Flying the Coop



As my friend and publisher, Damien Newton, noted in a recent post, I am moving on after four years as editor of Santa Monica Next. It has certainly been a transformative experience for me. And to my readers, I hope some of my work has made an impact.

I have decided to take a Public Affairs position with Bird Rides, the shared-use electric scooter company that I’m sure everyone has heard about. After much consideration, I decided to join the Bird team because I think this model can be a hugely beneficial addition to our cities’ sustainable transportation eco-systems and actively encourage people to get out of their cars.

I joined the Streetsblog team in 2014 in part because I believe in making our cities better places to live, work, and just be without relying on cars to navigate them. While much of my advocacy and reporting focused on housing affordability, I have personally lived my entire life without ever owning a car. It’s not for everyone, but an innovation like Bird certainly makes living car-free or car-lite much more of a possibility for a wider segment of people.

Over these last four years, however, I owe all my successes, my education, and my growth as an activist to the great people I’ve met along the way, not least of all, my colleagues on the Streetsblog team. I’m not sure where I would be without Joe, Sahra, Damien, Brian, Melanie, Kris, and Roger.

I am tremendously grateful for these last four years.

Don’t worry (or celebrate), though. I’m not going anywhere. I fully intend to remain committed to my housing, environmental, and sustainable streets advocacy. And I certainly have no intention of leaving Santa Monica.

These past four years couldn’t have happened without all of you — those who read my work, who supported my work, and, those who fought alongside and (yes, even) against me. I look forward to moving into this next chapter of my life with you all.

Jason Islas
Jason Islas
Jason Islas is the editor of Santa Monica Next and the director of the Vote Local Campaign. Before joining Next in May 2014, Jason had covered land use, transit, politics and breaking news for The Lookout, the city’s oldest news website, since February 2011.

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