Membership drive: a new initiative reaching deeper into the community

Public support of Crosscut enables a new program to expand the range of voices on our site. It's a good time to join as a Member, boosting the cause of public-interest journalism.

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Public support of Crosscut enables a new program to expand the range of voices on our site. It's a good time to join as a Member, boosting the cause of public-interest journalism.

It’s a promising time for Crosscut because we have the opportunity to engage even more deeply in community issues. Your becoming an annual Member during our current spring Membership drive will help all this to happen as well. I hope you'll consider joining (or renewing) today, which is easily done by the Donate page. Each day there are special incentives, and all year there are Member benefits, which I'll describe below.

Personally, I’m in the exciting position of leading our implementation of a grant that Crosscut and The Seattle Foundation received from the Knight Foundation’s Community Information Challenge.

One big part of the effort is to expand the range of voices, perspectives, and opinions that receive a good, timely hearing in the community as a whole. So, we’ve already started to publish op-eds and letters to the editor in recent months, and we will be expanding those offerings significantly. We will also be working hard to make sure our offerings include people representing a wider range of the entire community, including minorities, newer Americans, and young people.

Prior to joining Crosscut in early 2010, I worked on the editorial pages of the Everett Herald and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, editing hundreds of op-eds. I'm glad to get back to the task of finding compelling and challenging writers in the broad community.

We've published more articles in cooperation with the ethnic press around King County. I've started writing frequent overviews of the news to give readers quick roundups in the Crosscut Blog of news coverage and commentary on recent issues like the state budget and nuclear energy in the Northwest. We also hope to expand on our ability to get outside the immediate city of Seattle and include more discussion of issues touching all of King County, as well as our neighbors around the Puget Sound region.

The support from Knight and the partnership with The Seattle Foundation are based on some of the strengths Crosscut has developed as an early online provider of serious reporting and commentary about local, regional, and state issues. There’s more to the grant that I will be discussing later, particularly giving our readers more opportunity to engage in community issues and help solve problems.

This new initiative is made possible by these two significant grants, plus the support of our hundreds of annual Members. Membership starts at $35 a year and brings many benefits, such as the Members-come-free party on April 28, to mark Crosscut's fourth anniversary. If you donate at the $100 level or above, we have a long-sleeve Crosscut tee shirt to give you, in black or Navy. Each day we have a drawing from those who joined or renewed that day, and today's prize is a $25 gift card to any of the Ivar's seafood restaurants. The winner of the recent drawing, for a $50 dual membership for Town Hall Seattle, is Carol Mabbott of Seattle.

I'd greatly appreciate your joining this good cause of "journalism in the public interest," and I hope you'll be inclined to send me tips to good stories appearing in community media, as well as stimulating letters and your own op-eds.

Thanks for helping our community.


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