Help Payday Afford Health Insurance – We Can’t Right Now


Last week, I was sick with the flu and couldn’t go to the doctor. This is because Tennessee is one of 18 states in the country that hasn’t expanded Medicaid. While the Republican Governor of Tennessee Bill Haslam has attempted to pass Medicaid expansion, he so far has blocked by Tea Party conservatives in the Tennessee State Legislature.

The result is that I don’t go to the doctor when I go sick. Worse, as PTSD survivor, I am unable to afford therapy. Instead, I rely on a patchwork of support groups and friends for mental health needs. I wish it weren’t this way, but Payday isn’t making enough money yet for me to be able to afford health insurance.

So, as Payday Readers, I need your help so that I can afford to buy health care before open enrollment ends on January 3rd. Giving to our winter fundraising drive is the best way to do this.

Currently, Payday has raised $1,705 towards our $5,000 winter fundraising drive.

After only six months of organizing, we already have 117 monthly dues-paying readers contributing an average of $7.97 per month for a total $926 per month. At our current rate of growth, our one-and-a-half person operation will be fully sustainable within 12 months without any grant money. Having $5,000 will allow us to get through to the summer and apply for major grants.

So please, if you can, donate here to Payday and spread the word on social media about it.

Already, Payday has had a big impact on labor in the South:

  • Payday was the first publication in the U.S. to break the story of Republicans Kentucky preparing to pass “Right-to-Work.”

  • We were the only major outlet to cover how delays by the Obama Administration could stop West, Texas safety reforms from taking effect.

  • When six children were killed in a school bus crash in Chattanooga, Payday was the first outlet to report on the school bus company’s long track record of worker intimidation and safety violations.

  • Payday Report was the first outlet to expose how the political spending of Alliance Resources Partner CEO Joe Craft was leading to refusal of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the MIner’s Relief Act.

In the next couple months, we plan to cover the union drive at Boeing in South Carolina, union busting in the construction industry in Nashville, and efforts by the City of Chattanooga to sue General Electric over a plant closing.

We have a lot we want to, but we need your help to do it.

Think of Payday like Community Supported Agriculture, but for labor reporting. We are sustained by our readers and produce a high-quality labor reporting that you can’t find anywhere else, and we are consistently beating the big publications on the big stories

So please, donate if you can, spread the word if you can’t, and feel free to contact me with ideas about how to expand Payday.

So please, if you can donate here and get out the word.

Love & Solidarity,


Mike Elk is a Sidney award winner and a lifetime member of the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild. He previously served as senior labor reporter at POLITICO,  as an investigative reporter at In These Times Magazine, and has written for The New York Times. In 2015, Elk was illegally fired for union organizing at POLITICO and used his NLRB settlement to found Payday Report in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Follow him on Twitter @MikeElk or email him:

Contribute to Payday’s winter fundraising drive today and help us continue covering workers that the mainstream media ignores.

About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of Bill Greider, Mike Elk is a yinzer labor reporter, who covered the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for the Guardian. In 2016, he used his $70,000 NLRB settlement from being fired in the union drive at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report while living in Chattanooga. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he now lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh.

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