[Weekly Email] Voting and Housebuilding


It’s time again for my weekly email. As it went out wrong again, I’m including it here on the blog, plus, if you scroll down, I’ve included a small note on my election day experience so far. Here’s the email:

I’m sure you noticed that my house, my virtual house that is, has been under construction.

(Especially when you got that other email just a little bit ago, sorry about that.) 

Actually, what I did was build a bunch of little houses that are not structurally sound alone.

And those of you who are architects or architect-adjacent like myself understand how important it is for the house you build to actually stand up by itself.

So first I figured I’d build some connecting paths to my houses.

That’s what Kristen Jeffers Media is, a way to connect all my various ventures under one singular idea, which is me and the channels in which I communicate with the world.

However, I still planned on making sure all those houses were separate things and not one big thing. I am also feeling stretched thin trying to keep the lights on in all these houses when I could just spend my energy in one big house.

That big house being The Black Urbanist, the one you come visit me at all the time anyway.

(I’ll still be Kristen Jeffers Media legally)

What does this mean for PlantoSpeak and Kristpattern? It means they will be living inside two nice big rooms in The Black Urbanist house.

Kristpattern is essentially The Black Urbanist at Home anyway. And that’s how I’ll refer to it. You can still purchase things under the banner of Kristpattern at the Spoonflower site, and on Zazzle.

You’ll also see the phrase The Black Urbanist at Home over there a bit more often and if you need a reference point, think of it as my interior design line. Because even in all my urbanism, I still like to decorate houses and carry my laptop in nice bags and cover my phone and you all know I love dresses. So that’s that room.

PlantoSpeak, which you should totally plan on coming to in January, tentatively scheduled for the 7th in Washington, DC, just before the Transportation Review Board Annual Meeting, is the first of what I hope will be many The Black Urbanist Masterclasses.

You will see that name more often, but you’ll also see PlantoSpeak. You may also see some of my Masterclasses on other platforms and you can always purchase one for your own office or organization and I’ll come to you.

So, that’s it for this week’s edition of The Black Urbanist Weekly. Again, this month as we move into the holidays and making new budgets and goals and buying gifts and such, I wanted you to be aware of ways to support me and also to keep you in the loop about the evolution of my brand and my design practice.

If you want to read curated links and my latest posts, head over to my public Facebook Group and join and make sure you’re still on my email list in December, when we shift back to more regular programming in my email.

And, for those of you who want to support me and might not need anything I’m selling, you can subscribe to The Black Urbanist Tip Jar, for $5 a month. I’ll be launching a bigger subscription service soon, with more content and projects, but for now, click here and you can turn one of your cups of coffee into something that will help me keep my foundation standing and write more of the stories and commentary you want to hear from me.

Oh, and please go and vote! Here are my thoughts on voting from earlier, which I sent out on social media with the photo leading this post. As of this writing, all polls are still open across the U.S.

It is done! I’m going to speak specifically to the privilege, yes the privilege, of voting in the District of Columbia today.

First of all, I walked a block to my poll. I listened to one of my favorite songs as I walked. I met a few folks with materials, but it was mostly our folks for our Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which is like a congress of neighborhoods, that actually holds weight and gets things done. I walked in with my identity documents, not because I needed them with my existing voter registration card, but because I needed them because I needed to register to vote on the same day that I voted. Oh and it wasn’t a provisional ballot, although there was a corner for folks who did that too. It was a normal paper ballot and if I’d wanted to, I could have used an electronic one. There were no lines at around 11 a.m. Eastern when I was there. All the poll workers were friendly.

And I want everyone to know, that this is how it should work in a democracy, a fully open, non suppressive, democracy. I’m not going to endorse anyone here, but if you know me, you know how I voted and that I’m going to get out and do the everyday work of making sure we have a government we can all be proud off.

My buttons are a nod to my home state, which needs to turn blue tonight and start to become turquoise. My other button says think globally, participate regionally, act locally, which is a nod to the Piedmont Together regional plan and all the transit, parks, and rec and other infrastructure bonds that are on ballots today. Please vote for the ones that actually make sense! And vote for people who make sense! I will endorse that measure. And the middle one is my Shower April Beans pattern which you can find at my Spoonflower store along with other cool patterns you can look at to take a break from everything else on your feed today via the link in my bio.
Happy Election Day and may the odds ever be in our favor! Also, newsletter subscribers, it’s weekly email day!#election2016

I’ll be back to writing essays soon. And if you want to be on the email list, go here. And if you want to support me, there are tons of ways to do that above. And for the record, I don’t think the world is going to end today ;).


About Kristen Jeffers

I'm Kristen. Almost five years ago, I got tired of not seeing black women as nerded out about trains, better streets, riding bikes, walking not just out of necessity, tall buildings, old buildings and honestly a lot of other things. I was in grad school for community and economic development (ok, it’s actually an MPA), and I wanted to make sure people knew I existed and that I could help them do this thing called placemaking better. Five years later, I’m still doing that, although not from my hometown of Greensboro, NC, but from Kansas City, MO. I spend most of my time in Kansas City promoting better biking and walking infrastructure metro-wide with BikeWalk KC and the Kansas City B-cycle. But I also wrote a book A Black Urbanist (you can grab that over on the right) and sometimes I give speeches and help other communities tell their stories at design charrettes and public meetings. I’ve also written or appeared in all of the major “urbanist” publications, either as a subject or as a writer, as well as most of my hometown papers as subject or writer as well.