What a great turnout last night for our official launch of the Streets for People campaign.  The official tally: we had about 175 people show up to find out what this new effort is all about.  Many thanks to the inspirational presentations from James Irwin about how to run a powerful campaign in the “age of Obama,” and to Renee Espiau from the Project for Public Spaces about how to reclaim our streets with creative approaches both grand and small.

We had a lot of great one-on-one conversations before and after the event.  So many great ideas for this campaign to take on and so much passion.  I look forward to continuing the dialogue with the new folks I met tonight and I can’t wait to hear some of the other ideas that people are excited to take action on.  See you all soon–at our upcoming organizer training, and on our whiz-bang new online organizing tool: The Seattle Network.  As we talked about tonight, this will be the place online where Streets for People will live.  As James so eloquently demonstrated, the success of the Obama campaign’s new media strategy was the use of technology to amplify and augment the passion and activity of the campaign, not to replace the tried and true footwork it takes to win.  So, don’t worry, we’ll still have phone calls, meet in person, conspire just outside the Bertha Knight Landes room, etc.  After all, you can’t really replicate the back room at Fado (or Paddy Coynes) online.

But amplify we will, with the help of the masterminds behind the Pickens Plan, Brett Horvath and his team.  Special shout out to Joey Mornin for cranking out a very polished Beta version of The Seattle Network (at my.greatcity.org) in time for our roll out tonight.

Thanks to our partners in planning the launch of this campaign: Cascade Bicycle Club, Feet First, and the Sierra Club as well as all of the members of this coalition, which includes GroundswellNW, UrbanSparks, Sustainable Ballard, Friends of Seattle, Spokespeople, Sustainable NE Seattle, Sustainable Seattle, Seattle Parks Foundation, Sustainable Green Lake, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, NW EcoBuilding Guild, Transportation Choices, SvR Design, GGLO, Sustainable West Seattle, The Public Square, Unpaving Paradise, Seattle Tilth, AIA Seattle, CNU Cascadia, SDOT, Zimmer, Gunsul, Frasca Architects LLP, Seattle Urban Forest Stakeholders and the SafeWalks Coalition.

Let’s talk about what we want to work on together.  As you will see, there are already a handful of active groups and upcoming events and even a smattering of comments, photos and videos to discuss and share–there is so much more to come and we hope to see you all on The Seattle Network soon!

For Nate it was a summer in New York City that sparked a passion for urban planning, livability, development and transportation issues. He has worked for housing and health care non-profits, mortgage and commercial real estate companies, hospitality and aviation brands as well as transit lines and other government agencies. Nate is a Great City board member.