A message from the Editor

Photo of Tom Fucoloro with Gas Works Park machinery in the background.My dearest Seattle Bike Blog readers,

I have been putting off this post for a couple weeks now, but I can’t avoid it any longer. The rigors of parenting during a pandemic have reached a point where I cannot keep up with the demands of running a full-time news site. So for the foreseeable future, I am pulling back to part-time.

I am not quitting, and Seattle Bike Blog is not going away. But I am letting go of the drive and pressure to have posts every weekday. And that necessarily means that I am also letting go of my vision of Seattle Bike Blog as a comprehensive news source about biking and safe streets news.

I have been missing so many stories because I just do not have the capacity to cover them, and being constantly behind is a huge source of stress in my life. Every day I go without writing about, for example, the city’s plan to connect the Duwamish Trail to the low bridge, the stress builds up more. I know I need to write this story and many others, but I just don’t have the time and energy after childcare. And the stress is turning into depression, which is immobilizing and makes it even harder to pick myself up and work during the limited time I get.

These times are very hard for everyone. There are so many sources of stress. And I need to let this one go.

If you are among the blog’s paying supporters, I can’t thank you enough for all your support. Your continued support will help keep the site going, but I also understand that you signed on to support full-time work. I am prepared for and expect many people to drop out. Same goes for the local businesses that sponsor this work through advertisements. Whether you stay or go, thank you.

If you do go, consider supporting another independent local news source instead, such as the Urbanist or Converge Media.

If you are an advocate who wants the blog to cover an issue, consider writing about it on your own medium (fb, blog, etc), then sending me the link. I still want to help keep people informed about what you are doing, but my capacity to do lots of reporting on individual projects or issues is going to be limited.

If you are a reader with a tip, I of course still want to hear it. But if it sounds like more than I can handle, I’ll probably suggest another reporter for you to contact.

I take up a lot of space in the bike journalism scene, so this could also be an opportunity for new voices to emerge. If you or anyone you know is looking to cut their teeth in the local journalism business, get in touch with me. I have nearly unlimited story ideas to get you started. A basic understanding of newswriting and reporting required. Email [email protected].

I’ve been mourning the loss of my full-time work on the blog for the past couple weeks. I’ve been writing this site for more than a decade, and this isn’t the way I saw things going.

But I’m just doing what so many other parents, especially moms, have been doing this year: Putting my career on pause to do child care. So while I identify as male, the larger problem is a serious gender equity crisis. Even in good times women are far more likely to put their careers on hold to do childcare, and the pandemic has only made that worse by hitting women-dominated industries especially hard. The National Women’s Law Center recently found that one in six Black women and one in five Latina women are now unemployed. Without intervention of some kind, the impact on future career opportunities and earnings will be enormous. I know it’s hard to keep a handle on all the simultaneous crises going on, but parents leaving the workforce and derailing their careers is yet another one.

I am privileged because my family can afford for me to take this step back, at least while we navigate through the pandemic and our child is young and in need of so much attention. I simply cannot understand how single parents or families that need every dollar from both paychecks are getting by right now. Well, I do know the answer: Many aren’t. And our government is doing almost nothing to help.

See? This is what I mean. There’s just so much to get angry about, so many sources of stress.

I am also lucky because now I get to spend more time with my toddler. And I have found this past week that my time with her is much more enjoyable for both of us if I am present with her rather than trying to squeeze in some work or stressing about the fact that I’m not getting my work done. So I know this is the right choice, even if it breaks my heart.

Aparigraha. This stress does not spark joy. 🎵Let it go, let it go!🎵

(I’m going to have to watch Frozen a lot, aren’t I? I’ve made a terrible mistake…)

— Tom Fucoloro, Editor of Seattle Bike Blog

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24 Responses to A message from the Editor

  1. Cristina says:

    Good for you. Healthy decisions add up to big changes in our sick society. Thanks for all you have done.

  2. kommish says:

    This post inspired me to subscribe. I’ve been a reader and non-subscriber for far too long, and as a parent that is also trying desperately to keep up with my job, I want to support you through this time. I should have done it a lot sooner, and I’m sorry I didn’t. Thank you for everything you do – this site has brought me information and joy for many years.

  3. Mark says:

    Your writing on these issues is fantastic. Thank you for all that you’ve done and for what you’re still to publish in the future. We have a 23 month-old little wonder. I can sympathize and have nothing but respect for this choice. Take care as best you can in these trying times.

  4. Cathy Tuttle says:

    I believe we are on this earth to do all we can to restore our planet and make it better for future generations.

    Of course you should take time to help your new person learn about the world! Caring for children may be the most important work there is — and it brings you joy as well.

    And of course I’ll continue to contribute to SBB! Independent journalism about livable streets and in support of riding bicycles, even part time, restores the world.

  5. Patty Lyman says:

    Thanks for all you do Tom.

  6. Nick vdH says:

    Thanks for all your hard work, Tom!

    I know you’ve sometimes had guest posts in the past, maybe this would be a good time for more?

  7. Skylar says:

    Totally understandable. Thanks for keeping up the advocacy and community, and I look forward to when things are less crazy.

  8. Zach Hale says:

    You’re amazing Tom. We appreciate you.

  9. Tony Russell says:

    Thank you Tom for being honest about what you’re going through and being honest with yourself. The time you have with your child is so limited and will go by faster than you can imagine. So take the time now, since you know you can never get it back. My family and I have enjoyed the work you’ve done over the years and you can count on our continued support!

  10. Peri Hartman says:

    Tom, don’t worry :)

    May I suggest you focus on the more in-depth issues, where it isn’t just reporting but more like analysis. Brock Howell already does a great job of summarizing the news and providing links. Along with CBC and other sources. That leaves you to do the stuff that provokes discussion and thought.

    And, if that’s still too much, all will be fine anyway.

    Thanks !

  11. Ref Lindmark says:

    Want to add my thanks to you and Kelli.. (it is always a team effort). We try hard to make the world a better place each day.. one of the best ways is to be a beacon of hope.. you are one.. and your daughter will grow up knowing her parents made (and will continue to make) the all of our lives better. Support is a given. love coming your way a bonus!

  12. James Ragsdale says:

    Take care Tom, enjoyed reading your posts for the last 10 years. As a parent, my major frustration with this pandemic has been that the children were the first to be dumped from society, and when all is said and done, they will be the last to be brought back in. At least they are finally opening the playgrounds, 7 months on, just in time for Winter.

  13. Gordon Padelford says:

    Don’t stress about the advocacy, we’ll keep fighting the good fight. I’m not going anywhere as a subscriber and encourage others to do the same.

  14. Don Brubeck says:

    Good healthy choices, Tom. Happy to stay doing my little bit to support SBB, with faith that this pandemic will be over sometime next year and we can re-figure out what to do then. I have had to make similar choices, to spend more time taking care of granddaughter while daughter undergoes medical treatments. Not expected, but spending more time with a little person is really rewarding when there is less stress on all involved.

  15. R says:

    I feel for you. I’m currently parenting an infant during the day so my SO can launch her academic career and then working a four to midnight shit. I should be sleeping now but I’m not.

  16. Nate says:

    Thank you Tom! Your articles have been timely and engaging, your voice will be missed! Good luck with the family.

  17. dave says:

    Thanks so much for all of your great writing over the years Tom. Glad to hear you’re prioritizing the right thing at this time in your life. I wholeheartedly support this decision.

  18. Rebecca Roush says:

    Thanks for all you’ve done and will do for the bicycling community, Tom. Your reasoning and decision are logical and healthy.

  19. Urban Villager says:

    Not only do you cover relevant and timely bike news, happenings and issues…you are a good writer. So do slow down, but don’t stop! Good luck with your little one.

  20. ronp says:

    Good choice by you and hang in there. Times will get better and easier.

  21. Meg says:

    Thanks for your commitment and passion all these years, Tom! SBB is such a valuable asset to our community and it too will persist through this challenging time.

  22. Nancy E Helm says:

    Everything I could say has been said better by others. Of course I’ll continue my commitment to your work.

  23. Aaron Keating says:

    You’ve done great work Tom — thank you so much! Totally respect and support your decision.

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