Meet Our New Teammates : Melanie Curry and Joe Linton

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Melanie Curry

As anyone that follows us on Facebook already knows, Streetsblog Los Angeles has two “new hires” starting on February 1 that will dramatically change the way our publication works and what we will be able to cover. I am pleased to announce that Melanie Curry and Joe Linton will be joining Sahra and myself as full-time writers for the Streetsblog team.

Melanie Curry will be covering statewide issues that impact transportation, open space, livability and public health. Her focus will be watching laws as move through the legislature, policies as they advance through the executive branch, regional plans as they are adopted by regional planning organizations, projects as they advance through Caltrans, the California High Speed Rail Project and anything else that pops up.

Her work will appear on Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, sometimes on the other Streetsblogs, and on other Southern California Streets Initiative publications including Santa Monica Next and LongBeachize.

Melanie worked for many years as an editor, most recently for Access, the University of California-published transportation research magazine. She has a Masters degree in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and has worked in transportation consulting and at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

Her preferred mode of transportation is a bicycle, although buses and trains can be useful too. Her daughter’s first commutes were in a child seat on the back of a bike.Melanie has lived in Culver City, Mexico City, Cordoba (Spain), Singapore, Oakland, and Berkeley, where she now makes her home with husband and nearly grownup daughter. Her goal is to change the perception that bicycles are dangerous, and wants everyone to have the chance to experience the joy and freedom of that perfect transportation machine.

In addition, he's got great taste in clothes. That's Joe on the right. Photo: Siel

In addition, he’s got great taste in clothes. That’s Joe on the right at the SBLA re-launch party in 2010. Photo: Siel

Joe Linton is going to be taking over a lot of the work that I do on a regular basis for Streetsblog. In addition to writing about all of the Livable Streets issues as they break around the county, he’ll handle the day to day operations of Streetsblog Los Angeles.

Joe Linton is a longtime urban environmental activist. His main areas of interest have been restoring the Los Angeles River and fostering bicycling for everyday transportation. He’s worked for many Los Angeles livability non-profits, including Friends of the L.A. River, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, C.I.C.L.E., Livable Places, and CicLAvia. He also served as deputy to Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes.

Among his accomplishments are:

- Co-founder of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (1998)
- Organizer for the 2009 L.A. Bicycle Summit and L.A.’s first Street Summit in 2010
- Organizer for the first CicLAvia (2010)

He writes and blogs quite a bit. He’s the author (and illustrator) of Down by the Los Angeles River, a guide book published by Wilderness Press in 2005. His writing can also be found at L.A. StreetsblogL.A. Creek FreakBikasLos Angeles Eco-Village, and his personal blog The Periodic Fable. His artwork is on view atHandmade Ransom Notes and Artwork by Joe Linton.

Joe grew up bicycling around Tustin in Orange County. He plunged in to the big city by attending Occidental College. After college he lived in Santa Ana and Long Beach. In March 1992, while living in Long Beach, Linton chose to become car-free. For the past 22 years, Linton has lived car-free, getting around via bicycle, foot, bus and train. In 1996, Linton moved to L.A. Eco-Village in Koreatown.

In 2012, Linton fell in love and temporarily left L.A. for NYC-adjacent Jersey City. In 2013, he married Carrie Lincourt, and they gave birth to a daughter, Maeve. While back east he worked for the Bronx River Alliance and volunteered advocating for bike facilities in Jersey City.

Yes, among Joe’s many accomplishments is his role in the success of Streetsblog Los Angeles. An original Board Member and the first Board Chair of the Southern California Streets Initiative, Joe has been integrally involved in everything we’ve done.

But choosing Joe to join the team as a staff member was about the future not the past. In addition to being able to cover the issues we cover on a day to day basis, Joe is an expert on the L.A. River. Mayor Garcetti is planning major things to “Revitalize” the river and this will be a big issue and we have literally the most qualified person in the world to write about it.

I know you all will join me in welcoming Joe and Melanie to the team. In truth, I honestly couldn’t be more excited to start Streetsblog’s next chapter.