street sense

i just found a really good interview with Ian McKaye in the January issue of Street Sense. now this is a guy who loves dc and has done more for this city than any of the politicians who have done time on the hill, who too often become the public “face” of dc. (or the hordes bar hopping and shoe shopping in georgetown, for that matter.)

if you aren’t familiar with Street Sense, i really recommend checking it out.

Street Sense is an all-volunteer local newspaper, with news articles, features, poems and editorials by homeless and formerly homeless men and women, anti-poverty advocates, and others. if you work downtown, you’ve probably seen the vendors selling the latest issue on busy corners.

being a sucker for the first amendment, i always make an effort to accept and read any kind of non-commercial literature when offered to me on the street. i admit my expectations are very low — i view this habit more as an homage to the first amendment than a valuable source of information. so when i first forked over a dollar for Street Sense i was really surprised to find that it is a great little newspaper. they cover local news on social justice issues that you don’t hear much about from other media, and they have compelling editorials and personal interest features. there is even some really good poetry in it, and i’m not a big poetry fan. i highly recommend it.

i only wish i ran into a vendor more regularly — it’s been months. which is why i ended up checking out their website and finding the Ian MacKaye interview. even though i linked to their website, please don’t just read Street Sense online. the vendors are homeless men and women for whom selling the paper is a good economic opportunity. plus, if you are like me and get most of your news online, it’s nice to have that face-to-face connection with your media pusher. many times the vendor has written a piece in the latest issue and is eager to draw your attention to it. it’s a treat to take a break from the computer and interact with a friendly vendor who cares a lot about the product and who may have helped create it.

2 Comments so far

  1. Andrew (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

    I had the pleasure or knowing Ian in the mid to late 1970’s. I looked up to him for his raw musical talent, his natural leadership abilities, and compassion for us younger kids.

    I applaud the success and the man he has become.

  2. Tiff (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

    I run into Street Sense vendors all the time- they hang around Farragut North and West a lot.

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