The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on Street Spirit vendors. Fewer pedestrians on the street, fewer people carrying cash, and the general wariness about interacting with strangers have all made it more difficult to sell newspapers. Because of this, you may have noticed fewer people on the street selling Street Spirit than in previous years. We trust that our vendor program will reach and exceed its previous iteration. But in the meantime, take care to support our vendors! Here are some of the faces you might see while you are out and about.

Kevin Aikens, a Black man wearing a red sweatshirt and a floppy hat, holds up a copy of Street Spirit.
Mia Sweeney

Kevin Aikens, South Berkeley

Q: Why did you start selling Street Spirit?
A: It kept me out of trouble. I would have spelled drugs or something to
get money.

A drawing of Jeremy Caughlan, a white man in a black sweatshirt holding up a copy of the newspaper.

Jeremy Caughlan, College Avenue

Q: Why did u start selling Street Spirit?
A: Because…Well I didn’t have enough money. I was having a sudden increase in expenses and someone said people who sell the newspaper make money and I didn’t believe that but I thought I would see how it worked.

Q: What does the street spirit newspaper do for the community? 
A: There isn’t no other paper that isn’t mainstream or corporate…. it is the 
only paper that has anything to say whatsoever in favor of people who are 
not pretty well to do.

Ken Jones, a Black man with a straw hat and a pile of newspapers in his lap, sits in a chair on Shattuck Avenue in Downtown Berkeley.
Mia Sweeney

Ken Jones, Downtown Berkeley

Q: Why do you sell Street Spirit?
A: When people say ‘how come you don’t get welfare?’ Wait a minute I 
don’t want to get no hand out, I want to work, I worked for what I wanted all my life. When people say ‘Well I don’t have anything to give you,’ I don’t 
want you to give me anything I am trying to sell the newspaper.

Q: How long have you been selling the paper? 
A: I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years and I have been able to support my family.

Bobby, a Black man in a black shirt, holds up a copy of Street Spirit with a seemingly residential street behind him.
Mia Sweeney

Bobby, South Berkeley

Q: Why did you start selling Street Spirit?
A: Because people need to know about Berkeley California, we are 
homeless out here.

Mia Kiera Sweeney is a photographer and cinematographer at UC Berkeley.