We’re launching our Spring Subscriber Drive at a momentous time. We just had a monster week covering some pivotal Sound Transit happenings, providing deep dives and explainers you can’t get anywhere else. We also announced today we’re hiring a new managing editor as Ray and Natalie are looking to pivot back to writer roles and part-time hours.
Twice a year, we run two-week subscriber drives asking you to support our unique brand of advocacy journalism. Those efforts have allowed us to bring two staff on full-time and pay most of our reporters on a per-article basis. Beyond that, our nonprofit is sustained by an amazing group of volunteers. We want to pay people what they’re worth for their work, but that takes your help.
We’ve listed our managing editor position with a salary range of $45,000 to $55,000 and limited benefits. We know we should pay more to offer a living wage in the Seattle region, but we don’t yet have the resources so we included the following pledge: “We are eager to find a candidate who is in a position to join us on the ground floor and help us grow our organization and this role into one compensated at a more competitive level.” With more subscribers and donors, we will be able to raise our compensation to a living wage.
In addition to hiring a full-time managing editor, we want to expand the scope of our work, increasing our coverage throughout the Puget Sound region.
Or as our Tacoma-based boardmember Rubén Casas, put it during our last drive: “We are fortunate to have such a robust organization in our region, not only because it has gathered a multiplicity of voices to help us make better judgments about the cities we want and need, but also because its coverage looks out beyond Seattle and towards towns and cities that, although not always in the spotlight, are innovating in ways that other cities in our region can emulate.”
We’ve seen that play out with cities like Spokane and Olympia leading on pro-housing zoning reform, which is pushing the state to tackle statewide reform. We want to tell those stories, but it takes resources. Please give this drive. It will help us hire and retain a great managing editor and pay for more freelance articles.
We’re influencing the debate as we’ve seen with decisions around light rail and statewide zoning. But volunteers and underpaid, overworked staff eventually move on. A better resourced organization is a more sustainable one.
If your employer offers matching funds, hold tight until our big announcement early this week of how you can double (or triple) your support of The Urbanist. The Urbanist is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit so donations are not tax deductible, but we are in the process of adding 501(c)(3) supporting options that would be deductible. News soon!
And if you have questions or an existing subscription that you’d like to adjust (preferably in an upward direction!), please email me at doug [at] theurbanist.org.
Spring 2023 Subscriber Drive
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.