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. 

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