To say 2020 was a terrible year for media would be an understatement. Some smaller outlets closed shop completely, while larger legacy media saw major cuts in their newsroom staff. While the COVID-19 outbreak contributed to some of this chaos, the shrinking number of media jobs is a trend that precedes the current pandemic.
So far, Streetsblog has bucked that trend across the country. Thanks in large part to the flexibility of the California Endowment and ongoing support from GJEL Accident Attorneys, Melanie Curry has been able to continue her coverage uninterrupted. In 2019, only about five percent of Streetsblog California’s budget came from reader donations. To keep up the daily coverage that you have come to expect and rely on, that number needs to quadruple for 2021. To hit that goal, we would need to raise $10,000 in our End of the Year Support Drive.
Our fundraising drive doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that you see with a lot of these sorts of asks. That’s because our surveys have shown what you want from Streetsblog – and it’s not a shirt or some other knick-knack. It’s daily reporting delivered to your inbox or found at http://cal.streetsblog.org.
Looking ahead, 2020 is going to be an exciting and important year in California, and not just because of changes happening in Washington, D.C. or a potential end to the pandemic. Here are some of the stories that we look forward to covering in the new year:
California will begin a new legislative session, with new members. Who will be allies for safe and sustainable transportation? Will the legislature take up important issues like the transit funding crisis? Will they pass bills to allow automatic speed enforcement or red light cameras?
There will be new leadership at the California Air Resources Board, as the current chair is set to retire soon, and some board terms will be coming up for renewal. The same is true for some seats on the California Transportation Commission. Both of these agencies are tackling equity and racial justice in their policies, in their organizations, and in their public engagement processes in ways they have not done before. We look forward to noting changes at these agencies and others – such as Caltrans – and tracking their effects on the daily transportation needs and experiences of Californians.
We will also continue to track progress in programs like the Active Transportation Program, the Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (which engages communities directly to solve transportation needs equitably and sustainably), and Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities.
But again: we can’t do this without your support. All donations to Streetsblog are tax deductible, so please consider supporting us today.