Help a Broke, Sick Labor Reporter Afford Health Insurance

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Since contracting COVID in December of 2021, I have been struggling with Long Covid. While I have shown improvement, but my immune system is still very weak. As as a result, I’m getting sick, and staying sick a lot longer than normal.

When I get sick, I need to take more time off than usual from crowdfunding and freelancing while also spending more money on medical bills. (Last year, I spent $11,000 on medical bills alone). As allergy season approaches this spring, I’m very nervous about being able to afford medical bills and need your help to pay them and take time off when needed.

Even though, I’ve been sick with Long COVID for the past year, I’m still able to work at a reduced pace and sometimes produce great results. This past spring, Payday filed more than 20 on-the-ground dispatches of the Brazilian presidential election (we even got invited to the White House to cover President Lula’s 1st state visit). For 2023, I have high hopes to do a lot more and expand Payday’s coverage to cover international labor struggles.

This spring marks Payday’s 7th anniversary since being founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee while I was living down there in 2016.  Since Payday’s founding in 2016, we have filed 980 stories. We’ve reported from 29 different states, filed 26 dispatches from Brazil during the 2022 election, and tracked over 2,500 strikes. 

Our work as the first outlet to systematically track the strike wave during the pandemic has been widely recognized by everyone from Washington Post to NPR’s “All Things Considered” to filmmaker Boots Riley.  In 2021, our work helping produce CNN’s United Shades of America was nominated for an Emmy.

Donate to help us stay afloat for another 7 years as I struggle to overcome Long Covid. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 743 recurring donors today.

Thanks again for all of the support.

Love & Solidarity,


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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