Join our summer fund drive! Become a member today to help us reach our $50K goal

Lila LaHood's blog

Sea Level Rise Report — Coming Soon!

Kevin Stark measuring high tide at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our summer campaign this past week! Together you pledged nearly $6,000 to support the San Francisco Public Press, bringing our summer fundraising total close to $31,000.

Join this week’s flash campaign to help us reach our $50,000 goal even faster: New and renewed membership donations through the end of Friday, July 10, will be matched up to $500 by Public Press board member David Cohn and his wife Megan.

An additional incentive to act now: If you join by Monday, July 13, you will be listed as a member in Issue 17, which will be published next week.

We’re excited to share the new issue with you. Lead reporters Kevin Stark (pictured here measuring high tide near the Ferry Building) and Winnie Bird have been working on the sea level rise project since early this year, supported by a sprawling crew of interns, senior editors, cartographers, photographers and illustrators.

The Bay Area’s current building frenzy includes both housing and commercial construction. In examining approval processes for new buildings on the bay’s edge, our team found that cities are green-lighting waterfront development with little regard for long-term planning or the future cost of retrofitting large-scale projects — a burden passed on to future residents — in light of consensus projections for sea level rise.

Map preview of San Francisco Bay waterfront development.

This report is heading to press and is guaranteed to reach readers. Can you help us keep this work going? We need your support to ensure that the San Francisco Public Press can continue producing in-depth investigations that show the real impact of public policy decisions and help all of us in the Bay Area understand our communities better.

Help the San Francisco Public Press raise $50,000 this summer and take advantage of a $15,000 matching grant from the San Francisco Foundation by donating today to support our work as a trailblazer for public-interest journalism.

Thank you for joining us in this effort!

Graphic via FreeimagesHub. Illustration by Olivia Henry.

Join the Summer 2015 Campaign

Issue No. 1 of the San Francisco Public Press arriving from the printer in June 2010.

Can you believe we published our first newspaper five years ago this month? We're putting finishing touches on Issue No. 17 and are excited to share our findings on how cities around the bay are managing waterfront development in light of consensus projections for sea level rise. (Hint: We didn't find many long-range plans.)

The report will include context-rich maps in print and video and interactive elements online to give a clear view of how our region is changing and what it could look like in the not-too-distant future.

The San Francisco Public Press needs your support to continue producing in-depth investigations that show the real impact of public policy decisions and help all of us in the Bay Area understand our communities better.

You can help us to reach our goal of raising $50,000 this summer by donating to renew your membership or become a member today.

We are already halfway there. Several supporters helped launch this summer campaign with pledges totaling $25,000, including a $15,000 matching grant from the San Francisco Foundation.

By adding your donation, you will help produce investigations on undercovered issues like the disparity in fundraising by parent-teacher associations, the focus of a data-intensive story we broke in 2014. This year, that report received a Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, and a John Swett Award for Media Excellence from the California Teachers Association.

Jeremy Adam Smith with the San Francisco Public Press' first SDX Award.

Our goal is to lead in improving community coverage. We tackle topics like the tortuous path from homelessness to housing, delays in communicating with tenants and homeowners about the earthquake vulnerability of soft-story buildings, how San Francisco tracks its myriad workforce development programs, and increased segregation in San Francisco public schools.

Become a member of the San Francisco Public Press today to help us continue our work as a trailblazer for public-interest journalism.

Thank you for your support!

How a Small Nonprofit Newsroom Leads Education Coverage in San Francisco

We were encouraged this week to see the San Francisco Chronicle take a deep look at racial segregation in local public schools. As our readers know, the San Francisco Public Press produced a major investigative report in January on this subject: “Choice Is Resegregating Public Schools.”

Our goal at the Public Press is to lead in improving community coverage and in setting the local news agenda. As a community-supported nonprofit news organization, we focus on under-reported public policy issues, and we are heartened to see other Bay Area news outlets following our lead.

To produce significant, in-depth investigative reporting, we rely on donations from readers. We can continue this important work with your help. Consider becoming a member of the San Francisco Public Press today to support independent public media in the Bay Area.

Our original analysis of education data shed light on an increase in racial segregation in San Francisco schools. While parents now have more choice in where their children are enrolled, such a policy results in a “separate but equal” system. Factors that drive parents’ choices include the time and cost involved in transporting children to better schools.

Our investigation clearly influenced the Chronicle’s three-day series. A blog post by Scott Lucas of San Francisco Magazine noted similarities between the two reports. We’ll leave it to readers to draw their own conclusions.

Cover of the Winter 2015 issue of the San Francisco Public PressMay 17, 2015 cover of San Francisco Chronicle

Other news organizations that reported on our findings, including the Washington Post, the San Francisco Examiner and various education and economics blogs, linked to our coverage. KALW’s talk show “Your Call” featured an hour-long conversation with our lead reporter, Jeremy Adam Smith. The Chronicle in March also ran an op-ed about our coverage written by Smith, and cited our reporting in a blog post on sfgate.com.

The Chronicle’s recent report also discussed the disparity in fundraising by parent-teacher associations, the focus of a data-intensive story we broke last year in “Public Schools, Private Money.” This spring, that report received a 2014 Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, and a John Swett Award for Media Excellence from the California Teachers Association.

We are proud to have spurred so many news organizations, including one of the largest newspapers in California, to bring this significant equity issue to the attention of many more readers in San Francisco and beyond.

The San Francisco Public Press was founded six years ago to shift the local news agenda to focus more on serious public policy questions. Help us continue our work as a trailblazer for public-interest journalism by making a tax-deductible donation to the Public Press.

Thank you for your support!

Lila LaHood
Publisher

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5/5 Event on Long-Range Sea Level Rise Planning for Bay Area Waterfront Development

What: Rising Tides: Climate Challenges and Solutions for the Bay Area Waterfront
When: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Impact Hub, 925 Mission St., San Francisco
RSVP: Reserve tickets via eventbrite

Join us for a discussion about long-range planning and waterfront development around the Bay Area, and preview of our cover story for the next issue of the San Francisco Public Press.

By the end of this century, scientists project the San Francisco Bay will rise by at least three feet - and possibly as much as eight in a bad storm. Rising bay water will threaten businesses along the Embarcadero, UCSF Hospital, AT&T ballpark and the thousands of homes currently being built in Mission Bay, Treasure Island and Hunters Point. City planners are currently discussing what can be done and at what cost, likely in the billions of dollars. Learn from an expert panel the anticipated effects on our natural ecosystem, existing and new development, and public utilities such as transportation and sewage. This solutions-focused discussion will help us all responsibly plan for the future of the Bay Area.

Speakers

  • Michael Stoll, executive director, San Francisco Public Press (moderator)
  • Kristina Hill, associate professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning, UC Berkeley
  • David Behar, climate program director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Kevin Stark, reporter, San Francisco Public Press

Note — No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Send an email to rsvp {at] sfpublic press [dot] org if you need a discount ticket.

This event is hosted by Impact Hub San Francisco, a coworking and events space for a membership community of entrepreneurs, activists, creatives and professionals taking action to drive positive social and environmental change.

San Francisco Public Press Wins Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting

The Society of Professional Journalists has honored the San Francisco Public Press with a 2014 Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting.

 

 

 

SPJ recognized “Public Schools, Private Money” by lead writer and project editor Jeremy Adam Smith and the staff of the San Francisco Public Press as the winning entry for investigative reporting by a non-daily publication in the newspapers/wire service category.

SPJ selected 85 national award winners from more than 1,600 submissions.

For the winter 2014 print edition cover story, our reporters examined tax records from parent-teacher associations and compiled 10 years of budget and academic data from the city’s school district. The research focused only on elementary schools to make easy comparisons. Our research shows that while a small number of schools were able to avoid the worst effects of recent budget cuts, belts continued to tighten at schools with more economically disadvantaged students. Read the series: sfpublicpress.org/publicschools

Congratulations to the whole project team!

  • Jeremy Adam Smith — Lead writer and project editor
  • Michael Stoll and Lila LaHood — editors
  • Tearsa Joy Hammock and Luke Thomas — Photographers
  • Jeffrey Thorsby, Jason Winshell, Adriel Taquechel and Shinwha Whang — Data team
  • Justin Slaughter and Emilie Raguso — Sidebar writers
  • Thomas Guffey — Designer

JOB: Bicycle delivery team for Pedal-Powered News pilot program

Seeking bicycle delivery crewmembers to distribute the San Francisco Public Press, a quarterly newspaper, to homes, offices, stores and community centers throughout San Francisco.

We have an immediate need for bicycle delivery crewmembers to work one or more days from Tuesday, July 29, through Friday, Aug. 1.

Ideal availability: four to eight hours per day. Delivery assignments must be completed within two days. Timing of deliveries is generally flexible, though some must be completed during business hours.

The San Francisco Public Press is a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization that publishes local public-interest news online at sfpublicpress.org and in a quarterly print newspaper. Funding for this pilot bicycle delivery program was raised through our Pedal-Powered News campaign on Kickstarter.

Requirements

You must:

  • supply your own bike.
  • have experience riding a bike on the streets of San Francisco.
  • be able to ride — with some combination of panniers, baskets and/or cargo trailer — at least three miles carrying 40 lbs. of newspapers.
  • be committed to safe cycling and obeying traffic laws.
  • document deliveries and communicate professionally with store managers about their needs related to selling the newspaper.
  • be a friendly, knowledgeable ambassador for the San Francisco Public Press.

Preferred

  • strong knowledge of the San Francisco street map, landmarks and topography
  • previous experience as a bike messenger
  • interest in and knowledge of local news
  • previous customer service or sales experience
  • experience working or volunteering for a nonprofit organization

Pay is $15 per hour.

We will hire for additional delivery assignments throughout August. Delivery for the fall issue will take place in October.

Ongoing opportunities are available for individuals interested in working with the Public Press in sales, billing and retail account management as we expand our distribution network throughout San Francisco.

TO APPLY: Call 415-495-7377 or send an email to bikes@sfpublicpress.org. If applying by email, please include the following:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Your availability for delivery work Tuesday, July 29, through Friday, Aug. 1
  • Tell us why we should hire you for our Pedal-Powered News pilot program.
  • Do you own a cargo bike, or is your bike equipped with baskets, panniers or a cargo trailer?

Thanks to our 1,016 favorite people, we got our $10K match!

Dear friends and supporters,

We did it! And it all happened thanks to you. Throughout this campaign, we were amazed by your generosity in backing Pedal-Powered News and by your contagious enthusiasm for supporting local public-interest journalism.

With your help, we raised $21,328 — more than double our Kickstarter fundraising goal — and recruited 1,016 backers, which unlocked an additional $10,000 in matching funds from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

If you followed the last few hours of the campaign, you know that we were showered with support on social media. The campaign went viral and reached 1,000 backers at 10:46 p.m. — just in the nick of time.

We love that 16 of you joined us even after we reached our participation target! If you wanted to back Pedal-Powered News and ran out of time, you can always support this effort by becoming a member on our website.

From all of us at the San Francisco Public Press, we can’t thank you enough for supporting this nonprofit, noncommercial news organization and our efforts to produce in-depth, data-driven, consequential investigations on under-reported topics.

We look forward to launching our team of newsies-on-wheels to deliver our summer issue later this month! Watch for a follow-up survey to verify the spelling of your name for publication on thank-you pages online and in our summer print edition, which is set to arrive at the end of July.

Special thanks to Knight Foundation and to the Investigative News Network for taking a chance with our offbeat idea for engaging the community and getting the Public Press into the hands of more local readers.

With sincerest thanks and great appreciation,

Lila LaHood, Michael Stoll and everyone at the San Francisco Public Press

Pedal-Powered News is Fully Funded on Kickstarter!

195 More $1 Backers Needed by Midnight!

Thank you for supporting our Pedal-Powered News campaign on Kickstarter — you have helped us raise more than $18,600!

We have one more favor to ask, and it needs to happen today.

The San Francisco Public Press has a shot at a great opportunity — can you help? We need 195 people to give $1 by the end of today to unlock a $10,000 matching grant.

With just eight hours to go, we are in the final stretch. You can help by encouraging your friends to give $1 to Pedal-Powered News.

If we can close the campaign with 1,000 backers giving at least $1 each before 11:59 p.m. today — July 1 — we will reach our high participation goal and receive a $10,000 matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

By all accounts, the campaign has been a great success. Thank you to everyone who has contributed already! With your help, the Public Press has raised more than $18,600 from 805 people for Pedal-Powered News and will receive a $5,000 matching grant from Knight Foundation.

Thanks to your generous donations, our newsroom will be able to bring more news to more readers and will have the capacity to produce more of the stories that matter to you.

Thank you for your continued support!

Michael Stoll, Lila LaHood and everyone at the San Francisco Public Press

Public Press Receives INNovation Fund Grant from Knight Foundation and Investigative News Network

The San Francisco Public Press was awarded a $35,000 grant through the INNovation Fund, a partnership between the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Investigative News Network, to launch a street mobilization program that will increase community engagement and generate income to support the Public Press in reporting and publishing in-depth, local public-interest news.

Issue No. 13 is here!

Front page of San Francisco Public Press Winter 2014 edition, Issue No. 13Special Report: Public School Inequality

Parent fundraising for elementary education in San Francisco public schools has skyrocketed 800 percent in the past 10 years. This largesse has saved classroom programs and teaching positions at schools with strong PTAs. But it has also widened the gap between rich and poor, showing how schools chiefly serving students from low-income families suffered more from state budget cuts.

The Winter 2014 edition of the newspaper, Issue No. 13, is available at these retail outlets ($1) and by mail order ($4).

If you are a current member, your copy should arrive in the mail this week. Become a member today, and we'll send Issue No. 13 plus the next three issues directly to your door.

Watch for these stories, photo essays and infographics from the special report on school fundraising to roll out online through February:

Public Schools, Private Money
Parents ramp up fundraising, widening the rich-poor divide

Albany School District Levels Parent Fundraising Playing Field
Concerned about equity, 3 elementary school PTAs pool money for daytime enrichment

10 Solutions to Inequality in Fundraising

Debate in 2014: Use State Windfall for S.F. Schools to Aid Poorest Students, or Raise Teacher Pay?

Photo Essay: Two PTA Presidents, Two Realities

Infographic: Winning the PTA Funding Game
Some school PTAs add hundreds of dollars per student

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