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Streetsies 2014: The Winners Are…

streetsie_2014For the first time since we combined the staff/board vote and reader vote into one award, there are no changes from the final poll results on Streetsblog and the winners. Read on to see the 2014 Streetsie Winners and look forward to celebratory events soon. Click individual links for poll results and descriptions of honorees’ accomplishments.  Read more…

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Vote for Your 2014 Streetsies and Then Donate to Streetsblog!

Ok, ok…we hear you. You don’t like that we put the Streetsie polls in five different posts. Loud. And. Clear.

After the jump, you can find each of our five Streetsies polls. For more people’s choice action, head over to the Streetsblog USA Streetsies. Knock yourself out.

But first, a pitch.

2014 was an exciting year for Los Angeles. The arrival of Seleta Reynolds heralded a new day for LADOT and the promise of Great Streets should be realized in 2015. But the hope and promise for the coming year was tempered by the roadblocks to safe streets put up on North Figueroa, the Hyperion-Glendale Bridge, Westwood Boulevard in West L.A., Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills and too many other streets throughout the county.

2014 was also an exciting year for the Southern California Streets Initiative, the non-profit that co-publishes Streetsblog Los Angeles with OpenPlans. Melanie Curry and Joe Linton joined Sahra Sulaiman on the writing team as Damien Newton focused more on the management of the non-profit, fundraising and public events. LongBeachize and Santa Monica Next both took off as independent news sources in their own right as Brian Addison (LBI) and Jason Islas (Next) proved that Streetsblog-style Impact Journalism can work in cities of all sizes.

And, we have another big announcement coming. But you’re going to have to wait another couple of weeks…

Make a tax-deductible contribution to Streetsblog before the end of the year and you’ll also be eligible to win this beautiful PUBLIC R16 bike:

Okay, now enjoy the voting. Polls close Friday at noon. We’ll run the results early next week after the Board and staff votes are taken into account.

Don’t forget to give! Have a Happy New Year! We’ll be finishing a cleanse so you’ll have to tell us all about it. Read more…

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Streetsie 2014: Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy

Streetsies 2014: Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy

  • Finish the Ride (46%, 671 Votes)
  • Tafarai Bayne (42%, 612 Votes)
  • Cynthia Rose (10%, 142 Votes)
  • Danny Gamboa (2%, 31 Votes)
  • Leimert Park 20/20 Vision Initiative Group (0%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,461

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And we’ve saved the best for last…the hardest Streetsie to narrow down the nominees. The hardest Streetsie to vote.

Voting for all categories will close on Friday, January 2, 2015, at noon. Reader voting accounts for one-half of the scoring this year, with one-quarter going to staff voting, and another one-quarter going to a board vote.

For each category, we came up with around ten first nominees with the list being pared down to the last five “finalists” with input from the staff and board. You can vote in our “Elected Leader of the Year,” “Civil Servant of the Year,” “Livable Streets Friendly Business,” and “Writer/Journalist of the Year” polls, too.

Here are our some of the top advocates in Los Angeles. We’re sure we’ve missed someone or someones. Thanks to everyone who reads this for all that you do.: Read more…

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Streetsies 2014: Journalist/Writer of the Year

Streetsies 2014: Journalist/Writer of the Year

  • Nathan Lucero (41%, 129 Votes)
  • Let's Go L.A. (23%, 72 Votes)
  • Laura Nelson (15%, 46 Votes)
  • Chris Hawthorne (13%, 42 Votes)
  • Hank Scott (8%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 312

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Welcome to week 2 of our 2014 Streetsie voting! Voting for all categories will close on Friday, January 2, 2015, at noon. Reader voting accounts for one-half of the scoring this year, with one-quarter going to staff voting, and another one-quarter going to a board vote.

For each category, we came up with around ten first nominees, with the list being pared down to the last five “finalists” with input from the staff and board. You can vote in our “elected leader of the year,” “civil servant of the year,” and “Livable Streets Friendly Business” polls, too.

Here are our journalist of the year nominees, some of the people who we all turn to to keep informed about Los Angeles livability:  Read more…

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Streetsies 2014: Livable Streets Friendly Businesses

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Streetsies 2014: Business of the Year

  • Espacio 1839 (47%, 287 Votes)
  • Bike Center (27%, 166 Votes)
  • Designed by Colleen (14%, 85 Votes)
  • KAOS Network (10%, 62 Votes)
  • Pine and Crane (2%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 607

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This year, we’re going to spread out the Streetsie voting over a couple of weeks, with some voting going live ealier, today, and and some next week. Voting will close on Friday, January 2, 2015, at noon. Reader voting accounts for one-half of the scoring this year, with one-quarter going to staff voting, and another one-quarter going to a board vote.

For each category, we came up with around ten first nominees with the list being pared down to the last five “finalists” with input from the staff and board. You can vote in our “elected leader of the year” and “civil servant of the year” polls too.

This business category is pretty new, which is why there are some very different nominees. We decided “no bike shops” to keep the category from becoming an argument over who has the best neighborhood bike shop, although some of us felt we could name this award after the Flying Pigeon in Northeast L.A. Without further adieu… Read more…

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Streetsies 2014: Civil Servant of the Year

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Streetsies 2014: Public Servant of the Year

  • John Jones (48%, 3,000 Votes)
  • Tim Fremaux (39%, 2,413 Votes)
  • Francie Stefan (6%, 388 Votes)
  • High Desert Corridor Artist (5%, 330 Votes)
  • Alan Loomis (2%, 65 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,192

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This year, we’re going to spread out the Streetsie voting over a couple of weeks, with some of the voting going live today, tomorrow and next week. Voting will close on Friday, January 2, 2015, at noon. Reader voting accounts for one-half of the scoring this year, with one-quarter going to staff voting, and another one-quarter going to a board vote.

For each category, we came up with around ten first nominees with the list being pared down to the last five “finalists” with input from the staff and board. Yesterday we posted “elected official of the year.”

Without further delay, here are our nominees for civil servant of the year: Read more…

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2014 Streetsies: Elected Official of the Year

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2014 Elected Official of the Year

  • Councilmember Jose Huizar (53%, 5,047 Votes)
  • Councilmember Joe Buscaino (43%, 4,101 Votes)
  • Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (2%, 153 Votes)
  • Assemblymember Mike Gatto (1%, 113 Votes)
  • Councilmember Mike Bonin (1%, 107 Votes)

Total Voters: 9,515

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s Streetsie voting time!

This year, we’re going to spread out the Streetsie voting over a couple of weeks, with some of the voting going live today and tomorrow and some of it going live next week. Voting will close on Friday, January 2, 2015 at noon. Reader voting accounts for one-half of the scoring this year, with one-quarter going to staff voting, and another one-quarter going to a board vote.

For each category, we came up with around ten first nominees with the list being pared down to the last five “finalists” with input from the staff and board.

Without further delay, here are our nominees for elected official of the year: Read more…

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Join Us for a Walk and Party to Celebrate Jessica and Alissa’s Streetsie Wins

Alissa Walker and Jessica Meaney. The Streetsblog L.A. journalist and advocate of the year, respectively. Photo: Jessica Meaney

Alissa Walker and Jessica Meaney. The Streetsblog L.A. journalist and advocate of the year, respectively. Photo: Jessica Meaney

Join Streetsblog Los Angeles and Los Angeles Walks for a walk and party celebrating two of Streetsblog’s 2013 Streetsie Winners:

Jessica Meaney
Advocate of the Year

Alissa Walker
Journalist of the Year

Saturday, July 12
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

We’ll meet at the Boathouse Cafe on Echo Park Lake and walk (what else) through the park, to a secret destination for our Streetsie Party.

Get your ticket and make a donation to Streetsblog at Eventbrite and invite more walkers to join us at Facebook. Suggested donation is $10, but pay what you can.

Family-friendly! All generations welcome, including kids, but no need to RSVP for children.

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And the Winners Are

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Usually we do Streetsies a little differently than we did this year. The rigors of the two job searches and restructuring Santa Monica Next ate up more time than I thought so we narrowed down to just awarding Streetsies to the four people who made the biggest impacts in 2013.

The reader’s vote, a vote of our Board of Directors and my vote each held equal weight in determining the overall winners. Without further adieu, here are the winners.

Politician of the Year: Pam O’Connor (Your vote, 2nd, Board Vote 1st, My Vote 3rd)

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Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor seems to be everywhere, advocating for transportation sustainability, livable cities, and complete streets policies.

She has served on the Santa Monica City Council for 20 years, the Metro Board of Directors for 13 years, and the Chair of the Expo Line Construction Authority. She served as President of the Southern California Association of Governments, leading the unanimous adoption of the region’s Sustainable Communities Strategy, a regional framework for transportation and land use sustainability.  She’s also on the board of ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), a non-profit group looking to provide technical expertise and services to local governments looking to lead the transition to more sustainable places.

What’s truly remarkable about Pam is that none of these elected or appointed positions are full-time, as is the case with L.A. City Councilmembers.  Pam serves in her free time from her primary job as a historical preservation consultant.
Pam describes herself as “car-light” as we have proof that she’s an active Streetsblog L.A. reader and follows our social media. – Juan Matute

Civil Servant of the Year: Paul Backstrom (Your vote: 2nd, Board vote: 1st, My vote: 1st)

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Paul Backstrom is front and center on transportation issues in Los Angeles. Photo:Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership.

A couple of years ago, I was talking to Tony Arranaga, then the communications director for Bill Rosendahl, about Streetsies. Without prompting, he enthusiastically endorsed Paul Backstrom, the transportation deputy for the Transportation Committee Chair, as symbolic of everything we look for in a Streetsie winner. Backstrom didn’t win that year, but after twice finishing second in our balloting it was past time to give Backstrom his due.

While Mike Bonin, who is now Backstrom’s boss in City Hall, is an avowed transportation wonk, he is aided by a top notch staff helping with transportation and planning issues with Backstrom at forefront. When advocates need help advancing issues, fighting back bad legislation, or just need advice on how to proceed; Paul Backstrom is one of our first calls.

Even as I’m working on this paragraph, I have an email waiting in my box from him. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts its a tip about a cool project that’s coming to the Transportation Committee.

(Update: It was.)

Advocate of the Year: Jessica Meaney (Your vote: 2nd, Board vote: 1st, My vote: 1st)

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 4.03.20 PMThere are a lot of people that work tirelessly in Los Angeles to make the city a safer and more attractive place to live. A handful of us are lucky enough to have jobs that pay us to fight the good fight. Others spend countless hours of their free time going to public meetings, volunteering their free time, knocking on doors and doing everything that needs to be done to change the culture and infrastructure of the city.

And then there are those rare few that are so totally devoted that they are both professional and volunteer advocates. One of the most prominent in that group is Jessica Meaney.

As the local director for the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership, Meaney has assembled a powerful coalition to advance pedestrian and bicycle issues in Los Angeles and beyond. Realizing that it’s not enough just to be right, and not just enough to be mobilized; Meaney has done both storming public meetings with an army of local advocates and a mountain of statistics and information.

And more often than not, she wins. And not just because you would have to be crazy to vote against making it easier and safer for kids to walk to school.

Then at night (or in the middle of the day as in the picture above), Meaney works as one of the Steering Committee for Los Angeles Walks, the all-volunteer organization that focuses as a laser beam on pedestrian issues. On a shoestring budget, L.A. Walks programs Walktober, WalkLAvia and an awesome event where people dress as super heroes and help people across the street.

Journalist of the Year: Alissa Walker (Your Vote: 1st, Board Vote: 1st, My Vote: 2nd)

From Alissa's homepage, ##http://www.awalkerinla.com/2008/01/28/welcome-to-a-walker-in-la/##A Walker in L.A.##

From Alissa’s homepage, A Walker in L.A.

Alissa Walker is a fine journalist. She’s written at Los Angeles Magazine, the LA Weekly, Dwell, Fast Company, GOOD, T Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times, and appeared on KCRW public radio showDnA: Design and Architecture. Currently, She is the urbanism editor at Gizmodo.

She writes about design, architecture, cities, transportation and walking. She’s a great writer. We all enjoy her work.

But what separates Walker from many journalists is that in addition to her professional work, in her free time she’s become a sort of defender of the new Los Angeles and not the car-culture obsessed city of yesteryear. It’s hard work, but somebody has to do it.

From Gelato Baby to Walker in L.A., Alissa loves Los Angeles, loves the city it’s becoming, and has helped move the city in the right direction through her writing and publishing. We’re big fans of her work, no matter where it appears, and always look forward to where her work is going to pop up next.

As anyone that follows me on social media knows, with Laura leading the popular vote at 4:20 pm, 40 minutes before voting ended, I wrote her Streetsie Award announcement. While Alissa rallied to pull out the win, anyone who’s a Laura fan can see that draft here.

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Give Us Your Nominees for 2013 Streetsies!

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As anyone that’s been reading Streetsblog for more than a year knows, at the end of the year we hand out a series of “Streetsie” awards. Some Streetsies are tongue in cheek, but others are a sincerely meant honor to the people and organizations that are making Los Angeles a more livable place to live, work and play.

In past years, we’ve always asked our readers to help us choose who we honor through a reader’s poll on the page. For the first time, this year we’re opening up the nomination process as well. If there’s someone you think we should honor as “Elected Leader of the Year,” “Activist of the Year,” “Journalist of the Year,” or “Public Servant of the Year” please let us know in the comments section.

A couple quick notes, people cannot win the same Streetsie more than once and neither Streetsblog staff nor Board Members are eligible for awards. No matter how much you want to give all our awards to Juan Matute, you can’t. I’m sorry. I know it’s a huge disappointment.

We’ll announce Streetsblog’s picks next week and people will have until the close of business on January 3 to vote in the People’s Choice polls.