by getting the word out to their own communities that we need help. And its working– we've made over $7,000 in the 5 days since we announced our financial crisis! Clearly, In Other Words is an institution that our community will not let go under.

As promising as this looks, we still have a long way to go to reach our goal. In addition to urging people to make tax-deductible donations online through our secure website (, in person, or by mailing a check to us at 8 B NE Killingsworth, Portland, OR 97211, there are a number of other ways we're asking people to support us.

1. Come to the Dance Party Fundraiser for In Other Words, this Sunday, December 21st from 7-11pm at Zaytoon, 2236 NE Alberta. $5 and up donation, 21+. Special thanks to Aysha Ghazoul (Zaytoon), Sossity Chiricuzio (Dirty Queer), Stacy (DykeTees), and Tamara (Poster Child) for making it happen.
2. Do your holiday shopping at In Other Words and receive 10% off feminist gift packages
3. Mark your calendars for our After Solstice Book Sale which will run the month of January – 50% off selected titles
4. Get involved in our community by attending one of our many in-store events and discussion groups or sign up to volunteer (more info at

Here are some things we're doing on our end to promote In Other Words' long-term sustainability:

1. Restructuring and rebuilding our board of directors to promote increased functionality and fundraising ability
2. Applying for external funding in the form of 2 grants
3. Expanding volunteer-driven grassroots fundraising efforts to include multiple fundraising events throughout the year – the first of which is scheduled for Saturday, February 7th at 7pm
4. Appealing to major donors and promoting our revamped monthly sustainer giving program, Every Woman Strong
5. Restructuring our store's inventory to reflect current buying trends

We are optimistic that with our community's continued support we can achieve our goals and continue to be a vital resource for this community that sustains us. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or if you'd like to follow up.

Our community cannot afford to lose In Other Words, please help us save her!

The Staff and Board of In Other Words


Program Director, In Other Words
And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

In Other Words Book Store in trouble

I don't know why I didn't see this coming. Considering the fact that many of the local Women's Studies departments depend on the bookstore (not to mention the community itself), this is not welcome news.

In Other Words, like so many of our fellow bookstores, has fallen upon incredibly hard financial times. With the decline in our current economy, we have experienced severely decreased revenue. If we are unable to raise $11,000 by the end of December, In Other Words will have to close its doors.

We desperately need your help. We are confident that if everyone who cares about In Other Words makes a contribution, large or small, we will meet our goal. Please give as generously as you can to save the last remaining non-profit, feminist bookstore in the country: the place where so many Portland artists, activists, organizers, readers, writers, political thinkers, musicians and poets find their voice, their power, their community, and their political home.

Our community cannot afford to lose In Other Words, please help us save her!

You can make your tax-deductible donations on the In Other Words secure website, or by stopping into the store (8 NE Killingsworth).

Please forward this widely to your community, we need all the help we can get!

The Board, Staff and Volunteers of In Other Words

Program Director, In Other Words

And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act

From House Majority Leader Hoyer:

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor tonight in support of the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“This bill is designed to give the automakers the time and space they need to become a competitive, job-creating industry once again. And it is designed to do so while protecting taxpayer dollars. Reconciling those two goals has taken long negotiations and compromises on both sides—but I am convinced that we have come to a sound solution.

“These rescue loans are necessary—not to reward bad decision-making in Detroit, but to protect three million American jobs. Three million livelihoods, three million families depend on the automakers—not only their direct employees, but the workers at their suppliers, the small businesses that serve those workers, and entire communities. Are we really willing to put those workers at risk in this deep recession, after a month in which our country just lost 533,000 more jobs?

“In any economy, and especially in this one, the failure of the automakers would be catastrophic. As John Judis put it recently in the New Republic, without public loans, ‘the industry will disappear the way the American television-manufacturing industry disappeared. American workers and engineers will lose their ability to compete in a major durable goods industry.’ That is the motive behind the $15 billion in emergency bridge loans for the car companies.

“But it is equally important to ensure that those loans lead to real reform—to ensure that we do not find ourselves right back in this same emergency in just a few months’ time. Congress has insisted that the automakers develop detailed plans for long-term viability—that they show us how they intend to build cost-effective, fuel-efficient cars for a 21st-century economy. Those viability plans were presented to Congress on December 2nd, and we have examined them in detail.

“Now, this bill will hold the automakers to their promises. They will be accountable to Congress and the Administration, as well as an Administration-appointed ‘car czar,’ who will oversee the efforts of the industry and its stakeholders to cut costs, restructure debt, and renegotiate labor contracts. Just like any other lender, the federal government is insisting that the recipient of its loans be on a plausible path to profitability. If the automakers stick to their plans for viability, more assistance is possible. But if the Administration-appointed official finds that they have not made adequate progress on restructuring by March 31st, the loans will be called, and the automakers will be a step closer to bankruptcy.

“This bill also includes safeguards for the taxpayers: It lets the American people profit if and when the value of the car companies recovers, and it guarantees that taxpayer money will not fund lavish executive bonuses or golden parachutes.

“Mr. Speaker, if we act today, we can seize the chance for an American auto industry that is leaner, greener, and once more competitive. But if we do nothing, we face the risk that, sometime soon, there will be no American auto industry to speak of. So I urge my colleagues to support this bill. It has the power to protect innumerable American jobs, and its strong safeguards will ensure that we are authorizing anything but a bridge loan to nowhere.”

I take anything from Hoyer with a grain of salt (hard to do on a low-salt diet btw!) and I don't even get in the mood to pretend to be an economist, so I really don't know. On its face, IF the safeguards are as strong as they appear to be, it looks like a needed step. On the other hand, I detest fear-mongering. I just don't know how much fear is warranted here. What do you think?

And here is the rest of it.