Photo by AndrewEick on Flickr.
5 years ago today, Greater Greater Washington made its debut.
Happy birthday, Greater Greater Washington, and thank you for 5 great years! To celebrate, we will be having a 5th birthday party one month from today, Tuesday, March 5. It’ll be from 6-10 pm at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street, NW. Hope you can make it!
On the day we launched, I wrote in an inaugural post for the new blog:
Urban centers and walkable suburbs in America are experiencing a renaissance, including the Washington, DC region. Unfortunately, too many people are forced to leave great neighborhoods to find affordable housing or good schools. If people want to live in single-family homes, they certainly may. But everyone should have the choice to live in an apartment or townhouse in a walkable, safe, livable neighborhood.
People make a city great. Downtown job centers, historic neighborhoods, and new edge cities should all be full of people, walking to do errands, sitting outside at sidewalk cafes, enjoying parks, living life, and interacting with each other. ... As the region grows, we must preserve what already works and expand what is possible, to ensure that there are enough great neighborhoods for everyone who wants to live, work, shop or play in one.
That still seems just as appropriate today as then. A lot has changed, but a lot has not.
After it launched, Greater Greater Washington gradually grew. We got links from a number of local bloggers, and some national ones, like Matt Yglesias and Atrios. The Washington Post’s Marc Fisher featured us in a column about my escapade trying to get a cab to a Southwest impound lot.
Other bloggers started volunteering to post articles as well, beginning with Jaime Fearer, then Michael Perkins, and then many more. Many people helped edit, redesign the site, do links each day, and much more. A lively and intelligent community of commenters formed on the site.
We fought some big fights, like to get enough funding to stop Metro service cuts, or save streetcars. We pushed (over years) for open data at Metro. We campaigned successfully for DC’s zoning update to lower parking minimums, and years later, that battle has come around to the next phase.
All of this is possible because of all of you: our readers, our commenters, our editors, and our contributors. I wish there were room to thank every person individually. Instead, here are all of the photographs on all of the author bio pages for people who are, or have been, regular contributors. This leaves out many, many people, whose photos we don’t have, or who were editors behind the scenes, and everyone who’s contributed by commenting or just sharing stories with their friends. Thank you, all.