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Occupy Wall Street Supporters Want Billboards in Times Square

By Jill Colvin | October 10, 2011 4:23pm | Updated on October 10, 2011 5:09pm
A rendering of what the billboards might look like.
A rendering of what the billboards might look like.
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MIDTOWN — Occupy Wall Street is looking to take its message to the Crossroads of the World.

Supporters of the protesters, who have spent more than three weeks camping out in Downtown’s Zuccotti Park, have launched an online campaign to erect a giant billboard in Times Square.

If 20,000 people vote to support the effort, the website EpicStep — which uses online crowdsourcing to create and fund billboards with social messages — stated it will donate a free billboard in the city for 30 days in honor of the protests.

If 200,000 people cast their votes, the company said it will mount two giant billboards in the heart of Times Square.

"We just thought it would be so freaking cool to put up this giant billboard that couldn't be ignored," said EpicStep co-founder Lev Reyes, who said he and his partners are "big fans of the movement," which is spreading across the country.

Reyes said that when the company approached Occupy Wall Street leadership with the idea, "They were on board almost immediately."

"We have this unique way to leverage this," he said, adding that he estimates a single billboard would cost between $30,000 and $50,000, with the Times Square billboards costing up to ten times more.

The campaign's description focuses on the movement's message again income inequalities.

“Our nation’s economy and system is collapsing under the control of the top 1 percent of wealthy Americans. Unemployment is at a standstill, foreclosures are displacing families and the future of the United States is in the hands of unemployed college graduates with excessive debt from student loans,” the site said.

“We must unite, stand strong and demand the government hears the voice democracy gives us. If you are the 99 percent you can take back your voice.”

So far, 1,761 people have voted with 59 days to go.

Members of the public can also upload proposed designs, the most popular of which will make it onto the billboard.

EpicStep’s other fundraising efforts include a campaign to mount a billboard in Dallas, Tex., criticizing Southwest Airlines for allegedly kicking "L Word" actor Leisha Hailey off a flight for kissing her girlfriend and a campaign to promote the “Buy Nothing Day Campaign,” which has so far raised $252 of its $6,660.