Vendor Enjoys Speech by Mayor

North American Street Newspaper Conference Summary from a Vendor’s Perspective

 by Marsha Rizzo Swanson

        The street newspaper movement now encircles the world. Once again I brought victory to the Grapevine street paper out here in Cleveland Ohio by winning the international vend off in Boston this year. I am proud to be part of the Grapevine paper. I am a vendor and I love to go to the North American Street Newspaper Association conference. I enjoy and learn a lot at the workshops at the conference every time.

        I have had the opportunity to attend these conferences. It gave me the chance to learn about the different ideas, and how we can make a difference in the lives of the homeless people with strong papers. The reason I also like going to the annual NASNA conference is because something needs to be done now. I always feel that going to the NASNA Conference gives me incentives to continue. When I realize that we have this association that is together working to get homeless out of the streets, I feel that this is the way to build a new movement.

        I got to go to many different workshops like getting the word out, lessons from the homeless marathon, street newspaper vending sales techniques, research, reporting and news writing, and recruiting vendors. These were great workshops that I was able to attend.

        This was NASNA’s third annual vend-off, and I won for the second year in a row. I am proud to be able to bring this news to the Cleveland area. This provides a ray for the Homeless Grapevine paper and helps me as a vendor of the paper. I brought the title here again. I dressed as a duck for the vend-off, and it was a quacking good time. So when you are a duck. Don’t press your luck. Just be the duck. Ha ha. We also went on a duck ride, and that was the reason why I dressed as a duck. Boston is a duck town.

        This was the seventh annual conference of NASNA, and I never thought that I would ever be here. The Mayor of Boston came to the conference and told us of his concern for homeless people. Well we live in a world of greed, and when I saw the Mayor of Boston speak to the problem of homelessness, I was amazed. I have never heard our Mayor of Cleveland say these things about homelessness. I think that Mayor Jane Campbell needs to get to know what is needed to be done here in Cleveland to reduce the number of homeless people. I don’t think our Mayor of Cleveland is aware what is going on here on the streets.

        I want the Mayor to have a meeting with the vendors and the homeless people in Cleveland to follow the example of the Mayor of Boston. We will tell the Mayor what is needed. So, if you the Mayor reads this article then please get a hold of Brian Davis at NEOCH at (216)241-1104 or e-mail him at Thanks in advance to Mayor Jane Campbell.

Published in the Homeless Grapevine, Cleveland Ohio August 2002 Issue 56