I Need Your Help

HELP LAUNCH FORBIDDEN CITY!! Next Tuesday, November 29, is “#Giving Tuesday,” an annual event that’s gotten traction in the last couple of years, in which people are encouraged to donate for the holiday season. It’s a fine idea, but one that seems kind of backwards to me: the notion that we should, on each Tuesday after Thanksgiving, give to our favorite causes after we’ve spent all our money on “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” Seems to me it would be a stronger statement against holiday consumerism to encourage people to prioritize giving first. Like, say, today.

By the time of this year’s election, I had hoped to have a new media project launched that I’m really excited about. Forbidden City is a social media, web site, radio and video project that offers full time reporting and commentary on local and national issues from the standpoint of those of us who are resisting the pressure to abandon Seattle. Nobody ever voted to swap out Seattle’s entire population for a newer, wealthier, whiter, more culturally homogeneous population that enjoys and can afford exorbitant homes in ugly buildings.

While there’s a number of great alternative media outlets in Seattle now, none of them are being written by and for people interested in personal and political resistance to this transformation of a city we love into something unwelcoming, forbidden, to anyone without a six-figure income.

That includes me, of course. As many of you are aware, for the last couple of years most of my time has been consumed by two major tasks: managing the health of my partner, Revel Smith, and myself; and scrambling to find the money that our staying alive requires. I live with the effects from long-term immunosuppression from my kidney and pancreas transplants and from the slow failure of my non-native kidney; last year, for example, I spent eight long months dealing with a nasty and persistent e-coli infection. Revel has multiple sclerosis, and various complications from that. We’re both remarkably functional considering, but we’re still both disabled and our health isn’t predictable enough for either of us to have regular employment. Moreover, this country’s medical system isn’t exactly friendly to people who are permanently disabled and on fixed incomes.

My health is much improved this year, and Forbidden City is what I want to be working on full time. And now there’s also an urgent need to share information on the many attacks on poor, working, and middle class people that the surprise election of Donald Trump are already generating. What I’d like to do is to be able to raise enough, from people who want to help sustain Forbidden City, to be able to reimburse me for my professional time, so that I can devote my non-health management time to it – rather than to the scattershot work and help from friends that has taken my time instead of late.

This month, instead of launching FC. I’ve been helping support Revel as she’s dealt with a significant MS flare and a course of home IV steroids that in the short tern has left her weak and seriously ill. That has had to take priority over Forbidden City. Tomorrow I’ll need to spend much of the day going with her to two more medical appointments. She’s not strong enough to ride a bus right now, and as I write this we don’t have enough money in either of our names to pay for cab fare. She’ll recover soon enough; the IV steroids are a treatment she’s had a dozen times before over the years, and while the side effects are brutal, they’re also predictable and it just takes time to heal. But in the meantime we still have to cope with it, and to find the funds to deal with the unexpected costs of illness. And poor is, in and of itself, also incredibly time-consuming. This morning, for example, I spent two hours waiting in line at a neighborhood food bank, only to discover that it had mostly been picked clean by the 200 or so people in front of me.

It’s Time to Change This

This is the reality for many thousands of people in what has become a staggeringly wealthy city.

This carousel of need is what I’ve been doing instead of full time writing and editing about Donald trump’s America and Ed Murray’s Seattle. But on this, more sensible Giving Tuesday, you can change that.

You can not only help me deal with our immediate need over this holiday week of navigating Revel’s recovery, but help cover the costs and time of the remaining web development, graphic software, and other expenses I need to meet to launch Forbidden City – with the information, strategies, and resistance we’ll need to navigate TrumpTime.

I’m well aware of the irony of having been too poor to afford to launch a media project dedicated to combatting the class war being waged in our city and country. But I also know our strength, politically and culturally, is in our community. And I know I’m the right person for this project, with decades of front line media and activist experience; it’s the right time; and if it’s up and running, I’m also confident there will be plenty of people who want to contribute time, content, and funding to tearing down the walls of our Forbidden City..

I just need to get from here to there, and you can help bridge that. There’s a PayPal button to your right; all money raised will go to Forbidden City’s launch. Or, for the old schoolers, the mailing address is Forbidden City, PO Box 85541, Seattle WA 98145. And message me if you’re interested in helping with content. There’s thousands of stories waiting to be told in the Forbidden City. Thank you very much for your help!!

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