In just three short years, Strong Towns has gone from an obscure blog to a leading center for thought and innovation in land use, economic development and local government. This year alone we've:
- Shared our message in person with thousands of public officials and change advocates in cities across North America through our Curbside Chat program.
- Testified at the Minnnesota Legislature and received a bipartisan positive response.
- Briefed officials from the US Department of Transportation and US Department of Energy in Washington DC.
- Presented our Curbside Chat to legislators across the county at the National Conference of State Legislators in Chicago.
- Lectured at MIT.
- Published over 120 original blog posts that are read by thousands each week, expanded our podcast and started a TV channel on YouTube.
We've field tested our message. Now we need to take it to the next level and help our communities implement a Strong Towns approach.
The upcoming year at Strong Towns is about expanding the reach of our message while putting tools in the hands of those people wanting to make change in their community.
Our plan for 2013 includes:
- The establishment of local chapters and the infrastructure for supporting local initiatives.
- A pilot project to demonstrate how a Strong Towns approach can generate high returns for a city with little risk and modest levels of investment.
- Development and release of a model code and model street standards customized for easy adoption by change-oriented local governments.
- A series of infographics to help local advocates share the Strong Towns message.
- Enhancements to the Curbside Chat program to broaden its effectiveness, reach and long-term stickiness.
- Expansions to the Strong Towns Blog, Strong Towns Podcast and SID.tv.
- And more...
We need your support.
Our goal for 2013 Give to the Max is to raise $12,000. This week we are taking time off from our regular programming to support this goal. Please help us to bring the Strong Towns message of financial resiliency to as many places as we can reach.
To help move things along, we're offering the following to those that donate this week:
- Anyone who commits to a recurring donation (of any amount) OR donates $50 or more will receive an autographed copy of Chuck Marohn's book Thoughts on Building Strong Towns (Volume 1).
- Anyone who donates $100 or more will receive Thoughts on Building Strong Towns (Volume 1) and The Curbside Chat, both autographed.
We'll be thanking our donors on Facebook, Twitter and here on the blog, so look for those names as they step up in support of the Strong Towns movement.
For those of you that are interested in seeing how past donations have been spent, we've made all of our financial information available on our website. Please look that over to see that Strong Towns is a high return investment.
Also, for those of you that may be in a position and interested in supporting our work more broadly, we would love to talk and share our Strategic Plan as well as our 2013 Implementation Plan with you. This fundraiser is important for us to meet our fiscal goals, but it is only a small part of our overall operating budget. If you are inspired by our work and want to help us, we'd love an opportunity to demonstrate to you that we're ready for that next incremental step. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 218-828-3064 to chat about this further.
Thank you, everyone. Keep doing what you can to build strong towns.
P.S. My daughter said that this song made her think of her daddy's work. I thought that was beautiful and wanted to share it with all of you. "Keep on reachin' high -- never gonna quit. Just keep getting stronger." Good advice for all of us and the places we love, from a five year old no less.