Berkeley: As go styrofoam containers, so goes Bush…

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Fresh off of declaring Tuesday “Cindy Sheehan Day,” the City of Berkeley voted this week to put the impeachment of Bush and Cheney to a popular vote on the November ballot. On the red-blue political map of America, of course, Berkeley shows up as black. Mother Jones is too right-wing for Berkeley! But don’t take my word for it; reading between the lines of this bland comment, you can just about glean where Berkeley’s mayor is coming from politically: “It’s not about Bush and Cheney, much as I despise them. It’s about the Constitution and what they’re doing to it.”

Anticipating some eye-rolling, Bates also said, “Some people might say, ‘Oh, only in Berkeley.’ But things that start in Berkeley have a history of eventually being adopted by the rest of the country.” To which my first reaction was, Name one! Well…

[F]irst city to desegregate its public schools, first to establish curbside recycling, first to divest itself of investments in South Africa, first to establish a citizens’ police review commission, first to ban Styrofoam containers and first to mandate curb cuts for disabled access.

It’s easy to make fun of Berkeley, of course–even if you love the place, as I do–but on this one I hope the city proves as ahead of the curve as it did on styrofoam.

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THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.

At least we hope they will, because that’s our approach to raising the $350,000 in online donations we need right now—during our high-stakes December fundraising push.

It’s the most important month of the year for our fundraising, with upward of 15 percent of our annual online total coming in during the final week—and there’s a lot to say about why Mother Jones’ journalism, and thus hitting that big number, matters tremendously right now.

But you told us fundraising is annoying—with the gimmicks, overwrought tone, manipulative language, and sheer volume of urgent URGENT URGENT!!! content we’re all bombarded with. It sure can be.

So we’re going to try making this as un-annoying as possible. In “Let the Facts Speak for Themselves” we give it our best shot, answering three questions that most any fundraising should try to speak to: Why us, why now, why does it matter?

The upshot? Mother Jones does journalism you don’t find elsewhere: in-depth, time-intensive, ahead-of-the-curve reporting on underreported beats. We operate on razor-thin margins in an unfathomably hard news business, and can’t afford to come up short on these online goals. And given everything, reporting like ours is vital right now.

If you can afford to part with a few bucks, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones with a much-needed year-end donation. And please do it now, while you’re thinking about it—with fewer people paying attention to the news like you are, we need everyone with us to get there.

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