It's been a really hard time for the paper. In addition to our staff's own worries about coronavirus, we've also lost a substantial amount of our advertising revenue, so we launched a membership campaign, which is really helping us keep afloat right now. (Thank you, thank you to everyone who has signed up so far.) The cool thing is that when you become a member or make a donation, readers are allowed to list a reason. Many have dedicated in honor of Lynn Cullen, who does a daily podcast on our site. (If you haven't already, please listen; she's a freakin' legend.) But when one new member said they were donating in honor of an online troll who wrote, "No thanks, the City Paper is a woke commie rag," that's when you, dear reader, became my new favorite person.
It only took one email to Dan Rugh, the owner of Commonwealth Press, for him to say yes to turning the insult into a Woke Commie Rag shirt, which you can see in the image above. They have an entire line of COVID-19 Relief Fund merchandise in support of local businesses affected by the pandemic in their shop, including places like the Rex Theater and Piper's Pub, and we're so honored they let us join in. You can order one of our new T-shirts for $25 here: $10 from each shirt will go to City Paper, and $15 will go to their awesome printshop and staff.
Their printshop is hurting too, so it means a lot that we can help another business at the same time as helping ourselves. (They're taking orders and promise to do their best to ship them out as soon as they feel safe doing so.)
We're so lucky to share space in the city with people like them. And with you, our readers. Which reminds me — we're still here! We're still printing! You can pick up this week's issue in street boxes all over the city, Giant Eagle locations, and restaurants that offer takeout. (If you're a business who wants to receive print copies of City Paper, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
And if you don't need to go outside to get essentials this week, you can flip through the pages of our digital issue from the safety of your homes below.
Our March online readership went up over 50% since February, and as long as we're still around, we promise to keep bringing you the stories that matter most to our community. Thanks for reading. We mean it. It really means a lot.