Central Library, source: wikimedia commons

Official Business

We have new officers effective 12:00 am October 25, 2015. At our most recent meeting on October 24, held at the Hennepin County Central Library in Minneapolis, the streets.mn Board elected unanimously the following officers:

Congratulations to the new officers. Sam takes over from Reuben, who had been Treasurer since our founding in 2011. We trust him to safely guard, and most importantly, count, our hordes of gold, and to go get some more.

Central Library, source: wikimedia commons

Central Library, source: wikimedia commons

Betsey, just elected to the Board at our last meeting, takes over from Nick, who has quickly climbed the greasy pole to Vice Chair. In addition to taking minutes, the Secretary leads the Editorial Council, keeping streets.mn posts pure of grammar and free of irrational diatribe.

Nick, who as Vice Chair also helps find new writers and extract content from our Fleet Street of never fleeting streets.mn writers, replaces Bill, who ousted me in a coup to seize the reigns of Chair. No, he didn’t do that. I nominated him. I hereby turnover the official streets.mn jackhammer (gavels are so unstreets like).

I have been chair since founding, having been nominated by Antonio, a position I did not seek and lasted far longer than I anticipated. The Chair obviously chairs the board meetings, and does lots of other things to organize the organization. He can only do so much himself, and so requires support of the community to accomplish much.

We asked Bill to replace Alex as Vice Chair a bit over a year ago, when Alex went on his quest. Term limits are a good things. While our bylaws say five years maximum for officers, four seems better to avoid complete burnout. Help Bill for the next four years, deferring his burnout for as long as possible.

What have we done in four years?

We organized during 2011. On August 4 of that year, I sent an email to 10 local transportation bloggers that I knew of saying:

The Twin Cities should have this …


which is sort of there in pieces, but should have a more central focus. Google Reader tells me they have > 5000 subscribers.  The Minnesota planning and transportation blogs are at best in the hundreds. (I am sure there are others I missed). The interesting posts there have dozens of comments regularly.
Just a thought, but someone should organize.
— David

My hope was someone else should organize. But if you have an idea, you get volunteered. We met up. (We had not all met before.) At first we piggybacked off Twin Cities Streets for People, which had been launched in 2007 by Antonio Rosell and had contributions from others but had lost some energy by 2011. (Some of the early streets.mn posts are among the last posts on Streets for People). We took the name streets.mn after some back and forth. I really wanted MnStreets, but that may have been too Scorsese.

With our new domain, we opened shop with the first full streets.mn posts in January 2012. We had an enormous readership, well more than any of our independent blogs, and frankly more than all of them put together. More people were talking about and thinking about transportation and land use for Minnesota. We believe on average that leads to better decisions. We think we have made a small dent in the local universe. With persistence, we will make a larger dent.

And others agreed and streets.mn grew.

Last year we merged with the UrbanMSP forums in a landmark deal that took 18 months of negotiations to consummate. Eventually we will integrate more fully, but we are taking this slowly so as to not break things that work well enough.

Today we have about 10 times as much readership on the blog as in 2012 (not counting the forums). If we can grow 10 fold over the next 4 years, that would be great.

This requires more than each reader hitting the reload button 10 times more often.

We need more good content and more readers. More good content attracts more readers. More readers attracts writers who want their voices heard. It’s a virtuous circle. Contribute articles.

Discuss in the forums. Subscribe to the podcast. Comment on posts (on the only comment section worth reading on the Internet). Come to an event (announce an event). Share what you like on Twitter and Facebook and any other social media.  Join streets.mn.

Current Board Members

The current streets.mn Board of Directors is listed below (previous terms in parentheses):

  • Walker Angell – 2014-2016
  • Betsey BuckheitSecretary – 2015-2018  [Chair of Editorial Council]
  • Reuben Collins,    2014-2016 (2012-2014) #
  • Janne Flisrand – 2014-2016
  • Mike Hicks  – 2014-2016 (2012-2014) # [Chair of Forum and Comments Moderation Team (FACT)]
  • Julie Kosbab  – 2015-2017 (2013-2015) [Chair of Social Media Active Response Team (SMART)]
  • David Levinson,  – 2014-2016 (2012-2014) #  Chair emeritus
  • Bill Lindeke Chair – 2014-2016 (2012-2014) #
  • Nick MagrinoVice Chair – 2015-2017 (2013-2015) [Chair of Personnel Development Committee]
  • Sam NewbergTreasurer – 2015-2017 (2013-2015)  (2012-2013) # [Chair of Institutional Fundraising Committee]
  • Antonio Rosell – 2015-2017 (2013-2015)  (2012-2013) #
  • Brendon Slotterback  – 2014-2016 (2012-2014) # [Chair of Technology Committee]