From Frank Wodley, Editor of Mobilehome Magazine:
“Mobilehome Magazine is very unique. It is the voice for all California mobilehome owners. We are open and transparent, honest and trustworthy. And we are already making a difference. Our goal is to eventually reach all mobilehome owners with a free, monthly magazine.
I love publishing the magazine. And I’m grateful to the over 100 volunteers who deliver the magazine in their park. In just a short three months we have expanded from a distribution of 5,000 to 25,000, but now I must take a step back and re-access.
As with any new undertaking, there are bumps in the road. I wish I could publish Mobilehome Magazine on my own, but that’s not realistic. I must be honest with myself and with you. After 10 years of advocacy my finances are exhausted. The only way I can reasonably continue to publish Mobilehome Magazine is with your assistance.
I believe there is a reason for everything. Mobilehome Magazine should be a partnership between us (mobilehome owners and Mobilehome Magazine). After all, the magazine is really yours to use, that’s why I ask for your articles, and information about what’s happening in your park.
There is another reason why we must partner. I feel only then will you be “invested” in the magazine and really embrace it as your own.
The path to success is simple. You can keep Mobilehome Magazine alive by making a small donation of a couple dollars (or $5 or $10 if you can afford it)/year. Never have you had a chance to do so much for so little. Do not let this opportunity pass! Don’t be the one thinking “I’ll let someone else do it.” That kind of thinking has only gotten us in the predicament we are in today. It is up to you and only you. Today must be a new day. Together we can accomplish miracles!”
Recently Cory Robins of San Diego sent me this quote: Chief Seattle: “There are always two choices – two paths to take. One is easy, and its only reward is that it is easy.”
October brings some changes, both to the HOT weather and to Mobilehome Magazine. This month, we can’t afford to print and distribute the California edition of the magazine because we simply do not have enough advertising. We regret this means 7,000 households that usually receive our magazine will not. We really hate to see this happen, and it should be a wake up call to everyone.
Why No California Edition for October?
So why no California Edition this month? There are two reasons:
Those businesses providing goods and services to the mobilehome community know the potential value of advertising in a magazine that reaches residents of mobile/manufactured home parks. A business advertises to get customers and make money, that’s common sense. However, your lack of support for businesses advertising in Mobilehome Magazine has resulted in some advertisers wanting to pull out. For example, America’s Advantage Remodeling has advertised in the North Bay edition for the months of July, August, and September. That’s a total of 15,000 magazines. They have spent almost $2,000 and were one of our best clients; however they now report that they have not received even one call as a result of their advertising! That’s amazing that no one has called them, not one person. On the other hand, America’s Advantage Remodeling continues to receive calls from mobilehome owners who receive Mobile Home Park Magazine, our competitor, a magazine that provides NO advocacy information, no possibility of improving your lifestyle, no possibility of protecting your investment, and no possibility of uniting folks like yourself. You support a magazine that has little real value to you, yet do not support us! We just don’t get it.
The second reason is your lack of support for Mobilehome Magazine. Although we always ask for donations, only a very few have responded. To date we have only received a total of $1300. Only 58 residents, out of over 25,000, have supported us. That represents .23% or 2.3 per 1,000! Incredible!
We have also requested your help locating businesses that might advertise in the magazine, i.e. a business you use and would recommend. A business that comes to your home and serves you. And we have said we will pay a 15% commission to anyone bringing advertising dollars to us. We have one resident in San Marcos collecting a commission of over $300 per month as a result of his efforts to bring us advertising. You too could be making a little money and doing everyone a big service.
The State of Advocacy Today
The following groups are unknown to most of you. Please refer to page ….for more detailed information on them.
Today, we must report that many advocates and advocacy groups are being lost left and right. Len Tyler, a long time advocate and Yucaipa Mobilehome Residents Association, YMRA President, reports that only 44 are attending meetings. COMPAC, a group in San Diego that served several thousand is closing it’s doors (more to come in a future Mobilehome Magazine) after over 20 years of service. Other groups meet only occasionally and are mostly ineffective. Some groups, like the Mobile Home Park Task Force in Los Angeles are pro-park owner (or at least the park owners have better representation). Even the new President of GSMOL talks about “moving beyond the challenges of the past years and (the)need to turn GSMOL around.” (See The Californian May/June 2013 page 3)
Another example is the California Mobilehome Resource and Action Association (CMRAA), a state-wide formed in the mid 90’s. See page 6. CMRAA and COMO-CAL met with GSMOL in 2009 to support GSMOL’s legislation. President Gus Colgain replied to our email of December 14,2012 saying:
“I am putting CMRAA down. The health of our entire Board is poor. (Gus now reports his wife has died – we are very sorry to hear that Gus – our prays are with you and your family).
Over the last couple of years no one has been willing to step up and help. I think you know how that goes. Everyone wants us to cure their problems but no one wants to help, or become a part of the organization once their problems have been solved by us.
As a result, the Board has been returning all new and renewed membership requests/checks and are in the process of finding out how to properly shut down the non-profit and what to do with the remaining funds.”
In fact we have been waiting nine months for Gus to write an article for Mobilehome Magazine about the demise of CMRAA. It never came and now their website is down. We hope Mobilehome Magazine can fill the huge void left by CMRAA’s demise
What Is Mobilehome Magazine?
Many continue to ask about Mobilehome Magazine – what it is, from where did it come and how is it financed? We are sorry if this is repetitive, but we feel it is important. Here is a quick summary:
Mobilehome magazine is a culmination of 10 years of advocacy by Frank Wodley. Frank’s advocacy began as a GSMOL Chapter president and Associate Manager in 2002, continued with the formation and operation of a state-wide group COMO-CAL (the Coalition of Mobilehome Owners – California) from 2004 through the end of 2011. Today Frank publishes Mobilehome Magazine which is always FREE, and reaches 25,000 households each month, more than any other advocacy publication in California and perhaps in the U.S. Frank gets no outside financial help and can no longer operate without your support. Today, Mobilehome Magazine is:
Distributed only in mobile/manufactured home parks. 25,000 copies per month. (20k for October)
Totally FREE and published MONTHLY.
Not a solicitation. It is information. It’s distribution is guaranteed by the MRL (Mobilehome Residency Law) 798.51(a)3.
Currently Mobilehome Magazine is 5 different magazines: Four local –
North Bay (Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Calistoga, Windsor, Napa, Marin…),
South Los Angeles /Orange County (Carson, Torrance, Harbor City, Anaheim, Placentia, Stanton, Huntington Beach, Irvine),
North San Diego County (San Marcos, Oceanside, Escondido, Carlsbad), and
San Diego (San Diego, Santee, El Cajon, Chula Vista…).
And a California edition. With your support we will bring back the California edition, which was available to any park in California with a contact willing to distribute door to door.
How is the Magazine Financed?
We receive no grants or outside help. Mobilehome Magazine is financed primarily through advertising; however, while we are developing our advertising, your donations are critical. We guarantee all money received from mobilehome owners will be used to directly support the magazine.
What Is The Cost of The Magazine?
The cost varies. Printing costs can be as much as two cents per page. That’s $.40 for a 20 page magazine. Distribution costs vary also. A mass mailing into parks by USPS costs about $.40/magazine. Mailing a box of magazines costs $11.30 plus handling. Of course we try not to mail to individuals because it is simply too expensive. The bottom line is it can cost as much as $.50/magazine to get it to your door. Multiply that by 25,000, that’s as much as $12,500/month. Our actual expenses are less than this estimate, but they are still very considerable! Perhaps now you can see why we need your support.
The Value of Mobilehome Magazine
No one has yet seen the full potential of the magazine! In just three short months we have expanded our distribution network from about 25 parks to over 100, thanks to the generosity of those who have volunteered to distribute the magazine.
Your Best Chance To Protect Yourself
We honestly believe Mobilehome Magazine is your best chance protect against park owners and managers who break the law. And we believe we offer the best chance to turn around GSMOL and help it become the organization it once was. (Of course GSMOL leaders wouldn’t agree. They are always saying they are in control and are handling things, yet they have not been able to turn around their huge membership loss. We know how they can and we are willing and able to help them!)
With Your Support
With your financial support we will expand into San Jose, Sacramento, the Central Coast, the San Gabriel Valley, Hemet Riverside, and Palm Springs. We will increase the size of the magazine and provide more information, with less “self-promotion.” And we will be able to hire a part time college student to help secure additional advertising. We will bring mobilehome owners together! And now we will reward those park owners and managers who are doing a good job and expose those who are breaking the law. We feel they will take notice because no one wants to be exposed!
Critical Turning Point
Advocates have long complained about the apathy of mobilehome owners. We experienced it with COMO-CAL, and now with the magazine. However, we are hopeful that this “state of mind” can be turned around. We are confident that you will see the value of the magazine and will support us. All we ask from you is a donation of couple dollars (or $5 or $10)/year. Mobilehome Magazine provides so much! Supporting us is a no-brainer! Never has an advocate done so much for so many, while costing them so little in money and time.
Let’s Show the Park Owners!
Isn’t it about time you showed the park owners that you are willing to take responsibility to protect your lifestyle and investment. Remember you are your first line of defense. And Mobilehome Magazine are right behind supporting you! Complacency and apathy only hurt us all. It takes such little effort to make a difference. We suggest you:
First, read Mobilehome Magazine. We want to help you improve your lifestyle, and to protect your investment. We want you to feel you are not alone, and part of a large community of owners just like yourself.
Second, support us. Send us a couple dollars today. Don’t wait! (If you need a self addressed envelope, call Frank at 800-929-6061 and he will mail one to you.) Your donation is more than just a donation. It shows us you want to have a voice and be involved. It is an affirmation that you believe in us, and that you want Mobilehome Magazine to continue and prosper. And it is a message to park owners that you are willing to stand up with other mobilehome owners and take control of your future. A financial statement of all donations will be published in future editions of Mobilehome Magazine, so everyone knows the amount of donations and the number of folks who have contributed. All money goes to improve the magazine!
Third, recommend businesses to us. Send us their contact information. All residents need a list of businesses they can trust. You would be doing your friends and neighbors a service, as well as supporting Mobilehome Magazine.
And fourth, support the businesses that advertise in Mobilehome Magazine because they are our “life’s blood” and without them there would be NO magazine.
It’s Up To You
You must take some responsibility to protect yourself when you live in a rental park. There is no question that you are vulnerable. That’s not a point for debate.
Those who support Mobilehome Magazine know the value of good, timely, honest information. They know the value of uniting folks (strength in numbers). They know no one else provides so much for so little. They also know that one person can’t be expected to do it all. Everyone must take some responsibility.
Your Action = Success
It’s simple. Your action equals success. With everyone contributing at least $2/year to Mobilehome Magazine, we not only will be able to continue, but we will flourish. A donation to the magazine means the many folks working for you today (the Editor of Mobilehome Magazine, our four employees that help distribute the magazine, the over 100 volunteers that distribute in parks across California, the contributors like Donna Matthews, Lloyd, Chuck, Bill, and the list goes on and on) can and will continue to provide you with a free, informative, monthly magazine
Today, we receive 2-3 letters a day. With everyone on board, we should receive 70 letters a day. Although that means a lot of work for us, we would love it!
If your park has an organization, we suggest one person be responsible to collect donations, perhaps the person who distributes the magazine. Pass the hat, then send all donations in one envelope – that would save lots of postage.
If you can’t afford even $2/year, then please just send us a note saying that you appreciate the magazine. Hearing from you would be terrific.
All is not lost. There is still time to make a difference. We believe the future can be brighter. We envision thousands of mobilehome owners receiving Mobilehome Magazine, which means they will be enabled to protect themselves. We envision advocates working together, supporting each other and serving you with one voice.
But there will be no future without your affirmation that you believe in us and will support our efforts to help you help yourselves. Let’s all work together for the greater good. Let’s show park owners that we are UNITED. Let’s show park owners that we want them to follow the law. As the old saying goes:
United we stand, divided we fall.