I haven’t talked about this here, but two months ago this weekend I got the message that Streetsblog Chicago wouldn’t continue because we didn’t raise enough money in the last fundraising round.
I didn’t talk about it here because I was busy with dealing with shutting that down, working with my partner John Greenfield to come up with a transition plan (to resurrect the site) and because I have myriad side projects that quickly and easily captured my newly-available attention. I eased right into developing those more and into involving myself in new jobs on a freelance basis.
Our readers dutifully expressed their support for my and John’s work at Streetsblog Chicago – providing an alternative voice for transportation and land use policy discussion.
The most heartening and unexpected expressions have come from the very agencies on which we report and criticize.
Our reporting was thoughtful and necessary they said, even though, and this has been unanimous, they sometimes disagreed with our perspective.
I believe their appreciation of our work has always been there but there was never a good moment, or a necessity, for them to make it known.
It’s heartening to know that our writing – advocating for safer streets, funding allocation that promoted efficient and active transportation, converting street space from moving cars quickly to moving people – was making its way in the corridors of the bureaucracies and street managers and place makers and bus operators.
I think what we did with Streetsblog Chicago was necessary, too, and I waited and worked to make it happen since 2007. I bided my time with this blog until meeting editor-in-chief Ben Fried in 2010. The conditions weren’t right then, and a friend at a 2011 Star Trek watching party (don’t ask) in Logan Square put me and John together after which we made the next best thing: Grid Chicago.
I want to keep writing Streetsblog Chicago and we need your help. John and I are raising $75,000 to resume publishing at very-close-to-before rate of five to seven original posts per week. Donate now.
We’ve already raised $36,905 and the Chicago Community Trust will give us $25,000 when we reach $50,000. The catch is that we must get there by April 8. Otherwise we’ll return all of the donations.
Since the January 8 hiatus we held a fundraiser in the pedway, which Moxie founder Daniel Ronan organized. We’ll be holding another fundraiser in Revolution Brewing’s taproom on Kedzie on Wednesday, March 26, at our donor appreciation party: Everyone is welcome but those who donate $100 on or before the party will get John’s book “Bars Across America” and their first round on the house.
I’m also putting together a tour of developments around Chicago near transit stations that have taken advantage of a city ordinance reducing their parking minimum. Save the date, Saturday, April 4.