As noted before, a PLN supporter has pledged a $15,000 matching grant to PLN. The matching grant matches donations from non prisoners and fundraisers dollar for dollar, up to $500 per donor. Donations from prisoners are matched $2 to $1. To date PLN has received $326.58 from prisoners and $1528.00 from non prisoners. We have until January 15, 2001 to meet the $15,000 matching grant. If each of PLN's subscribers donated just $5 above and beyond the cost of their subscription we would be more than able to meet the matching grant. This additional money is essential for PLN to fund its second staff position on a permanent basis. If you haven't donated to PLN's matching grant fundraiser yet, please do so this month.
As PLN's editor, the only thing I dislike more than asking readers for money each month is noting the passing of our friends and supporters. Unlike big publications where obituaries tend to be impersonal., PLN is small enough that we have a lot of personal contact with many of our readers and supporters. So that when they die the loss is felt personally by those of us at PLN as well as within the larger activist community.
On April 28, 2000, Albert "Nuh" Washington died of liver cancer at the Coxsackie Correctional Institution in New work. Nuh had been imprisoned for 28 years as part of a 25 to life sentence for allegedly killing two New York city policemen. A lifelong fighter against racism and capitalism, Nuh was a member of the Black Panther party and later the Black Liberation Army. As such he was among those targetted for "neutralization" by the U.S. government. He was convicted of the two murders along with fellow BPP/BLA members Herman Bell and Anthony Bottom, together known as the New York Three. These men are among the longest held political prisoners in the United States as well as the world.
New York governor George Pataki refused to release Nuh from prison due to his terminal illness. Despite his captivity, Nuh never ceased his activism on behalf of human rights and the struggle for progress. As political prisoner Sundiata Acoli said: "Nuh is beloved by all of us PP/POWs and he's highly respected." Nuh was a longtime PLN supporter as well. Nuh's loss is mourned by his family, friends and the larger progressive community.
As a final reminder to PLN's prisoner readers, on August 1, 2000, we are increasing PLN's prisoner subscription rates to $18 per year or $9 for six issues. This breaks down to $1.50 per issue of PLN. Before August 1, 2000, prisoners can subscribe, renew their subscriptions or extend existing subscriptions at the current rate of $15 per year. After August l we will pro-rate our subscriptions at $1.50 per issue, i.e. $15 will get 10 issues instead of the 12 it gets now. So take advantage of the lower rates now!
One thing that would help PLN keep its rates down in the future is increasing its circulation. PLN currently has around 3,400 subscribers. Once our circulation reaches 5,000 subscribers, our per issue printing costs begin to significantly decrease. Two of PLN's biggest monthly expenses are printing and postage. A higher circulation would allow PLN to reduce its per issue costs on both items. Since the cost of printing and postage are constantly going up, this translates into being able to hold our subscription rates where they are now. Since PLN is almost entirely reader supported, we need to increase our circulation. You, our readers are the best sales force we have for new subscribers. Encourage your friends, family members and collegues to subscribe to PLN. This will broaden PLN's impact, keep subscription rates down and raise awareness around prison issues. If you need PLN subscription flyers let us know. You can also use the subscription card in each issue of PLN for this purpose. We can also send bundles of PLNs to distribute at events, in law libraries, etc. Just send $7 and a mailing label.
Increasing the number of advertisers is another way to keep subscription rates down. PLN has never been, and probably never will be, an advertiser supported publication. But there are a number of businesses offering products and services that are of interest to PLN's readership. If you do business with a company that offers services or products that may be of interest to PLN's readership, encourage them to contact PLN for advertising information. Or, send us their contact information and PLN will follow up on it. This is all stuff each of our readers can assist us with. Enjoy this issue of PLN.
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login