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Thanks to You, We’re Funded for Another Year of Transportation Advocacy

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.39.01 AM
Steven and John at Navy Pier back in 2011, shortly after we launched our first transportation news site Grid Chicago.

It was a bit of a nail-biter, but thanks to the generosity of sponsors, advertisers, and loyal readers like you, yesterday Streetsblog Chicago raised the $50K needed to win the $25K challenge grant graciously offered by The Chicago Community Trust. By the time the clock struck midnight last night, we had raised $50,470, for a total of $75,470. That’s enough money for Steven Vance and I to bring you another year of the sustainable transportation and livable streets reporting and advocacy that readers have once again demonstrated that they value.

We live in a brave new world in media, where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a living providing high-quality reporting about issues that matter, without having to obsess over what kind of content will garner the most clicks and pageviews. For the second year in a row, Streetsblog supporters have proved that reader-supported journalism is a viable model. Steven and I are very grateful that you folks have once again provided us with the backing to do what we do best: bringing you the latest in biking, walking, transit, and land use news.

I’m very proud that 277 individuals put their money where there mouth is by supporting sustainable transportation advocacy with a cash donation. There’s too many to name you all here, but I’d like to give a special shout-out to the 21 (up from 15 last year) people who gave $200 or more: Ben Blander, Jonathan Anderson, Richard Assmuth, Dennis Griffith, Alan Robinson, Christopher Woodbury, Ben Galewski, Daniel X. O’Neil, Carmin Ballou, Ella Revzin, Hunter Owens, Brad Topol, Michael Pieja, Alex Wilson, Anne Alt, Mark de la Vergne, Michael Davidson, Brian Chang, Gareth Tucker, Aaron Brown, Michelle Stenzel, and Jay Readey. Huge thanks to the very loyal reader who is backing SBC for the fourth year in a row at the $10K level – obviously this support is key for making what we do possible.

Of the many organizations that have had our back over the years, the Chicago Community Trust clearly deserves to be singled out for providing the $25K challenge grant for the second year in a row. Not only does this represent about a third of our annual budget, it’s also crucial for inspiring others to donate. Special thanks to The Trust’s Michael Davidson for once again going to bat for us to make this happen. We’re also thankful to the Metropolitan Planning Council and their staff member Rob McCloskey for serving as the fiscal agent for the grant.

We also appreciate MPC, the Active Transportation Alliance, and the Center for Neighborhood Technology once again providing fundraising advice and assistance in publicizing the campaign.

We received generous donations from the TransitCenter foundation ($2,500 plus processing fees), Active Trans ($1,000), and The Green Lane Project / People for Bikes ($250 plus processing fees), which we greatly appreciate.

Corporate donors include Alta Planning + Design ($500) and SRAM Corporation ($500). We’re thankful for your support.

We’d also like to give a shout-out to our returning and new advertising sponsors: FK Law, Illinois Bicycle Lawyers, Boulevard Bikes, the Bike Lane, Roscoe Village Bikes, The Chainlink, Uptown Bikes, Wicker Park Apartments, On the Route Cycles, Blue City Cycles, Yojimbo’s Garage, Station to Station App.

Thanks also to local bike businesses that have generously donated the following prizes, which we’ll be raffling off to donors next week:

    • A stylish, comfortable Kali helmet from Ancien Cycles
    • A $100 gift card for classy-yet-practical bike bags from Po Campo
    • A package of essential bike accessories from Green Machine Cycles
    • Two bike tours for two and four full-day comfort bike rentals for two from Bike and Roll
    • A Topeak frame pump and a Cygolite USB-rechargeable bike light set from Pedal to the People
    • A Skid Lid bike helmet, two sets of BlackCat1 Knogg-type bike lights, and a bottle of ProLink chain lube from BlackCAT1.
    • A bike tune-up from Comrade Cycles

We’re thankful to Revolution Brewing for donating drink tickets for all $100 plus donors for our Reader Appreciation Party later this month. All readers are cordially invited:

Streetsblog Reader Appreciation Party
Wednesday, June 22, 6-9 p.m.
Revolution Brewing Kedzie Taproom
3340 N. Kedzie Avenue

Big thanks to our 2015-16 board members for providing advice and moral support: Anne Alt, Maria Barnes, Ben Blander, Lorena Cupcake, Courtney Cobbs, Jacky Grimshaw, Garth Katner, Randy Neufeld, Lebster Pabon, and Oboi Reed. Thanks also to Julie Sherman, who volunteered several hours of accounting assistance.

Last but not least, we’d like to give a shout-out our colleagues at the Streetsblog network for assistance and moral support throughout the year, especially editor-in-chief Ben Fried, who once again assisted with our funding campaign. We’re looking forward to another year of fighting the good fight for safe, efficient, and vibrant streets with you.

Apologies to anyone I may have accidently left out — once again, so many people have stepped forward to help that I’m surely forgetting someone. But, again, that a testament to the strength of Chicago’s transportation advocacy community.

One more time, thanks to all of you for supporting our work for another year.

– John

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