Please Support Your Source for Livable Streets Coverage in the Bay Area

-2_1.jpg
When Streetsblog San Francisco launched in January 2009 our primary goal was to create a voice for livable streets issues in a media environment that largely ignored those who promoted livable cities, environmental care, and sensible transportation alternatives to the automobile. Combining the role of advocate and journalist, we set out to help frame the narrative on sustainable transportation issues and you have helped us surpass our own expectations. Now, as we look ahead, we're going to need your help to make us a more powerful force for livable streets in the Bay Area and beyond.

Streetsblog SF is part of a non-profit organization that depends on the generosity of donors, foundations, and readers like you. We've launched a feature on the site that allows our readers to give a tax-deductible donation to help expand our coverage and deepen our impact. We're appealing directly to you, our community of dedicated readers, because we know you understand how important this mission is.

Our goals are ambitious: We want to expand Streetsblog across the Bay Area, hire reporters in Oakland and San Jose, and provide hard-hitting coverage of the state Capitol, where there is an enormous opportunity to shape the statewide media landscape on transportation issues. 

To help do this, we need to raise $50,000 by June. Please join us by making a contribution to Streetsblog SF.

Thanks to Streetsblog publisher Mark Gorton, executive editor Aaron Naparstek, as well as a generous contribution from software entrepreneur Jonathan Weiner, grants from the Wallace Global Fund and the Surdna Foundation, over the course of the year we were able to hire a staff of three and produce original daily content on a beat that has been ignored by mainstream media. We can do even more in 2010 with your support.

"A Streetsblog that provided State Capitol coverage would fill a significant void in the public’s discussion about statewide policy. The influence of Streetsblog coverage on a specific regional media outlet (e.g., LA Times) also could improve local transportation coverage and inform the public debate where it is particularly important but currently lacking," said Jim Brown, communications director for the California Bicycle Coalition.

IMG_4470.jpgThe Streetsblog SF crew. From left, editor Bryan Goebel and reporters Michael Rhodes and Matthew Roth. Photo by Myleen Holero.
Your donation to Streetsblog will go a long way toward helping us expand our vision for livable streets in California. In addition, we'd like greatly expand our Streetfilms coverage and multi-media features focused on the Bay Area and California, increase our pool of regional freelancers and help build a network of California transportation bloggers, providing the same kind of inspiration and support that motivated Michael Helquist to launch BIKE NOPA.

Consider the potential for one moment. Combined with the resources of Streetsblog LA, we have an enormous opportunity to shape the statewide media landscape on urban transportation opportunities and to effect state and local policies by raising awareness of the issues that matter most to us all.

We need your help to make this vision a reality.

During our first year, many readers and policy makers have told us our coverage of the issues in 2009 was indispensable, most notably the bike plan and injunction and the MTA budget crisis, not to mention our critiques of inflammatory mainstream media stories that cast bicyclists and pedestrians in a negative light. Here's what some advocates and public officials are saying:

"I get invaluable information from Streetsblog that helps me make the case that we can transform our streets and communities back to people-friendly spaces, with enormous public health benefits." --Jean Frasier, San Mateo County Health Chief
"In less than one year, SF Streetsblog has taken the clear role as experts on public space and transportation," said Marc Caswell, the program director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "Time after time, policymakers, elected officials, and agency heads reference Streetsblog in public testimony--so we know that the folks who plan our streets are reading the smart and forward-thinking ideas presented daily on the blog."

"As a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, I read Streetsblog SF religiously. The website coverage of our recent City transportation budget crisis was timely and crucial for my decision-making. Streetsblog SF also helps deepen my understanding of important policies and thinking on important transit issues," said D1 Supervisor Eric Mar.

"As a public health professional, Streetsblog is a must read for me.  With our nation's car-centered transportation system, we have engineered physical activity out of our daily lives, with dire health consequences.  I get invaluable information from Streetsblog that helps me make the case that we can transform our streets and communities back to people-friendly spaces, with enormous public health benefits," said Jean Frasier, the San Mateo County Department of Public Health Chief.

While we have focused mostly on San Francisco, our increasing coverage of Oakland and San Jose has garnered enthusiasm from both the advocacy community and the city agencies we have covered, and we've become a forum for debate over how cities that have focused almost exclusively on automobility for 50 years can become more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

Thank you for making Streetsblog SF what it is today and please consider a donation to broaden our impact in 2010.