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Dear Reader,

January marks the beginning of a new year for Works in Progress, our volunteers and our readers. We continue to look for new members of the team that each month pulls together stories and photos that make up another issue of this local, print news journal. WIP has been around for 25 years. With your help, we’ll continue for ___ (your number here) more years.

Reporters, writers, stringers. We’d love to add reporters and stringers—people who call or write in with interesting items we could give some visibility in the community.

Cartoonists, graphic artists, photoshoppers. Our pages always need livening up, and our ideas often outstrip our talents, so anyone with these skills would be enthusiastically welcomed. In 2018 photographers Ricky Osborne and Lindsey Dalthorpe became regular contributors.

Book reviewer? Columnist? There is a spate of exciting and demanding new books out there—current and future politics, etc. If you’d like to review one, contact us and we will get the book for you at Last Word Books. Want to take on one of our regular features: “Then this happened” or “Past/Present”? Let us know.

Distributers. A team of 4 or 5 volunteers distributes 3000 copies of WIP in four counties, but more are needed, including a back-up for our monthly trip to the printer in Centralia. We recently added locations in Tenino. If you have a location we should add, contact us by email and we’ll check it out.

Online presence. This year WIP got a new and improved website with a working “donation” option. It’s capably managed by Carolyn Roos and Heather Sundean with back-up from Anna Zanella. Also, we invite you to submit events and photos for posting on our Facebook page.

January theme and cover: Political Work

Stimulated by the successful French protests, but recognizing that our demands are very different, friends of WIP and volunteer staffers put on these fluorescent vests because—like the people of France—and every other country—we are in a disaster zone!

Our demand is to confront the disaster of rising inequality (exacerbated by our economic system), the elimination of regulatory safety nets (by the Trump Administration and followers), and the reality of climate collapse already destroying our communities.

Yellow vests recognize that we are all “first responders” in the crises we face. In this issue we have several articles that address the political and ecological nature of this disaster—and what kinds of things people are doing to survive it so we can make a healthier world.

February theme

Rural Life and the urban/rural divide. WIP is distributed in 4 counties of which three, Mason, Lewis and Grays Harbor are mostly rural. What is it like to live in “the county?” Community-supported agriculture might be thriving but the tax base is small. Election results from 2018 and earlier differ markedly between rural precincts and the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater concentration. But do those results mean we really have widely different views when it comes to social and political issues? What about rural life in Central American communities whose people are leaving their homes in search of a livelihood in the US? Deadline for stories for the February issue is January 20.

Upcoming themes

March: Justice in all its dimensions (deadline February 17)
April: Food, production, consumption, transformation. (deadline: March 17)

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