Downtown Seattle skyscrapers seen from a ferry in Elliott Bay
Ferry goers enjoy the Seattle skyline view. (Doug Trumm)

Today marks the start of our annual fall subscriber drive. First off, thank you for reading The Urbanist. We’re proud of the work we do and grateful for the readership. Our work would not be possible without support from our readers. Over the next two weeks, we’ll make the case for readers to become subscribers to sustain and grow our advocacy and journalism.

Tomorrow we’ll celebrate The Urbanist’s educational mission with a special event that is a conversation between two visionary urbanists: Charles Mudede and Cary Moon. We encourage you to register if you haven’t yet and submit your question for the discussion. Both aspire to the kind of inclusive urbanism as us where everyone has a right to the city–not just to subsist but to thrive and guide in the future.

We want to offer our gratitude to our existing subscribers and donors, who are the backbone of our finances. Our advertising revenue took a hit with the pandemic and recession, but our donors kept us afloat. We’re a scrappy nonprofit that runs on a shoestring budget. I’m the only paid employee as executive director; everyone else–from our reporters to our webmaster–is a volunteer.

I took the helm in January with the charge of growing The Urbanist so we can support more employees and ensure The Urbanist is a lasting institution. Adding more paid positions, such as an advocacy director and an editor-in-chief, would further that goal and expand our reach.

We are still a long way from that goal, but we can make progress this subscriber drive if you join us. Over the next two weeks, we’ll have articles laying out in more detail what we’ve been up to and where we hope to go.

On a high level, The Urbanist is making major strides. We’ve added new writers and updated our website to reduce crashes and speed up load times. We kept our monthly meetups going amidst a pandemic by switching to an online format. Ditto our endorsement interviews, which also happened online. Despite the challenges Covid has presented, we delivered the timely, well-researched endorsements that you rely on and the monthly meetups that offer insightful guest speakers and a chance to socialize with fellow urbanists.

Internally, we launched a racial equity assessment and are continuing antiracist work to better ourselves as an ally to the inspiring Black-led uprising against police brutality and racial injustice this summer. Our organization backed Black Lives Matter protests and signed on to the Decriminalize Seattle coalition. We stepped up our coverage of policing, protests, and racial justice to do our part to contribute to this historic moment and opportunity to divest from racist policing and invest in Black communities.

This multi-layered crisis brings challenges, but also opportunities. Let’s weather the storm and seize them together. Become a subscriber or volunteer to join us in the fight.

Fall 2020 Subscriber Drive

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Doug Trumm is publisher of The Urbanist. An Urbanist writer since 2015, he dreams of pedestrianizing streets, blanketing the city in bus lanes, and unleashing a mass timber building spree to end the affordable housing shortage and avert our coming climate catastrophe. He graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington in 2019. He lives in East Fremont and loves to explore the city on his bike.