Streetsblog San Francisco shows its political clout!
Every day at Streetsblog San Francisco, our writers and editors marvel at the intelligence and passion of our readership, though we rarely get to meet this community of dedicated urbanists in person. Recently we threw ourselves a birthday party at the LGBT Center in San Francisco to celebrate all that has come in one year and we were joined by 150 of our closest friends and avid readers. We broke bread and raised our glasses in honor of the impact that our brand of advocacy journalism has had on the Bay Area, where Streetsblog San Francisco has quickly become the go-to source for sustainable transportation and smart growth news. The event even became a stop on the campaign trail for current Board of Supervisors candidates intent on pressing palms with some of the smartest and most passionate of their constituents.
Special thanks to Jonathan Weiner, without whom this past year would have been impossible. Thanks also to Katie Brodie and Nico Martin Presents for the great crew of smiling servers, impressive spread and delicious mash potatoes bar (which was quite the hit), B-Haul for the (Tasty) tunes, super volunteer Denyse Trepanier, the LGBT Center, Swirl Wine Bar, SFBC and its volunteers for weathering the rain to provide valet bike parking, Supervisor David Chiu, Supervisor Eric Mar, Judson True, Leah Shahum, Andy Thornley, Gabriel Metcalf, Chris Carlsson, Dave Snyder, John Hamilton (for the great Streetfilm you see above), Mike and Sarah Sonn, Brooke Dubose, Greg Riessen, Gary Fisher, and many, many more...
Here's to a wonderful 2010 and many more reasons to celebrate the San Francisco Bay Area and its improving public realm.
Women: [together] [0:08] Happy birthday, San Francisco Streetsblog!
Man 1: [0:11] Happy birthday, Streetsblog.
Woman 1: [0:13] Happy birthday.
Woman 2: [0:14] Happy birthday, Streetsblog.
Man 2: [0:16] Happy birthday.
Woman 3: [0:17] Happy birthday!
Man 3: [0:18] Happy birthday, Streetsblog.
Man 4: [0:20] Streetsblog, feliz cumpleaÃƒÂƒÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â±os.
Man 5: [0:23] Happy birthday, Streetsblog.
Bryan Goebel: [0:26] Some of the advocates in San Francisco had seen Streetsblog's success in New York and had decided that they wanted a Streetsblog here. So they lobbied my boss, Aaron Naparstek, the executive editor, to launch a Streetsblog in San Francisco. And we launched on January 7, 2009. [0:44] Our first story was about the MTA board decision, removing the bike line at Market and Octavia. The MTA board had decided that they wanted to remove that lane for safety. The bicycle advocates were up in arms about it. They felt that it would create more dangerous conditions, actually, for bicyclists.
Matthew Roth: [1:01] Theoretically, they were going to make changes that many in the bike community thought would lead to more crashes between cars and bicycles. And we followed it up with a year of hard-hitting coverage of transportation issues around the Bay Area. [music]
Woman 4: [1:20] Come join us! Get in! Woo!
Leah Shahum: [1:24] I know, from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, we've seen so much more attention to the issues that we're promoting, so much more attention from politicians, from other media, from the public. It's just been a real sea change, I think, in shining a light on the issues we all care about so much.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [1:38] We love what you've been doing out there. It reminds us a lot of what we were doing many years ago, when we first started Streetsblog in New York City and Streetfilms, and we really got the city energized about transportation issues. The amount of work you guys are putting into it, the amount of research and drive and advocacy, it's just wonderful.
Susan King: [1:57] I go to it every day, and I read it several times a day, and it's just an invaluable resource of what's going on in the transportation world. [music]
Susan King: [2:19] On a professional level, Streetsblog has been very useful to me, through their promotion of Sunday Streets. And I can always count on Streetsblog to have the best coverage, and to have the coverage up first, and to have really compelling photos and really, really good coverage of what the event is.
David Chiu: [2:37] I am very grateful to the fact that Streetsblog is covering the importance of livable streets, the importance of public transit. I'm actually the one member of our San Francisco board of supervisors that doesn't have a car and has to rely on my bicycle, public transit, my feet--all issues that Streetsblog covers.
Eric Mar: [2:56] I think Streetsblog covered the cuts in our transit system better than any other news source. And I often was going to Streetsblog to find the most up-to-date information, even as a supervisor, seeing the reporters who had access to better information than I did at times.
Judson True: [3:13] What Streetsblog does for me is create work. But that's fine. That's my job. That's the job of the MTA, to get the word out about what's going on. I think that Streetsblog is nudging us to be even more open than we've been in the past. And I appreciate that, and I know that Nat Ford does, too, and so do so many other of the people we work with.
Man 12: [3:31] I feel like it's a well-rounded group of policy perspectives, but also just regular people's views in changing our city to make it better for public transit.
Marc Caswell: [3:40] The San Francisco Bike Coalition has found good ideas about specific projects that have been really, really useful, just in the comments of Streetsblog. And I think it's really built a great community of people just like us that are concerned about building better streets for more people.
Michael Helquist: [3:53] I often get ideas from Streetsblog. I see their story, their citywide issue, and then I think, "Well, this has an application for my neighborhood. Let's just bring the focus down, let people see how this happens." My blog is called BIKE NOPA. I am focusing on 30 square blocks of San Francisco, the North Panhandle neighborhood.
Sarah Goodyear: [4:12] At a time when everyone around the world is wringing their hands about the state of journalism and wondering who's going to be the journalists of the future, the journalists of the future are here. They're working at San Francisco Streetsblog, doing what journalists do best.
Bryan Goebel: [4:26] I feel that Streetsblog is a powerful, replicable model for cities that want to implement progressive transportation reform, not just in California, not just the Bay Area, but across the US. And so, in 2010, we have very ambitious goals. We want to hire a reporter in San Jose. We want to hire a reporter in Oakland. We want to hire a reporter in Sacramento. We want to have more street films. We want to hire more freelancers, and basically help drive the narrative on transportation reform, statewide.
Marc Caswell: [4:59] Happy birthday, San Francisco Streetsblog. Congratulations on a great year.
Michael Helquist: [5:03] Happy birthday. Have a great celebration, Streetsblog. You've all worked so much for this.
Leah Shahum: [5:09] Happy birthday, Streetsblog! Thank you!
David Chiu: [5:12] A very happy first birthday.
Susan King: [5:14] Happy birthday!
Eric Mar: [5:16] Streetsblog is so valuable to me. Happy birthday, Streetsblog.
Judson True: [5:20] Happy birthday, Streetsblog. May we have even more adventures together in 2010.
Clarence Eckerson Jr: [5:25] Congratulations, San Francisco Streetsblog. You are one, and that's very important, that you've reached your first anniversary. [music]