Street Pulse (Transcript)

Produced by Samantha Silverman and Jason Millis

Earlie Wilson: Excuse me young lady, smile you’re beautiful, happy holidays. Street Pulse, seasons greetings. You have a beautiful day now, stay warm.

Voice over: Earlie Wilson has been working with street pulse for three and a half years. Street Pulse is a newspaper that addresses homelessness and social issues and is marketed by homeless and low-income individuals in Madison, Wisconsin.

Earlie Wilson: I think I have the best luck on State Street but I’m the top vendor of Street Pulse. Don’t nobody sell more papers than me. I don’t think they made nobody out here that can sell more papers than me cause I’m the kindest generous person outside. I talk to people. Like when I when I ask someone if would she like to buy a paper, I don’t just walk up to them and say Street Pulse would you like to buy it? You so pretty god bless you darling have a good day.

VO: Abigail Murphy, a sophomore at UW-Madison, walks by the men selling Street Pulse every day. One day, she decided to stop and purchase Street Pulse.

Abigail Murphy: Well the Street Pulse men are very, loud and aggressive with their sales but they’re also very nice and generous with their compliments. And I bought it one day because the man was standing with his child and that felt sad to me when he had a child so I bought it when the child was there. And he was really nice about it and so thankful so then I was happy that I bought it because I made his day.

VO: However, on a day-to-day basis, Murphy does not generally purchase Street Pulse.

Murphy: I usually don’t say anything, or I say no thank you but have a good day.

VO: Before selling street pulse, Wilson first moved to Madison for his family and panhandled to get by each day.

Wilson: My stepchildren moved up here and my grand children moved up here then my girl moved up here. Then I got out of prison and I came up here to be with my family. I start selling Street Pulse cause they, they abolished panhandling. I was the best panhandler on State Street. I panhandled over there about where wild buffalo wings used to be where they just built that new building. I panhandled over there for like eight years

VO: After those eight years panhandling in Madison, Wilson finally found the benefits of selling street pulse.

Wilson: It was guys that was trying to get me to sell Street Pulse for like two or three years and I said man ya’ll not making no money selling those papers. But this pay my rent every month now, and give me pocket money every day. Everything works out for me because I’m a people person. I’m telling you if you know how to talk to people it’s not like I’m selling condoms or nothing I sell newspapers. I’m a paper peddler and I’m a legal paper peddler.  Let me unzip my coat cause I got my badge on. I just got my badge yesterday. That’s me, Earlie Wilson.

VO: Katie Granatir, a junior at UW-Madison purchased a copy of Street Pulse after learning more about this newspaper during a panel in a class for her First Year Interest Group.

Katie Granatir: I read all of the articles and it was actually really really interesting seeing kind of like the news stories from the homeless people’s point of view. It was really cool kind of seeing that different spin, kind of coming from a different opinion. I don’t know why I haven’t bought one since I really like reading about it and it’s also about a lot of stuff that otherwise you would never read about in Madison because the issues of homelessness are so often not talked about so yeah I actually really enjoyed reading it.

VO: Granatir shared how the person who spoke to her class shaped the way she acknowledges street pulse vendors each day.

Granatir: They won’t say anything rude back. They really really just enjoy when people acknowledge that they’re there. That especially kind of encouraged me to always say something and at least acknowledge that they’re there when they are asking me to buy it.