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Part 1: Mark Baumer Reflection: Impounding Vehicles & Immigrant Rights

This is part of a multi-part reflection I've been doing following the death of my friend, Mark Baumer . There's nothing graphic i...

Becoming Self-Sustaining

Transport Providence has been your place to find news and opinion on transportation issues in the Ocean State since 2012. Now we'd like to make the blog self-sustaining, and we're asking for your help to do that.

I have written this blog as a volunteer, but I'd like to get to the point where I can make $1,000 a month on the blog. Given my generally frugal lifestyle, $1,000 a month is probably enough to sustain most of my needs until we can create deeper fundraising goals. Given that our Twitter base is more than 1,700 followers strong, I think we can pull that off. If 10% of our blog readers gave $10/month, we could make closer to $20,000 a year doing this.

What has Transport Providence done in the past five+ years? Here's a very partial list:

*We've submitted hundreds of articles on our blog and elsewhere on issues ranging from parking, to affordable housing, zoning reform, highway removal and bike infrastructure.
*We've led Jane's Walks through downtown exploring the need to connect our neighborhoods with protected bike lanes and to institute a parking lot tax.
*We've submitted testimony at the Rhode Island House and Senate Finance Committees on issues ranging from truck tolls to highway removal and the state's car tax plan.

*We've collaborated voluntarily with groups like Economic Progress RI to highlight the equity issues that face non-car owners in the Biggest Little.
*Despite hating cars, we've stood up for our immigrant neighbors in their fight for dignity and to get driver's licenses with Safer Rhodes.

*We've helped amplify the need to for drug policy reform with groups like Regulate Rhode Island, because persecuting safe drug use is a bad policy goal when our policing power could be used to create safer roads instead.

*We've crossed swords with and collaborated with the state's conservatives: despite being a stridently left-leaning voice for social justice and environmental action, Transport Providence has collaborated with voices as far to the right as
Mike Stenhouse and Justin Katz. 
*We co-organized the first two Providence Park(ing) Days, which also included in the second year the first-ever temporary protected bike lane in the state of Rhode Island.
*We collaborated on a voluntary basis with the City of Central Falls to measure streets so that then-planner Stephen Larrick could organize the creation of a protected bike lane on Washington Street.
*We've cross-published at RI Future, Eco RI, Greater City Providence, and other respectable Ocean State publications, bringing major stories to light like the 6/10 Connector boulevard effort. 
*We've brought national coverage of issues in Rhode Island to Streetsblog, Strong Towns, the Urbanophile, and other outlets, all free-of-charge.
*We've fought to bring forward ideas that no one else cares about, and we've succeeded in changing the dialogue from a one-sided echo-chamber to a two-sided debate on issues like the Jaguar Tax Cut.
*Transport Providence took submissions from then-candidate Jorge Elorza and
his opponent Brett Smiley to push them to be accountable on transportation issues.
The Transport Providence endorsement, Elorza, promised significant parking reform and protected bike lanes, and today Transport Providence can boast that Providence has its first protected bike lane. In fact, collaborations between Transport Providence media coverage and local activist-father Jeff Leary of Cranston made it possible to turn the lane from being a protected parking lane to a protected bike lane.
*Transport Providence is pushing candidates Nirva LaFortune, Mark Santow, David Lallier, and Daniel Chaika to take on transportation projects to improve Ward 3 after Kevin Jackson's ouster in the recall election.
*Transport Providence submitted original research on the death of blog-friend Mark Baumer, which Baumer's parents described as some of the deepest coverage that his death received worldwide. The blog recently collaborated with the Mark Baumer Sustainability Fund to lead a walk honoring Baumer's first day across-country. 
*Who else but Transport Providence would offer you up-to-the-minute live-tweeting of the empty parking garages and full buses at PVD Fest? Where else could you count on to push the city to improve the bad design of bike infrastructure it's put down?
Transport Providence is often the only institution in the state pushing for a transportation system that works for all of us. Over the years, I've heard many of you say that you feel the blog has "changed the conversation" on transportation in Rhode Island. We need to accelerate that change. Help us to make the blog a self-sustaining job instead of an extensive hobby. You can donate at PayPal using the email james.p.kennedy@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for your support! 


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