Dear Reader: you've reached the last post of the CityCaucus.com (2008-2011) site. To see newer posts (Dec. 2011-July 2012) visit citycaucus.com.
Three years ago today Daniel Fontaine and I were exchanging emails and phone calls over his idea to run a political blog. The biggest struggle was what to call it. Our criteria included that the name had to connote cities, as we were urban dwellers interested in politics and policy. Furthermore it had to suggest a conversation, a place where people would meet and share opinions and ideas. Lastly the domain name had to be available, as neither one of us wanted to bargain with a domain re-seller.
Thus CityCaucus.com was born.
Three years later we're proud and somewhat amazed with where this blog has gone. 4.7 million page views, over 4,000 Twitter followers, 2,000+ posts from dozens of contributors, and tens of thousands of comments. Our ground rules were simple. Do not let the writing on this blog spiral into name-calling. Make sure our facts were sound. Manage comments for rude language and libelous claims. Whenever possible, keep it fun.
Has it been perfect? Of course not, but we've always stood by the stories we've broken and have been accountable for our opinions. While I can't say I've read every comment on this blog, when a problem is drawn to our attention we always respond. We never limited anyone from posting here who showed respect for others.
For three years we've delved into dozens of topics, though eventually we were dubbed as the "unofficial opposition" to Vision Vancouver. With a moribund NPA organization wounded by an internal divide, and a lone councillor outnumbered by council colleagues uninterested in any viewpoint but their own, it wasn't a hard decision to step up. We told ourselves as long as readers kept coming, we'd continue to write.
It wasn't without personal sacrifice. Our respective small families often competed for our attention while we spent far too much time in front of our computers, or on long phone calls. Bigger priorities many times took a back seat in the rush to get something posted. But in the end we created something we could be proud of: a new, highly recognized brand in B.C. politics, admired by fans, reviled by critics, and respected by media who depended upon it as a reliable source.
Today, on the eve of our third anniversary, is a turning point for CityCaucus.com. Daniel and I have decided that it's time for change. Partisan commentary might have kept the fires burning here since 2008, but there are much bigger issues than what Vision Vancouver are cooking up in the backrooms at City Hall. The Fourth Estate – our local journalists – given appropriate resources and the support of their editors can keep Gregor Robertson accountable instead of us. So, too, can the political opposition we just elected.
Over the coming weeks, with your input, we will decide the future of CityCaucus.com and the subjects we should discuss. Most Canadian urban centres are grappling with stagnant economies, jobs fleeing to the suburbs, industrial land threatened with re-zoning, aging populations and housing affordability to name just a few.
We'll take your feedback with the goal of relaunching this site in the New Year. We'll be courting new writers and focusing on different subject matter. In the interim we'll carry on this discussion with many of you through our comments section, exchanges on Twitter, Facebook, follow-up posts, and maybe even over glasses of mulled wine during the holidays. Daniel's 24 Hours column will continue to be republished here on the blog as well, and I will once again take over as editor of the blog during this transition.
Thank you for a great three years and, we hope, a few more.
- post by Mike Klassen