Friends, I was struck by something I heard Chris Hayes say on a recent podcast, in the middle of a conversation about the tumult in the country today and how we might turn a corner.  He said:

And then finally I think about how do we create shared public life, civics based institutions. The thing that I think of, as a New Yorker, always is the subway, which is right now a total disaster. But the subway is a little like … The subway in New York is a little like the NHS in England, which is that it really is used by everyone. It is a public thing that people commute to their Wall Street jobs in, and they commute to their nursing jobs in, and their teaching jobs in, and their janitorial jobs in, and homeless people use it, and it is a genuine shared public entity of which we have so few in American life.

Not many cities in America have a public transit system used by people from all walks of life. But Seattle kinda does. And the main reason I keep this blog running is that I really want to keep it that way.  Because “shared public entities” are at a premium right now. They can give us empathy, help us get over our fears, and help create a shared understanding.  Transit in particular gets us out of our steel boxes and into the public realm. And I love it, even if it frustrates me sometimes.  I love riding it to work, or with my kids or home late at night. And I want everyone to have the opportunity to use it. I want it to be better.

We’re lucky to live in a city with such a diverse media ecosystem that can cover the transit system. But even in Seattle, the landscape for journalism is changing  radically.  We need your support more than ever.

Each year hundreds of donors have stepped up with a generous one-time donation or a monthly subscription to support our work. While advertising does contribute to our bottom line, it is the donations from the small percentage of our readers who provide the lion’s share of our operating budget. This year we hope you’ll consider joining them.

This is (hopefully) the last time I’ll bug you in 2018.  So go ahead and make a donation before you head out on that holiday weekend.  And thanks.

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Oh, and since we’ve gotten a few requests for it, we’ve set up a Patreon page if you prefer to give that way instead. (Update: link fixed)

8 Replies to “Last Call: Donate to STB”

  1. Finally got around to donating. Patreon feels a lot better to use, too. (1: I’m really resistant to accumulating automatically recurring charges, but patreon feels like “one” recurring charge that’s easier to keep track of, and shrink if I ever get budget constrained. 2: They already trigger a credit card processing fee once a month, so it feels more efficient. 3: Paypal is a terrible company.)

    But what I really want is some merch. I know that just wastes more of your time for less actual money return, but I want me that logo on a coffee cup, dangit.

    1. It’s not too difficult to do this. Our local National Railway Historical Society chapter does this type of thing.

      The big problem is the actual sales. Who packages and ships the stuff, etc?

    2. This round was also my first time donating.

      The coffee mug is an amazing idea. And Glenn, I think it’s as easy as “Excuse me, Frank Chiachiere, do we have your permission to copy the STB name and logo from this page and make ourselves a mug for personal (non-re-sale) use?” and then paste the name and logo (as an image) into a site like this:

      If I get the thumbs-up from the Blog, I’m happy to be the guinea pig, make myself one, and let you all know how it turns out.

      1. When I was looking at alternatives VistaPrint seemed expensive compared with what one of the local print companies could do. I’m sure Seattle has a few of those too.

        If such a place is found just think of it as a dollar or so added to STB’s coffers for each sale.

      2. I might buy some swag depending on what it is. Most likely something with a long-term practical use. I’ve gotten stainless steel water bottles from SomaFM. A mug might be nice. Or a large sturdy grocery bag: then I could even incorporate that into my transit trips for groceries. Not so much T-shirts. I see too many T-shirts at thrift stores that have a one-time logo on them you wouldn’t want to wear long-term, and that seems irresponsibly wasteful. If you want to start an article on potential swag, maybe other people would have other ideas.

    3. I refuse to do automatic payments on anything if I can possibly avoid it. For donations I bundle up six or twelve months’ worth of payments and send them in advance. Fortunately I have enough money at present that I can do that. My original reasons for avoiding automatic payments was the horror stories of people trying to cancel it and the companies refusing to or being incompetent about it and the bank saying, “You authorized it; we’re not going to stop it.” I suppose that’s not as much a risk anymore,. Another is the fear of what if I’m hospitalized and the money just keeps draining from my account and I’m not in a position to cancel them? I do automatically pay off my Visa every month, but that’s all internal to my bank, and as long as nobody steals the card and I’m hospitalized in the same month, which is unlikely, I can keep on top of it. Although I suppose they could bash me in the head and steal the card all at the same time….

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