Sidewalk Heart

I find new ways to break down complex topics so they’re easy to understand, often through diverse forms of storytelling. 

A Bay Area developer wants to build 4,400 sorely needed homes. Here’s why it won’t happen

Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2017

California has some of the most unaffordable homes in the nation, a problem fueled by a lack of housing supply. This story unpacks how California’s government contributes to the problem. In California, local governments have almost complete authority to decide if developments will get built and the state’s tax structure provides financial incentives for cities and counties to approve hotels and retail shops instead of housing.

The story: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-small-city-controls-big-housing-project-20170728-story.html


California won’t meet its climate change goals without a lot more housing density in its cities

Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2017

California’s ambitious climate change goals often are described in terms of the need for huge numbers of electric cars and solar panels. But this story for the first time described in a comprehensive way how Californians will need to change how and where they live, packing into higher-density cities at a rate not seen since World War II to meet the environmental goals.

The story: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-housing-climate-change-goals-20170306-story.html


How to Pull Off a Massive Infrastructure Loan in 16 Easy Steps

Voice of San Diego, March 24, 2014

San Diego’s roads and other infrastructure have been in a state of disrepair for years, too. City leaders wanted to borrow money to pay for fixes. This story used photos and graphics to explain the common but convoluted financing mechanism officials were counting on to make the repairs.

The story: http://voiceofsandiego.org/2014/03/24/how-to-pull-off-a-massive-infrastructure-loan-in-16-easy-steps/


The Stumblr

Voice of San Diego, January to June 2013

San Diego’s sidewalks were broken and city policies for fixing them made no sense. We created a Tumblr, which we called The Stumblr, to highlight busted sidewalks across the city. More than 100 residents sent in photos and we published them every weekday. Our sidewalks coverage, which also included stories and videos, led to funding for a new half-mile sidewalk outside a high school in a low-income neighborhood, the first-ever evaluation of the city’s 5,000 miles of sidewalks and a City Council commitment to change policies. The work received a special recognition award in 2013 from a pedestrian advocacy organization, which called it “the kind of journalism that saves lives.”

The Stumblr: http://thestumblr.com