Next Steps…

Friends,

When I sat down with Aaron Naperstek and Mark Gorton nearly three years ago to discuss bringing Streetsblog to Los Angeles, we weren’t certain how it would work. Not only is Los Angeles a completely different beast than New York City, in so many ways, but Streetsblog isn’t your typical transportation blog. While a lot of people identify L.A. Streetsblog as my project, it never would have happened without the vision and support of Aaron and Mark. I owe them a large debt of gratitude.

In many ways, L.A. Streetsblog has exceeded expectations. Last week, over 1,300 people per day read L.A. Streetsblog, which was ahead of our expectations. Amongst those reading are politicians, media personalities, staff at City Hall and Metro.

But one way that L.A. Streetsblog hasn’t yet had the success of its brother blogs in New York and San Francisco is that we haven’t yet found a local source of funding to support us.

As you all know, money’s tight these days. And without a local source of funds, it’s too tight to continue funding our operations in Los Angeles. Nearly 100 people have donated to L.A. Streetsblog since we began our fundraising campaign earlier this year, and those funds will be used to keep me on a part-time basis for another couple of weeks and to pay for freelancers. Looking at my calendar, I think the last day we’ll publish in Los Angeles will be July 23.

After that, there will be a brief hiatus, and then myself and a team of names that you would certainly recognize will be returning with a new locally produced, written, edited, and funded website. We don’t have all the details worked out yet, but when we do we won’t be shy about sharing them.

I want to stress that this isn’t a divorce of any sort between myself and the folks in NYC. There’s a lot of good people working at Open Plans and there wouldn’t have been an expansion of Streetsblog to L.A. without their technical and creative support and, of course, the financial support of Mark Gorton. OpenPlans even offered to continue the technical support and keep L.A. Streetsblog open until I could find a funder, but it’s time this project sinks or swims on it’s own.

I’m taking tomorrow and Monday off to decompress a little. We’ll be back Tuesday to write about everything I missed over four days.

Thank you for your continued support and I welcome any ideas or contributions that will help get our own local transportation blog off the ground and on to the web. I can still be reached at damien@streetsblog.org, but you might want to write down thedaymen@gmail.com as well.

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