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Chicago Indymedia

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Save StreetWise!!

Hello friends
(this was forwarded to me) This is an informal but important note to let all supporters and readers of
StreetWIse newspaper know about a crisis situation at the paper happening
right now.
On Feb. 5, almost the entire staff sent a letter to the board of Directors outlining the executive director (Anthony Oliver)'s unfair labor practices, exploitation and physical and verbal abuse of vendors and staff, financial misappropriations, and other problems.

These issues had been brought up in grievances which former Editor in Chief Jalyne Strong filed with the board of directors on Jan. 8.
On Jan. 12, Strong was illegally fired in retaliation for filing these grievances.

The Board has failed to respond to Strong's grievances or her retaliatory illegal firing, as required.
On Feb. 6, production chief Allan Gomez and managing editor Charity Crouse were relieved of their keys and sent home, though they were not officially told they were fired.

The bottom line is, Mr. Oliver's actions mean StreetWise as we know it will no longer exist.Oliver's new "vision" for StreetWise is an advertising-driven organization including a variety of new initiatives that basically phase the vendors out of the picture and focus on corporate partnerships. One of these new initiatives is slated to bring in $1 million a year, and none of it would go directly to the vendors.
Oliver is also guilty of unfair and sometimes illegal labor practices, including refusing to provide basic decent working conditions to the vendors (fixing the heat and toilets), cutting health insurance for workers, and arbitrarily and illegally firing people.
His financial mismanagement is also driving StreetWise into the ground economically, a fact which threatens the very existence of a valuable community paper as well as a vital source of income for the vendors.

More details will be available in the Chicago Reader coming out Thursday and the
Chicago Tribune coming out Wednesday or Thursday.
We're trying to circulate this news among our supporters and readers. We'll keep you updated. Thanks for your support of the editorial content and true mission of StreetWise.



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