This time last year I moved into my Midtown apartment with nothing more than a bed, a kitchen table and a dresser. On my first day walking around to talk to people I met while I was an intern out here three years ago, I remember slipping and falling a couple of times on the non-shoveled, brick patterned, ice covered sidewalks thinking to my “this is the hell-scape I’m going to spend time in?,” and it lived up to those expectations.
Over the past four years writing for the blog, I’ve been able to meet a lot of incredible people. Noam Chomsky, Josh Fox, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, and my environmental hero Bill McKibben. To name a few. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to shadow someone who is involved in the local independent media scene, and nothing will compare to the year I experienced out here.
I’ve watched the former State Treasurer get perpwalked out of the federal building for extorting potential campaign donors. The Attorney General is sinking like a lead brick after she allegedly leaked grand jury information to the press and lied about it on the stand. On top of that, she’s taking out justices in the highest courts for emailing crude, racist, misogynistic, pornographic emails to others in the criminal justice system. Four House representatives resigned for taking bribes. Senator’s flying over school buildings say that there’s no education funding problems. A legislature that is competent and does not want to work with the governor through a six month (and still going) budget stalemate.
Outside of Harrisburg, I spent close to 20 days travelling through the South on a Southern Civil Rights Tour with the radio program I was working for. Being able to sit and listen to dozens of movement veterans being interviewed from North Carolina, Georgia, Charleston, Columbia, Selma, Birmingham, Montgomery, New Orleans, Savannah and so on trumps most of what I experienced over the last four years.
The last few months have been a little rough with having to find a new job, but there was a lot of optimism coming out of that time. The hard work of attending hearings, press conferences, establishing relationships, hitting the bars (yes), rubbing elbows with insiders and building a network of sources has paid off with our coverage of the budget issues.
Last year was a transition year, but this year will be something to look forward to. I have a few major projects planned for this year. They will be funny, enjoyable, informative and, well, you’ll see.