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Make a Donation to Expand Los Angeles Streetsblog

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As Los Angeles Streetsblog inches towards its second birthday on March 3, we have some pretty ambitious plans to expand and improve our coverage so that we can cover more stories, in a more in-depth way, around Los Angeles City and County.  Currently, we have one staff person in Los Angeles, me, and I'm part-time to boot.  With the exception of the work done in the weeks following Sammy's birth, all of the guest pieces have been donated.  My contract, and all of the Los Angeles Streetfilms, have been paid for out of New York because of the very generous support of Mark Gorton.

By comparison, the Streetsblogs in New York and San Francisco have multiple full- and part- time writers, their own Streetfilms' budgets, and even some extra funds for events and other materials.  Our plans for expansion include:

    1. a budget to pay freelance writers to cover specific events that I cannot attend or when I'm away from the city.
    2. a Streetfilms budget so that we can make our own films.
    3. a specific fund to cover specific stories in Spanish
    4. a part time legal writer to cover legislative issues and fact-check my coverage of legislative issues

If we're going to expand LA Streetsblog to those levels, I'm going to
need your help.  To just accomplish these goals, we'll need to raise nearly $50,000 before July 1 of this year.

In the past twenty four hours we've put together a
couple of different ways you can help.  First, you might note a "Donate Now" paypal option immediately below the "Word on the Street" Widget on the right sidebar. All funds raised through the "Donate Now" link will be spent here in Los Angeles, as the overhead for maintaining and redesigns are paid for by grants to The Open Planning Project in New York.

Second, we're planning a small series of fundraisers throughout Los Angeles this Spring.  The first will be at the L.A. Eco Village on April 9, the second will be at the Flying Pigeon L.A. shop in N.E.L.A. in May, and the third will be in West L.A. on June 16.  There will be food, drinks and a Streetsie Awards Ceremony.  A lot more information on those events to come.

While I'm proud of the work we've done thus far, I'll leave it to some other notables to discuss the impact Streetsblog has had in Los Angeles.

City Council Transportation Committee Chair Bill Rosendahl writes:

In the great debate over the future of the streets of Los Angeles, LAStreetsblog has been at the forefront in changing the way we thinkabout transportation.  With thoughtful, policy-based analysis andfocused mobilizing efforts, LA Streetsblog has been a transformativeadvocate on behalf of cyclists, pedestrians and transit ridersthroughout the City.

Joe Linton writes:

Los Angeles green transportation stuggles have been divisive, withvarious groups often at odds over priorities. Pro-rail groups clashwith pro-bus groups. More radical cyclists clash with groups they see asmore mainstream. But they all read and appreciate Streetsblog. DamienNewton's excellent even-handed coverage of these issues has great. Hiswork is accurate, measured, factual while being supportive, and hasresulted in building support for and awareness of the need for criticalreforms. Streetsblog has played a very important role in quite a fewlocal advocacy campaigns, especially including the newly-striped ResedaBoulevard bike lanes.

L.A. Streetsblog has been a game-changer locally, greatly raisingthe profile of critical transportation and livability issues. It's avital forum for disseminating information, and for discussions amongAngelenos interested in these issues.

Josef Bray-Ali writes:

The impact
that Streetsblog has had in my life has been enormous. At one point, in
2007 I knew more about transit issues and politics in New York City
than I did in my own home town. When I first met Damien Newton, and he
hinted that Streetsblog was coming to LA I knew that things were only
going to improve - and slowly, the dialogue in this car-only town has
shifted.

Any contribution helps, but if all of our daily readers contributed just $25 we'd easily reach half of our goal nearly instantly.

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

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