It’s starting to feel like spring in a lot of ways. The days are getting longer and Covid vaccines are being administered at record rates. There’s hope the pandemic will be in check before winter. We’ve weathered the storm and passed the one year mark on the declared public health emergency.
We are thankful for our community of writers, readers, and advocates, which has continued to grow even amid the chaos. We’re thrilled to have Ashley Archibald, formerly of Real Change News, chipping in articles for us, such as her excellent interview with King County Metro General Manager Terry White.
Another long-time writer and editor, Ryan Packer, is filling in as temporary editor at the Seattle Bike Blog. While we’ve missed Ryan’s bylines with us, we’re glad they’re still on the transportation beat. Plus the arrangement has allowed Seattle Bike Blog founder Tom Fucoloro to take a well-earned sabbatical to finish his book on bike advocacy in Seattle, which we’re looking forward to reading.
One thing I’ve been reminded this year is to ramp up coverage of the Eastside. Our two most-read posts of 2021 thus far have been on Bellevue’s preparation (or lack thereof) for its Amazon housing boom and Brandon Zuo’s piece on Kirkland’s 85th Street Station Area Plan. Zuo’s Bellevue’s New I-405 Interchange Won’t Reduce Congestion was also among the most popular this year. Meanwhile, our reporter Christopher Randels co-founded Complete Streets Bellevue, which is aiming to jumpstart safe streets advocacy in Bellevue.
If you’re interested in reporting on the Eastside urbanism news (can you imagine that concept a few decades ago?!), please reach out to us. With East Link light rail set to open in 2023, the Eastside is urbanizing, changing rapidly, and people seem to be hungry to read about it. Fertile ground for intrepid urbanism reporters.
Arguably, we should also boost grocery store coverage because our third most-read was Ray Dubicki’s photo tour of Fred Meyer which accompanied his take on Kroger corporate executives bullying the grocery workers union over hazard pay and Amazon leading the charge to automate away the need for many of these workers.
Many of our popular articles hit on likely hot topics for us in years to come. For example, Shaun Kuo covered Rep. David Hackney’s bill to add a new rail transit funding source in Seattle, which advocates at Seattle Subway helped engineer. The bill, House Bill 1304, appears to have stalled out in Rules Committee this session, but could come back next year. Whatever the funding mechanism, transit advocates are likely to push for new revenue sources to ensure light rail expansions, some beset with budget crunches or still at the visioning phase, open as soon as possible.
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Spring 2021 Publication Subscriber Drive
Summer Stinson, Executive Director of Economic Opportunity Institute
I rely on The Urbanist for reporting, investigation, analysis, and recommendations for local and state issues. Humans thrive in dense and walkable cities with excellent public transit, public schools, and public parks. Living collectively in a dense city brings me great joy and delight. But this is not the experience for so many in Seattle and our region right now because our city has become a tale of haves and have nots.
What I most love about The Urbanist is that it covers all these issues and many more. The Urbanist acknowledges and understands how interconnected these problems are currently and how we need holistic solutions. The local and state reporting and analysis from The Urbanist is thorough and excellent. I consider myself well-informed and much of that is due to The Urbanist! I am proud to be a subscriber of The Urbanist.
Seattle Subway Testimonial
The Urbanist is a great resource for Seattle readers and advocates. They put in the hours to go to planning meetings, read inscrutable public documents, and synthesize what they find along with valuable insights. They bring a lens of curiosity and interest rather than absolutism to the hard questions that face our growing city. They help us stay informed on the issues both big and overlooked that arise around land use and transit in our city.
We are lucky in Seattle to have such a dedicated group of volunteers as those that staff The Urbanist. Join us in making a monthly donation to The Urbanist to help them keep doing the great work they do.
Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda
The Urbanist has been an essential outlet in our city, deconstructing policy ideas in an intersectional way. Recognizing that “the market” alone will never be enough, and that building housing in a vacuum without infrastructure and community assets leads to poor outcomes, The Urbanist’s work to weave social justice into urbanism has been, and will continue to be, exceptionally important to our city as we grow and work toward greater inclusivity.
As Fredrick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” The Urbanist reminds us that the goal is not to seek policy that quiets the concerns of the loudest voices of those who previously held power, but instead to rise up, to speak up, to demand action and pass policies that allow for our urban core to be accessible, affordable, safe, healthy and equitable to all in our quest for a more just society.
Seattle Bike Blog’s Tom Fucoloro and Kelli Refer
Our family supports The Urbanist because we need local journalists like them who are closely following important housing and transportation news. With their reporting, people can be informed advocates for policies and legislation that create a more just and sustainable Puget Sound region. Please consider subscribing to The Urbanist today.
Katie Wilson, General Secretary of Transit Riders Union
If only there were an online publication that combined timely news reporting, knowledgeable analysis of urban policies, and concern for equity—and also wasn’t afraid to jump into the fray and take a stand on controversial issues.
Oh wait, that exists! It’s called The Urbanist!
The website is an important resource for grassroots organizations like the Transit Riders Union (TRU). We don’t have money to hire staff dedicated to policy and research, or the time to attend every local government committee meeting. It’s great to know that we can visit The Urbanist for insightful, well-researched commentary on current issues.
Former City Councilmember Mike O’Brien
The Urbanist is a great resource for people who care about cities and the people who live and work in cities. In a world where the media is under attack, we are lucky to have independent news sources such as The Urbanist to help all of us navigate all the complexities of people living in cities as our systems continue to evolve. The Urbanist’s insightful analysis on issues ranging from transportation to affordable housing are a great resource and help advance the public dialog around important issues involving our city.
Because of the great value that The Urbanist adds to our city, I am proud to be a monthly supporter of their work. I hope you’ll consider joining in supporting this local, independent media outlet that contributes to making our community more informed.
Crystal Fincher, host of Hacks and Wonks podcast
What is most engaging about The Urbanist is the sense of possibility of what cities like Seattle, Everett and Kent can be. The Urbanist provides valuable coverage of transportation, housing, land use, and politics that challenges us all to re-imagine what our cities can become and, perhaps most importantly, they inform the public about how we can take action to help achieve that vision.
I can always count on The Urbanist to cover the issues I care about earlier than most other other outlets and with more detail, helping folks to identify how and where engagement can make a difference, and how people can engage in shaping their communities.
Simply put, The Urbanist makes Seattle and Washington better. Let’s show them the support they deserve. I’m proud to chip in for The Urbanist’s essential reporting, and I hope you will, too.
Cary Moon, co-founder of People’s Waterfront Coalition
As I watch the dark energy of Trump, the energy that sows mistrust, creates fear, attacks democracy, pushes people to disassociate from our collective responsibility, I realize venues like The Urbanist serve as an essential backstop to that. When we focus our energy on city-making, we ground ourselves in physical space, rooting ourselves psychologically and emotionally. When we orient ourselves as caretakers of someplace tangible, we recognize our responsibility to our fellow humans.
The Urbanist hosts this essential dialogue, reminding us that our city is always in the state of becoming, inviting us to imagine possible futures. As other places are lamenting the loss of local media and facing the rise of mistrust and alienation, we are fortunate to have The Urbanist. Don’t you love The Urbanist? Let’s all show them the heaps of gratitude they deserve and help sustain their work.
Anna Zivarts, Director of Disability Mobility Initiative
I am a proud supporter of the Urbanist. Here’s why: Many years ago, reading the New York City version of The Urbanist — StreetsBlog — was the beginning of my education into transportation policy and politics. This was before Twitter, before Facebook was mainstream, and it was the first time I was able to see that there was a whole wonderful world of people out there who like me, didn’t believe driving and car-dependent communities were the answer. It took another 15 years before I was able to make mobility justice my full-time paid work, but it was reading that blog that made me start to try.
Doug Trumm is the executive director 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. He lives in East Fremont and loves to explore the city on his bike.