The Homeless Grapevine newspaper sent two representatives to the North American Street Newspaper Association (NASNA) conference in San Francisco, California Jul 27-29. Marcia Rizzo Swanson, a vendor of the Homeless Grapevine, won a trip to San Francisco provided by Trinity Cathedral of Cleveland and competed in the 2001 Street Sales Contest against vendors from Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Boston, Austin, Dallas, and Cincinnati. She dressed in a cow suit and took to the streets of San Francisco selling nearly three times as many papers as any of the other vendors thus becoming the champion of North America.
As a part of her victory she will receive a free all expenses paid trip to the conference next year in Boston, Massachusetts. Vendors sell their won hometown street paper on the same street to pedestrian in the host city. The tradition started last year at the Edmonton NASNA conference.
In 2000, Terry, a vendor from Calgary won the award as top sales person for North America. Terry was hailed in his hometown as king of the vendors with stories in all the major media outlets, and a television crew actually followed him to the San Francisco conference to see if he could defend his title.
Also at the NASA conference Brian Davis, editor of the Homeless Grapevine, was chosen Chairperson of the street newspaper association. Over the next year the group hopes to hire staff and figure out a way to interact with the international newspaper organization based in Britain.
Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine, Issue #49 August-September -2001