Help Streetsblog Chicago raise $50K to keep the site going strong in 2022
Hello Streetsblog Chicago readers,
These are hopeful and exciting times in Chicago as – knock on wood – the COVID-19 pandemic seems to finally be winding down, and life is gradually returning to relative normalcy. That includes local public transportation, which is slowly regaining ridership, thanks in part to fare reductions and creative marketing schemes by the transit agencies. For example, it will be interesting to see what effect the CTA’s plan to permanently slash pass prices and eliminate the 25-cent transfer fee will have on coaxing riders back onto trains and buses.
On the other hand, car commuting has been rising at a much faster pace. For example, the amount of downtown street-level parking use hit a whopping 160 percent of pre-pandemic rates earlier this fall. When you consider that Chicago traffic fatalities spiked by 45 percent last year, when there were much lower levels of driving, it’s it’s crucial for our city to be more proactive about preventing this dangerous trend towards greater auto-dependency from reaching carmageddon levels.
As such, Streetsblog Chicago’s work advocating for safer and more efficient, equitable, and vibrant streets will be more important than ever in the coming year. That’s why I’m once again asking for your help to raise $50,000 in smaller grants, ad sales, corporate sponsorships, and tax-deductible donations from readers. We are currently in the running for another major grant that, along with that $50K, would allow us to operate at full steam next year. It would be terrific if we can wrap up the campaign by New Year’s Day so that all donors can take advantage of the tax benefits of end-of-year donations, although we’ll extend the drive longer if necessary.
Your gift will help support Streetsblog Chicago’s talented roster of staffers and freelancers. Co-editor Courtney Cobbs is a passionate advocate for reallocating street space to prioritize walking, biking, and transit as a strategy to improve safety and equity, and fight climate change. SBC cofounder Steven Vance is currently focused on running his excellent real estate news and data website Chicago Cityscape, but he’s still working for us a few hours a week providing technical assistance and editorial advice. We are also currently in the process of recruiting a Latino Communities Reporter, and will likely announce the hire later this month.
Our freelancers include Cameron Bolton, Richard Day, Amber Drea, Sharon Hoyer, Imelda March, Mia Park, James Porter, Igor Studenkov, and David Zegeye. It’s great to have such a strong set of reporters associated with the site.
Here are a few of Streetsblog Chicago’s advocacy efforts from the past year.
- The successful push for a road diet with protected bike lanes on Logan Boulevard in the wake of two cyclist deaths at the Logan/ Western Avenue intersection.
- Advocating for strategies to promote safety on the CTA that don’t involve adding more guns to the system, such as transit ambassadors and increased funding for mental health services, the latter of which was recently included in Chicago’s 2022 budget.
- Digging deeper into the facts about fatal bike crashes to provide a more accurate picture of what really happened.
- Defending Chicago’s traffic camera program from unfair media attacks, while advocating for income-based fines to make the penalties less regressive, which also passed in the new budget.
- Advocating for a citywide network of protected bike lanes, while holding the city accountable for ensuring those lanes aren’t clogged with parked cars.
Here are some topics we plan to cover in the near future.
- What’s been causing the unusually long waits for CTA buses and trains in recent months?
- How do we get the CPD to finally end its practice of zero-tolerance bike ticketing as a wrongheaded anti-violence strategy in communities of color?
- What will it take for Chicago to catch up with peer cities like New York when it comes to creating an extensive network of camera-enforced bus lanes?
As a community-funded news outlet, we rely on sponsors, advertisers, and readers like you to help us keep doing this important work. If you appreciate Streetsblog Chicago’s coverage, please consider donating today. We’re grateful for your loyal support!
— John Greenfield, co-editor