Greater Greater Washington

Posts by Aimee Custis

Aimee Custis is a policy wonk by training and an advocate by profession. In addition to serving as the managing editor of Greater Greater Washington, by day Aimee manages communications at the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Also a photographer, she photoblogs at aimeecustis.com

We need you in the Flickr pool

Is the cold getting you down? Here's some winter cheer to warm you up from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Photo by Clif Burns.


Whitehurst Freeway. Photo by Nikoo Yahyazadeh.


CityCenterDC. Photo by Clif Burns.


Photo by caroline.angelo.


17th St NW. Photo by angela n.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

This weekend, please consider making a gift to Greater Greater Washington to help us keep up the awesome in 2015! Every single gift, no matter the amount, helps! Want to know more about why we're asking for your support? FAQs are here.

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Help us grow greater with a gift this December

What's the deal with zoning? Why is transit so critical? How would our region look if we dreamed big? Which local candidates favor bicycle infrastructure? How do charter schools relate to DCPS?

These are the kinds of questions that inspired David Alpert to start Greater Greater Washington in 2007. Since then, it has grown to include many voices and become a go-to source for those of us around the region with similar questions.

To keep answering, and to do it even better, we need your help with a gift today.

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I asked a lot of these questions myself when I first moved to DC, and I still remember the thrill of feeling more connected to my neighborhood once I found GGW. Every day, its writers swept me up in explanations of my new home.

Greater Greater Washington made otherwise-mundane things like zoning and bus service interesting, taught me what kinds of questions I should be asking if I wanted to get involved, and gave me the vocabulary to know know how to speak intelligently about all of it (and trust me, I'm still learning that vocabulary today).

I eventually moved from reading to commenting to writing to editing. And now, I'm giving financially. I wouldn't know what I do about our region today without GGW, and I know the blog can't exist in the future without my support.

So many of you came to GGW the same way that I did. Hundreds of thousands of readers (like you!) and dozens of volunteer writers (also like you!) are what make up the the GGW community. You are the key ingredient to GGW impacting more decisions and opening more discussions in our region.

Now as we take big steps from being a volunteer-run group to a real, sustainable organization with a professional editor, people like you are playing their part in helping us keep the lights on.

David, Jonathan, and our dedicated volunteers and contributors have taken GGW as far as we can on our own. To keep GGW going, your financial support is crucial.

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
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Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

We have big plans for 2015: more livechats and livestreaming, how-to-blog workshops, initiatives to open up conversations between communities, and more. But right now, we lack the funding to even keep Jonathan editing on a day-to-day basis.

We are working on several ways to fund our ambitions, and a key part is getting your help. Our goal is to raise $18,000 by December 31. If we meet that, we'll be in a strong position to make much-needed investments in the site itself, to let Jonathan spend more time on GGW, and to get those big plans off the ground.

You may remember that we already did a reader drive in February, and you may wonder why we're coming back to you now. We plan to only do this once a year in the future, probably in December. The reader drive earlier this year helped us hire Jonathan and pay a portion of our 2014 expenses. Your gift today will help support 2015 and beyond.

Do you turn to Greater Greater Washington to stay informed on what's going on when it comes to urbanism, smart growth, education, and community activism in our region? Does GGW help equip you to be a better informed citizen of our regionable to engage in deeper conversations with neighbors, family, and colleagues? I hope so. I hope you give what you can to keep us going in 2015. Thank you!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

This week in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


MLK Library. Photo by Miki J.


Mt. Vernon Square. Photo by tedeytan.


Gallery Place. Photo by Clif Burns.


DC Public Library. Photo by Jim Havard.


Photo by Rich Renomeron.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
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Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Violence against our neighbors is an urbanist issue

For several days now, the editors at GGW have struggled over what to say about the events leading up to the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Such acts of violence are unconscionable. How does an online community like ours invite open, compassionate, productive discussion about it?


Photo by Jamelle Bouie on Flickr.

Last week, Ben Fried, editor-in-chief of Streetsblog, wrote thoughtfully on the threat of street violence. Ben wrote,

When the news came out yesterday that a Staten Island grand jury had failed to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold, like many people I found the outcome difficult to comprehend. With clear video evidence showing that Pantaleo broke NYPD protocol and a coroner's report certifying that Garner's death was a homicide, this grand jury should have reached the conclusion that had eluded grand jurors in the Michael Brown case in St. Louis County: There should be a trial to determine if Pantaleo had committed a crime. But apparently that's not how our justice system works.

As the editor-in-chief of Streetsblog, I've been grappling with how and whether the site should cover these incidents of police violence. Do the killings fall within the Streetsblog beat? My first inclination was to say they do not. I don't believe there is something intrinsic to the streets of Staten Island or Ferguson to explain the deadly force that Pantaleo and Darren Wilson applied against unarmed black men. Wilson did initially stop Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson for jaywalking, but another pretense could have been concoctednone of the other high-profile police killings in recent months began with a jaywalking stop.

Nor is police harassment and aggression against black men limited to streets. John Crawford III was shot and killed in an Ohio Wal-Mart. Akai Gurley lost his life in the building where he lived. It is an "everywhere" problem, not just a "streets" problem.

Nevertheless, for people of color, the mere act of going out on the street carries the disproportionate risk that an encounter with police will escalate into a fatal situationor, on a more routine basis, the threat of a random police stop turning into an arrest that can have profound life consequences. As Adonia Lugo wrote for the League of American Bicyclists last week, these considerations affect how people use streets and public spaces, including their choice of how to get around.

I'm white; I don't know what it's like to carry this apprehension with me whenever I'm out walking or riding my bike. So I would like to do something a little different with this post and invite people of color who read Streetsblog (or who just came across this post floating on the internet) to share your thoughts. What effect does the threat of police violence have on how you experience and use streets and public spaces?

Our thanks to Ben for speaking up, even without being sure of the right words. We want Greater Greater Washington to be a community that helps its participants learn and grow about urbanist issues.

Whether it takes us out of our comfort bubble or not, this is an issue that impacts our community. How has it impacted you, and how can we talk about it productively and empathetically?

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
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Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
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Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Bikes in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Photo by Adam Fagen.


Photo by Ian Livingston.


Photo by Joe in DC.


Silver Spring. Photo by Ben B.


Georgetown. Photo by LaTur.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

People in the Flickr pool

This week, I've picked some of the best images of people from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Photo by T. Mertens.


Photo by Elvert Barnes.


Photo by liz ray.


Photo by angela n.


Photo by nevermindtheend.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Metro in the Flickr pool

This week, I've picked some of the best images of Metro from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Photo by washingtonydc.



Photo by nevermindtheend.


Photo by Beau Finley.


Photo by BeyondDC.


Photo by Beau Finley.


Photo by nevermindtheend.


Photo by nevermindtheend.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
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Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Buildings in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


HUD. Photo by washingtonydc.


Dupont Circle. Photo by Tom Barnes.


4th and I NW> Photo by washingtonydc.


12th St. Photo by Clif Burns.


Arlington. Photo by Maryland Route 5.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
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Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
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Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

BOO! In the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Photo by jimhavard.


Woodley Park. Photo by Ian Livingston.


Arlington Forest. Photo by J Sonder.


Georgetown. Photo by ianseanlivingston.


National Gallery. Photo by wh0c4rez.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Name these spots in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region. While WhichWMATA is on hiatus, can you name these spots around the DC region?


1. Photo by jimhavard.

Some are iconic, but some are trickier, and some our photographers have neglected to label in the Flickr pool!


2. Photo by Tim Brown.


3. Photo by Ian Livingston.


4. Photo by nevermindtheend.


5. Photo by wolfpackWX.


6. Photo by Clif Burns.


7. Photo by Beau Finley.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

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