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Posts from the "Streetsblog San Francisco" Category

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Streetsblog’s Beginnings: Founder Aaron Naparstek to Speak in SF Tuesday

Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek will be in SF to serve as the keynote speaker at the SF Bicycle Coalition’s Golden Wheel Awards on Tuesday evening. We thought it’d be a good opportunity to look back on how Streetsblog San Francisco came to be, and get Naparstek’s take on what’s changed in the city since we launched at the start of 2009.

Streetsblog founder Aaron Naparstek talking about “bikelash” at the National Bike Summit last year. Image: Streetfilms

Naparstek founded Streetsblog in New York City in 2006 as a project of OpenPlans, our non-profit parent organization founded by Mark Gorton. Naparstek was the editor-in-chief until 2010, during which time he launched Streetsblog San Francisco, Los Angeles, Capitol Hill (now USA), and the Streetsblog Network. He recently completed a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and has been working as a Visiting Scholar at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Naparstek was approached by a group of SF’s sustainable transportation advocates, led by SFBC Executive Director Leah Shahum, in the summer of 2008 at the World Car-Free Cities Conference in Portland.

“They said, we think bringing Streetsblog here can really help energize the movement,” he said. “To me it said, there’s a community here that wants it, so let’s try to make it happen.”

With a four-year injunction on bicycle infrastructure in effect at the time, Naparstek said he’d been following SF’s issues for a while. “It seemed like there was all this pent-up demand,” he said. “I thought, San Francisco would be great for this.”

Naparstek and the SFBC worked together to organize Streetsblog SF, raising funds and interviewing candidates for editor. At one point in that process, Naparstek said Shahum recommended interviewing Bryan Goebel, who had volunteered for the SFBC and had nearly 20 years of experience in journalism, primarily in radio. Goebel was chosen to become the editor of Streetsblog SF, and was partnered with Matthew Roth, who moved from New York City after working in livable streets advocacy there. Ultimately, Goebel took me on as an intern and trained me on the job, and I was chosen to fill the position after he left.

Naparstek noted that he was impressed by Shahum’s commitment to helping launch a separate project in an environment where non-profits compete for scarce funds. “A lot of non-profit executive directors would be hesitant to bring us into their orbit because we’re another mouth to feed, looking for progressive transportation advocacy dollars, when it’s not that easy to raise money,” he said. “I was impressed that the Bike Coalition had a broad enough view of the movement as a whole that they recognized that we could help make the pie bigger.”

Streetsblog was formed around the idea of a media outlet that could cover issues around sustainable transportation and livable streets from an advocacy standpoint, highlighting stories not covered by traditional media. The aim is to promote the growing movement and shed light on the responsibility of government leaders and agencies to shape streets in ways that promote safer and more efficient ways of getting around.

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Sweater Weather Sale: Brave the SF Summer With a Streetsblog Hoodie

It’s summer in San Francisco, and you know what that means: It’s time to bundle up.

To help you brave the winds in style, our Streetsblog SF hoodies are now on sale at our online store for $29.99 (normally $49.99).

Don’t kid yourself — whether you’re walking, biking, or waiting for Muni, getting around SF in June without a sweater isn’t exactly fun in the sun. Stay cozy, and help spread the word about Streetsblog today.

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Calling All Streetsblog Superheroes: Sunday Is Your Last Chance to Give

Streetsblog’s spring pledge drive ends on Sunday, and we’re two-thirds of the way to our goal of 400 donors. Every contribution makes a difference — please give what you can and support our coverage.

Your donations allow Streetsblog to continue to challenge the misinformed and backwards positions staked out by city leaders. No other media source has done more to contest Mayor Ed Lee’s rationale for eliminating Sunday parking metering or held him to his commitment to Vision Zero.

Don’t forget, if you make a tax-deductible contribution before Sunday at midnight you’ll be in the running for a Cleverhood rain cape or a CINCH belt from Vespertine, available in one of three colors:

Think of your gift like a subscription — an awesome subscription where you get to choose how much you want to pay and get a chance to win cool stuff. And if you make your contribution as soon as possible, you can enjoy the weekend worry-free!

Thanks to all those who have already shown their support.

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Thanks to All Who Came Out for Streetsblog Happy Hour

Streetsblog happy hour: A success!

I think we can declare last night’s Streetsblog happy hour to be a huge success. It was awesome to get to meet so many of you. Several dozen of you came out for some great chats, and the show of support was heartwarming.

Congrats to our raffle prize winners — and a special thanks to Supervisor Scott Wiener, who pulled away from the Harvey Milk birthday celebration to join us (via Muni, by the way).

Hope to do it again soon!

Streetsblog won’t be publishing on Memorial Day. See you back here on Tuesday.

Livable streets talk aplenty.

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Tonight: Don’t Miss Streetsblog Happy Hour at Virgil’s Sea Room

We’ll be on the patio at Virgil’s Sea Room tonight. Photo: Workshop

Join me, fellow readers and advocates for a Streetsblog happy hour tonight at Virgil’s Sea Room. Virgil’s has generously offered to donate 10 percent of bar proceeds from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to Streetsblog. (You can also follow their lead and make your own generous donation, of course!)

Stop by, grab a drink, and chat with folks about the latest in livable streets. You might get to put some faces to some of the names of fellow commenters, and we may even be joined by Supervisor Scott Wiener.

Virgil’s, located at 3152 Mission Street south of Cesar Chavez, has happy hour specials until 7 p.m., and we’ll be holding a raffle with great prizes like a sleek titanium TiGr bike lock and some nifty Streetsblog t-shirts and hoodies. Please RSVP on Eventbrite, and grab a $5 raffle ticket while you’re at it — all raffle proceeds go directly to supporting Streetsblog San Francisco.

We’ll be on the heated back patio. Look forward to meeting you!

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Two Weeks to Go in Our Spring Pledge Drive — Support Streetsblog Today

We’re in the home stretch of the Streetsblog spring pledge drive, and more than 150 readers have joined the legion of Streetsblog superheros, pledging their support so we can keep delivering news you can use about active transportation and livable streets. But we need more readers to step up to reach our goal of 400 donors by June 1 — if you haven’t given yet, please make a donation today.

Your support enables us to bring you high-impact reporting that puts public officials on the record and holds them accountable. In early January, we called on SFPD Chief Greg Suhr to stop pointing the finger at people walking with cell phones and blaming the victim. Two weeks later, Suhr announced major policy reforms, fully endorsing Vision Zero, and he now consistently states that drivers have the most responsibility to keep people safe on the streets.

Streetsblog consistently challenges the misinformed and backwards positions staked out by city leaders. No other media source has done more to contest Mayor Ed Lee’s rationale for eliminating Sunday parking metering, or to put the heat on the SFFD for opposing safer street widths.

Like many media outlets, Streetsblog is grappling with how to survive and thrive financially. We believe our readers value the impact of our reporting and will contribute to keep it going. If you agree, don’t assume other people will take care of it. Please make a secure, tax-deductible donation today. We need 250 more donations by June 1 to reach our goal!

This week, we have a $200 gift certificate from bike apparel maker Velocio to give away to one lucky reader who gives before midnight on Tuesday.

Thank you Velocio, and thank you to everyone who’s pitched in to the pledge drive. Keep it going this week and help us finish strong.

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Donate to Streetsblog Today and Enter to Win a Sweet Bike Pannier

Sometimes it feels like it takes superhuman strength to get real change on our streets. So we’re grateful to have superhero readers who help Streetsblog push for safer streets and effective transit. If you haven’t given to our spring pledge drive yet, please donate to Streetsblog today support media that makes a real difference.

We’ve heard from SF readers who’ve contributed to our spring campaign that Streetsblog is “helping build a healthier USA” and that “nobody else provides the sort of comprehensive coverage of these issues as you do.” If you value reporting that makes the case for safe streets for walking, the continued rollout of protected bike lanes, and moving forward on smart parking management, please show your love with a tax-deductible gift today.

To make the deal sweeter, you’ll get a chance to win a black Loop Pannier from Chicago-based Po Campo if you donate by Friday at midnight.

Thanks to everyone who’s donated — it really lets us know how much you appreciate our coverage. With your help, we’ll reach our goal of 400 donors by June 1. Enjoy the warmth in SF this week, everyone.

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Give to Streetsblog Today and Help Us Deliver Your Livable Streets News

The Streetsblog spring pledge drive got off to a strong start in its first week — thanks to everyone who donated and moved us toward our goal of 400 donations by June 1. Keep the momentum going and make a tax-deductible gift today to media that matters to livable streets in San Francisco.

Your contributions supply the resources we need to write and report about the city’s pressing street safety and transit issues. One of our generous contributors last week, James Dashe, said he gave to Streetsblog SF because “nobody else provides the sort of comprehensive coverage of these issues as you do.”

If you value Streetsblog’s in-depth coverage of San Francisco transportation — and how we hold civic leaders accountable for making our streets safer — please make a donation today.

San Francisco is starting to see real changes from law enforcement agencies, which are backing up the Vision Zero rhetoric with policy changes, and we need to keep on fighting for the expansion of bikeways and implementation of the Muni Transit Effectiveness Project. Your donations help ensure Streetsblog is there to call out our elected leaders when they pander to the not-in-my-backyard crowd instead of putting the public interest first.

If you donate before Tuesday at midnight, you’ll be entered to win a package of zines and books donated by feminist bike activist and writer Elly Blue, including The Culinary Cyclist, PDX by Bike, and her contribution to the sci-fi/women’s studies/bicycling genre, Bikes in Space.

Elly-Blue-books

Thanks to everyone who’s supported us. Your one-time gift or monthly donation will help sustain high-impact media that makes our streets better.

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Be a Streetsblog Superhero and Give to Our Spring Pledge Drive

We’ve all seen the graphs: Driving and car ownership have passed their peak in America, while transit ridership and biking are on the rise. On the ground, however, city buses still move at a crawl, bogged down in traffic. Most streets remain too dangerous for most people to feel comfortable biking on them. And the traffic death toll continues to put our cities to shame compared to our global peers.

Streets aren’t going to fix themselves. Every street redesign is a fight, and every proposal to shift subsidies away from cars and driving meets stiff resistance. If you follow Streetsblog and Streetfilms, you know it takes a lot of smart, committed people to make change happen. By connecting people to information about what’s going on with transportation and planning policy in their communities, we’re accelerating the transition toward safe, efficient, equitable streets.

We need our readers to pitch in so we can keep on delivering the high-quality reporting and videos you expect. Please make a tax-deductible contribution to our spring pledge drive and help us reform the cars-first status quo on our streets.

Every month more than 200,000 people come to Streetsblog and Streetfilms. So for this pledge drive we’re asking you to step up and be a superhero. Out of hundreds of thousands of readers, we need just 400 donors to reach our goal — will you be one of them? We now accept both one-time gifts and recurring donations (think of them like a monthly subscription payment to Streetsblog), and you can direct your contribution to support the Streetsblog site of your choice.

As always, we have a few extra reasons for you to give. If you make a donation before Tuesday at midnight, you’ll enter a drawing to win this nifty hip pack made from recycled bicycle tubes, courtesy of Montrose Stitchery:

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Thank you for reading and for supporting Streetsblog and Streetfilms.

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Get Involved With Streetsblog — Internship Available

Streetsblog San Francisco is seeking an intern who wants to get involved in online media covering the local livable streets movement. The intern will perform tasks like posting daily headlines, updating the events calendar, maintaining the appearance of the site, and potentially writing content for the blog.

Ideal candidates will have experience in writing and communications, possess a strong familiarity with San Francisco, and share our passion for progressive transportation and planning policies that make the city a better place for transit, biking, and walking. Interns would be paid a small stipend for their work and have the opportunity to take on more challenging responsibilities over time.

Availability requires about 5 to 10 hours per week. Early morning or late night availability for up to three days per week is needed to post the day’s headlines.

People of color, LGBT individuals, women and members of other underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply please submit a cover letter, resume, references and three writing samples to abialick@streetsblog.org.