Welcome Elana Schor, Streetsblog’s New National Reporter

elana.jpgAs you may have noticed, we’ve got a new reporter here at Streetsblog, Elana Schor. Elana will be covering this year’s big federal transportation story down in Washington D.C. with an eye towards helping transit advocates and livable streets activists gain a better understanding of what
has typically been a very inside-the-Beltway, highway-oriented process. If you have tips, comments or questions for Elana, email her: elana [at] streetsblog [dot] org.

Elana has covered Capitol Hill for more than four years, most recently as a staff reporter for The Hill, The Guardian, and the Talking Points Memo blog. Her work has also been published by MarketWatch and the Biloxi Sun-Herald. She holds a masters degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and lives in Washington’s very walkable Mount Pleasant neighborhood. 

Streetsblog’s national work is being funded by grants from the Surdna Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund.

Regarding this national work — here’s a question for you: What would you like to see Elana cover in the coming months? Or, more generally, how would you like to see Streetsblog approach the federal transportation issues?

I’ve found that Streetsblog tends to work best and engage readers most when we focus on the hyper-local and hyper-personal side of policy issues. Yet, unlike neighborhood street fights and seemingly timeless issues like sidewalk cycling and rolling stops, federal transportation policy often feels too big and distant to get a handle on. It sometimes feels more like a spectator sport, taking place on this whole other playing field where, I think, locally-oriented livable streets activists often don’t feel like they have much influence.

So, this is going to be our challenge in the coming months: Cover the federal transportation policy process in a way that makes Streetsblog a daily read for national advocates, elected officials, Hill staffers and U.S. DOT personnel while also making the issues engaging and tangible to grassroots livable streets activists. By making transit coverage more accessible, the goal is to take the blinders off policymakers who have historically been beholden to moneyed lobbies rather than new ideas.

I’m convinced that the local activists are key. The hundreds of thousands of people across America who are working to make their own communities more bikeable, walkable and transit-oriented are the most powerful force for pushing federal transportation policy in a smarter more sustainable direction. We’ve just got to get informed and engaged. Elana is going to help us do that. 

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

A Farewell to Elana Schor, and a Note About Our National Coverage

|
As regular readers of the Capitol Hill blog already know, yesterday marked Elana Schor’s last day covering the national transportation policy beat for Streetsblog. On behalf of the Streetsblog staff in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, as well as the Streetsblog Network, I’d like to share my appreciation for Elana’s work over the […]

Introducing Streetsblog Capitol Hill

|
We are excited to announce the official launch of Streetsblog Capitol Hill. With major transportation, climate and energy legislation coming before Congress in the next year or two we felt that it was critical to have a talented journalist down in Washington D.C. covering the issues on a daily basis. With the financial support of […]

Pennies for Pedestrians: NY State Spends Small on Street Safety

|
New York State devotes just 1 percent of its federal transportation funds to pedestrian infrastructure. Photo: Wikipedia It’s not news that a half-century of transportation spending to accommodate the automobile has made the typical American city hazardous and hostile to people on foot. But it’s shocking how we still devote so few resources to correcting […]

Live Webcast: Environment & Public Works Committee Hearing

|
Watching Ray LaHood’s testimony to the Senate EPW committee, Elana Schor tweets that the fat lady is singing for the House of Representatives’ effort to get the transportation reauthorization done quickly. And there are lots of other fireworks as well. You can follow all of the action live on the committee’s web site, right now, […]

Naparstek Steps Down as Editor-in-Chief of Streetsblog

|
Aaron Naparstek in his Livable Streets Power Broker pose. This will be difficult news for those of you who are already reeling from Oprah’s retirement, Simon Cowell’s abandonment of "American Idol" and Sewell Chan‘s departure from City Room, but here it is: I am leaving my job as editor-in-chief of Streetsblog. For all of the […]