A decade ago, I sat down and wrote a series of blog posts, inaugurating a space that would eventually grow into the worldwide phenomenon known as Strong Towns. Much has happened in the intervening years—so much since I was that lone voice in the wilderness—but one thing has remained constant: it’s our audience that turns these ideas into a movement.
This week is our fall member drive. We’re sitting at just under 2,500 members, an astounding number by historical comparison, but relatively small compared to the 1.3 million unique people we’ve reached over the past year. It’s always a small handful of people that change the world. Today, let yourself become one of them.
This week I’m traveling to Texas, my last trip on a marathon fall travel season that began right after Labor Day. In the last three months, I’ve had the privilege to share our ideas in person with thousands of people. The crowds have been of record size and the enthusiasm has never been greater. We’re working to add more speakers to our roster because we literally can’t meet all the demand for people to share this message.
In a time marred by pettiness, partisanship and pomposity, you have managed to co-create with us a thoughtful response to the challenges of our day. I am most proud of the way our audience engages with each other, and with others, about Strong Towns ideas. Even during this contentious election season, you were out there—left and right, big city and small, poor and affluent alike—sharing your authentic voices, speaking with others, and making change happen. I’m inspired by you.
In past years, I’ve made the case that your membership will allow us to support this movement in critical ways. I had an idea of what that would look like, but my vision was untested. I was asking you to take a small gamble on us. Thousands of you did.
Last night I hosted "Budgets and Beers" in front of about 2-dozen residents. We have begun to talk bout our structural budget issues, but it has only just started! Thank you @clmarohn and @StrongTowns for the paradigm shift in my thinking! @ELGLJobs @ELGLSconnie @LeagueWIMunis pic.twitter.com/dVBX6JhkHj— Mitch Foster (@MitchFosterWI) November 9, 2018
Today, it’s not a gamble anymore. While we are still a small group operating on a shoestring budget, we have an approach that is working. We create important content you won’t find anywhere else, thoughts that need to be out there impacting the conversations taking place within our communities. We use all our inventiveness and creativity to push these ideas out, distributing the Strong Towns message to audiences far and wide. And through it all, we nudge people to take real action, wherever they live.
We’ve watched those people be successful. Our members are doing amazing things to build stronger, more resilient cities. Strong Towns is a winning strategy.
So this year, I’m not asking you to take a gamble. I’m merely asking you to step up and become a member of the fastest-growing urbanist movement out there. I’m asking you to join nearly 2,500 others who are giving us the resources we need to take this movement to the next level. I’m inviting you to be part of a revolution in how we build our cities, towns and neighborhoods and bring enduring stability and prosperity to these places.
Don’t leave it to someone else. Make this the day you become a member of Strong Towns. Trust me: you’re going to want to be part of everything that comes next.