Cartoon by Matt Wuerker. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Community Alliance Fund Appeal

Which side are you on?

The Community Alliance is at a crossroads and what you (our readers) do will determine our fate. There are two paths that are possible now as we face the biggest threat to our existence we have ever had. We literally do not have enough money to print our May issue and want you to know that the wolf is right outside the front door.

We are counting on you to let us know what you want—a vibrant local alternative/independent newspaper that gives you the news you need or darkness and gloom as the voice of the progressive movement in Fresno ends publishing the paper you now have in your hands.

I choose hope, a free press and a brighter future.

The Community Alliance newspaper has been an incredibly valuable tool by giving a voice to the voiceless, sharing our progressive values with readers and changing public policy by publishing articles that challenge business as usual.

We were the first to publish an article about the abuses in the Fresno County Jail—inmates who had mental health issues were being denied the medication prescribed by their doctor and needed to participate in their legal defense. The expose in this publication forced the county to change its policy and has saved lives, money and restored the competency of many inmates.

The work this newspaper has done on the homeless issue is incalculable. The city has gone from bulldozing homeless encampments to now inviting homeless advocates to City Hall to solicit their advice about how to spend money to end homelessness. The vote that happened last month at City Hall, defeating a proposal to target drivers who handed the homeless money or food, would not have happened if this newspaper had not provided a narrative and a path for how the homeless should be treated with dignity and respect.

There have been many other successes as we have built this award-winning newspaper. Another example is how our series on sheepherders in the Central Valley led to legislation in Sacramento that improved their human rights and ability to earn a living wage.

If you believe in police accountability; immigrant rights; universal healthcare; and environmental, social and economic justice, then this newspaper is essential. Our writers are a part of a grassroots movement for a more fair, humane and better world.

Our future is in your hands. Show us how important progressive independent journalism is to you.

Let us know that you have hope for the future and that you believe that responsible grassroots journalism is an essential part of our collective path forward. You can do that by subscribing, sending a one-time donation or becoming a monthly sustainer.  A contribution form is available on page 3 or visit https://fresnoalliance.com/subscribe/.

I choose to give corporations, the rich and conservative Republicans their wish and shut the paper down.

If you have given up hope, want to roll over and die and let the rich and powerful run the world, then you don’t have to do a thing. The movers and shakers in this town will be as happy as pigs in a wallow if they have nobody to call them on their outrageous plans to take away your healthcare, pollute our air and water and privatize essential services. Their mantra of deregulate, privatize and cut social services will go unchallenged in the local press.

Republican strategist Grover Norquist articulated conservatives’ vision for the future best when he said, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

Without the Community Alliance newspaper, these forces of darkness will have a decisive win.  They can go about their business with virtual impunity knowing that there is nobody to expose their dirty deeds and provide a space for a counter argument.

When our newsstand in front of the police department had gasoline poured over it, set on fire and melted into a puddle, our editor went inside and complained. They laughed and said they hadn’t seen a thing. The flames must have gone 30 feet into the air, there was a video surveillance camera observing the crime, this was done in front of the police station and they didn’t see a thing?

The reason they burned down our newsstand was because they did not like that we exposed the truth about the all-too-frequent extra-judicial executions that take place in broad daylight. They would not have burned down the newsstand if it did not matter.

Reactionary forces know how important the voice of the Community Alliance newspaper is, and they have gone to extraordinary lengths to get rid of us. It matters that the newspaper is available for free throughout the city and in many locations around the Central Valley—people have access to the truth and an independent voice. If you want to side with right-wing Republicans, fascists and other repressive forces, then you can let this paper die.

We think it is highly unlikely that if you are reading this paper you want it to go away. But you need to know that if you don’t act now by donating, subscribing or becoming a monthly sustainer you are part of the problem. The good news is that it is not too late. There is still time to save this newspaper and make it a part of a vibrant force that will transform this region into a progressive oasis. The choice is yours. Which side are you on?

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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