Welcome Elana Schor, Streetsblog’s New National Reporter

elana.jpgAs you may have noticed, we’ve got a new reporter here at Streetsblog, Elana Schor.
Elana will be covering this year’s big federal transportation story
down in Washington D.C. with an eye towards helping transit advocates
and livable streets activists gain a better understanding of what
has typically been a very inside-the-Beltway, highway-oriented process.
If you have tips, comments or questions for Elana, email her: elana
[at] streetsblog [dot] org.

Elana
has covered Capitol Hill for more than four years, most recently as a
staff reporter for The Hill, The Guardian, and the Talking Points Memo
blog. Her work has also been published by MarketWatch and the Biloxi
Sun-Herald. She holds a masters degree in journalism from Northwestern
University, and lives in Washington’s very walkable Mount Pleasant
neighborhood. 

Streetsblog’s national work is being funded by grants from the Surdna Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund.

Regarding
this national work — here’s a question for you: What would you like to
see Elana cover in the coming months? Or, more generally, how would you
like to see Streetsblog approach the federal transportation issues?

I’ve found that Streetsblog tends to work best and engage readers most when we focus on the hyper-local and hyper-personal
side of policy issues. Yet, unlike neighborhood street fights and
seemingly timeless issues like sidewalk cycling and rolling stops,
federal transportation policy often feels too big and distant to get a
handle on. It sometimes feels more like a spectator sport, taking place
on this whole other playing field where, I think, locally-oriented
livable streets activists often don’t feel like they have much
influence.

So, this is going to be our challenge in the
coming months: Cover the federal transportation policy process in a way
that makes Streetsblog a daily read for national advocates, elected
officials, Hill staffers and U.S. DOT personnel while also making the
issues engaging and tangible to grassroots livable streets activists.
By making transit coverage more accessible, the goal is to take the
blinders off policymakers who have historically been beholden to
moneyed lobbies rather than new ideas.

I’m convinced that the
local activists are key. The hundreds of thousands of people across
America who are working to make their own communities more bikeable,
walkable and transit-oriented are the most powerful force for pushing
federal transportation policy in a smarter more sustainable direction.
We’ve just got to get informed and engaged. Elana is going to help us
do that.