TheProgressive Reading Series
is a monthly event in San Francisco, where book authors, comedians and musicians get on stage, do their thing and raise money for a good cause.
The $1,000 to $2,000 raised each month usually goes to a political candidate, a drive to register voters, or any good cause.
This month, the San Francisco group has decided on what they feel is a very worthy cause: Providing recycling bins to the city of Houston.
But they can't get anyone in the city bureaucracy to accept their largesse.
"I can't get anyone in the city to return my calls so I can figure out where to buy the bins from and where to have them shipped to," says Stephen Elliott, founder of the group."I've emailed and called and one of the volunteers, Chris Benz, who I'm CC'ing, has been trying to talk to someone for two days."
This month's event promises to be a big one, moneywise: author Jonathan Franzen, who wrote the best-seller The Corrections, will be reading. Plus it will give San Franciscans a chance to get in a jab at poor, benighted Houston.
"I figure we can definitely raise enough for 200 recycling bins," Elliott says. (If the city will only take them. Of course, it may be awkward to accept them when you're actually cutting back on recycling.)
Elliott has an idea on how to make their donation go even further: "Maybe we could get Exxon to match our donation" he says.
-- Richard Connelly