Gloria Ohland: Why Streetsblog Matters
As we advance further in to June, we also move farther in to our first-ever fundraising driver. Rather than making another appeal myself, I thought I’d ask some of the leaders of our advocacy community to tell you why they support Streetsblog. Our first volunteer is Gloria Ohland, who is now with Move LA and formerly with Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, and before that the Surface Transportation Policy Project — precursor to Transportation for America. Gloria hasn’t just donated to us several times, she’s also written dozens of pieces for us which is no small deal for a former writer for LA Weekly.
I started working on transportation issues in 1995, back when advocates for transit, bikes, pedestrians and smart growth were a minority voice in the media — if we got into the media. Fast forward to 2011 and Streetsblog totally owns these issues and commandeers its own communications channel. Every time I want to call Damien and propose a story about how they’re testing the Expo Line, or the disagreements among people who are otherwise allies over the TOD parking reduction bill (AB 710), or Senator Boxer’s encouraging remarks about America Fast Forward and the transportation reauthorization, I look on Streetsblog and Damien has already posted a story!
It is testament to how right we are that advocacy subculture now speaks with so much authority and has achieved such a high profile with Streetsblog. Moreover, Streetsblog is able to stoke the advocacy fires while staying on top of the news with responsible reporting that maintains the high standards of old-school journalism but doesn’t abandon the passion that advocates bring to the table. That’s why I’ve donated to Streetsblog. And because it makes my job as an advocate easier.