February 13, 2024
density dad is a reader-supported publication covering all things urbanism and the built environment. Topics range from housing and public transportation to land use, safe bike infrastructure, and building equitable communities.
We are just 90 days away from the arrival of Baby Greene #2 and I just can't express enough how excited I am! I've been taking a closer look at cargo bikes due to my daughter absolutely falling in love with the trail and really wants it to be apart of her daily routine. I know this due to hearing "Bike, daddy?" every time we leave the house.
Anywho a long read ahead so let's get right into it!
Milestone in Memberships
We have reached 500 members on this very platform in just under two years! We have explored so much together and it's been a joy to share this journey and really begin to make connections with those who support this platform.
In this timeframe:
- A newsletter was picked up by Streetsblog USA
- I've completed or have recently been accepted into two fellowships focused on urbanism and social justice; NACTO Transporation Justice Fellowship (2023), Next City Equitiable Cities Reporting Fellow in partnership with local NPR member station, VPM (current)
- I've become a stronger writer and voice personnel
There's work left to be done but I am incredibly thankful that this all started right here, together.
I'd like to make a small ask to help things moving in the right direction so I can continue doing this work.
We have moved away from Substack onto our own platform but we are charged as our member base grows. Today, surpassing 500 has taken us from $11 a month to $31 dollars a month. With just seven months left on my current fellowship, it's time to start looking ahead on how to support our family while prayerfully still getting to be on the frontlines of speaking up for families in the built environment.
Free Ways to Support:
Follow us on Youtube - I am meeting with one heck of a filmmaker soon to help capture these stories into beautiful visuals. A free follow from 400 of you would help get us closer to monetizing that channel.
Send Me Work - Time is ticking on my current fellowship, I've already begun setting up speaking engagements later this fall. Consider mentioning me in rooms with people who will resonate with my work. Share this newsletter or bring me in on a development project. Hire me for op-eds.
Financial Ways to Support:
Buy Me A Coffee - No, seriously. Density Dad runs on coffee, not just any coffee; local coffee. I use my Aeropress practically daily and sometimes still support the local guys and gals. Being a news reporter, a father, a husband, board member and plant/record shop owner, life can get a bit hectic. Subsidizing this expense has helped me in ways one can only imagine.
Become A Paid Supporter - We have actually been able to go down on our monthly subscriptions to just $5 due to saving on fees enforced over at Substack.
I am also looking for paid sponsors for the newsletter that align with our mission in order to relieve the crunch of microtransactions and subscription fatigue.
Gatekeeping Our Cities
Last week was quite messy here in Richmond, Virginia as there was social media outrage involving a recent digital nomad going viral after highlighting her move to Richmond. She loves Richmond and some may say she even romanticizes it like we all do when moving to a new city. People began telling her to leave and that she isn't wanted here. There were even comments stating she is the reason for rising rents. It was triggering as someone who has moved to other cities like Brooklyn and Charlotte and have been embraced for my work there.
Understand Richmond is going through a lot right now, tensions have been high since the removal of confederate statues and BLM movement. This doesn't make it right but rarely are we aware of the climate of a city before moving there. When I moved to Brooklyn in 2014, the Nets had just moved to Brooklyn from... NEW JERSEY!
LITTLE DID I KNOW THE RIVALRY BETWEEN NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK? 🤣
With a few shiny projects being shot down publicly, people just want the bare minimum; affordable rent and grocery stores. However, if you dig a bit deeper you begin to hear of the lack of things to do here as well. Cities rely on the circulation of the dollar. Legacy Richmond residents have not seen their salaries rise to meet the rising costs.
Now anyone who moves here with disposable income has become a target for slander. It shouldn't be this way and I certainly feel the misdirected anger. In 2012, Richmond was America's Best Kept Secret. Rent was $500 give-or-take, beers were practically free. However just a year a later, something began to happen. We started to get noticed from major publications highlighting our quality of life and very affordable cost of living.
You'd think there would be some course of action to begin attracting developers to prepare for what was happening next. Consequently, it was rather late. The apartment complexes here in Richmond were built in clusters; the first cluster being the late 80's with the next cluster not happening until 2014. Very little was build in-between outside of sprawling endeavors. Many creatives left the city in search of something bigger, including myself.
With many of us returning, the question is how to build on the momentum without being cut out of the process?
How do we embrace those looking for an opportunity to build something special with their lives here without the feeling that their needs are prioritized before ours?
I am having coffee with this young lady this weekend and look forward to reporting back the first steps to finding this balance.
What To Read:
What To Watch
Generation Z may just save us all after all. I'm not a big fan of the "driving" being the focus here when it's also a lack of third places but overall, it's sort of exciting. I think if Generation Z can find ways to leverage tech and its reach to gather in person again, it could be huge in fighting loneliness.
density dad is a reader-supported publication. To support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber, sharing this post, or buying me a cup of coffee.
Til, next time cut loose.
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