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Printing firm backs national protest – Santa Cruz Sentinel


SANTA CRUZ – Community Printers in Santa Cruz took to the national stage in one of most historical presidential elections to date.

“I really believe in the notion of ‘Think Local, Act Global,’” said Ross Newport, a sales manager at Community Printers. “That’s kind of Santa Cruz’ ethos.”

This year, Community Printers has undertaken a large task for the Monterey Bay region. It was behind the printing of COVID-19 projects that the public may not think of the logistics behind such as floor graphics to maintain social distancing in grocery stores and local businesses, which stands with the “Think Global, Act Local” mindset. Community Printers’ has even extended a hand to help the community in the wake of the CZU Lightning fires.

“I would’ve thought just focusing on COVID this year would be enough,” Ross said. “Now, we’re being challenged to focus on fire response and we’re being challenged to focus on the national election. We’ve done thousands of dollars on that for free because that’s what the community needed us to do”

Now, it has expanded its community to any and all Americans.

MoveOn, an organization that is fighting for the integrity of the civic process and to “protect the vote of the 2020 election,” hosted rallies on Saturday in Philadelphia and Detroit. These rallies will feature 8-foot-tall and 75-foot-long signs that read “THE PEOPLE DECIDE[D].”

MoveOn contracted Community Printers to create and ship the signs to their required destination. Community Printers joined the process early on and also helped with the design process of the signs.

“It’s kind of exciting that Community Printers out in Santa Cruz gets to have that impact,” Newport said. “We all want to make a difference wherever we can. I can’t help but feel a certain amount of pride getting an opportunity to do that. To get to feel like we made a difference.”

Community Printers began in 1977 with the goal of helping social and environmental causes and donates $45,000 a year in printing to nonprofit organizations. It is the largest commercial printing shop in the area, which has forced it to expand its capabilities to encompass and printing needs anyone may need, Newport said.

What started as a small printing company expanded to a branch in Oakland, which gave it the outreach it needed to start working with organizations on a national scale. Newport credited its national connections as well as its array of printing capabilities to how Community Printers has been able to secure high profile jobs such as this one.

“We’ve had to learn how to rely on ourselves,” he said. “Because we’ve sort of grown to be a pretty strong autonomous print shop that does a lot of the larger jobs in this area, we have a lot of capabilities. We’re able to brainstorm with a client like moveon.org.”

The national movement to ensure that every vote is counted before a winner is declared and uphold the integrity of American democracy has gained traction across the U.S in the wake of the presidential election. There have even been talks about a general strike among union workers if anyone tries to stage a coup.

That puts Community Printers in an interesting position. On one hand, as a form of media, it can be very vital to the operation of any movement. On the other hand, Community Printers is a union shop, which helps it get a lot of support from the community.

“If that were to happen would we be more valuable going on strike or would we be more valuable keeping the presses running?” Newport said. “If there is a reason to go on strike, I think there is an even more compelling reason to keep the presses running and get the word out.”

For now, the prospect of a general strike is on the back burner. However, Newport admitted that even though he is a salesman, this is one project he is OK with never needing to come to fruition.

“This is one job if it wasn’t needed, I’d be thrilled,” Newport…



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