Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

'Knight Cities': A conversation with San Jose, Calif., Mayor Chuck Reed

Aug. 27, 2014, 10 a.m., Posted by Carol Coletta

As mayor of San Jose, Chuck Reed has confronted some of the thorniest issues facing cities: the need to renegotiate employee pensions, the tensions between wanting good urban planning and accommodating new corporate headquarters, the drying up of state funds, the need for cities such as San Jose to build strong brands.  

In this week’s “Knight Cities,” Mayor Reed talks frankly about these and other challenges, along with one of the innovative ways he is tapping new talent for City Hall.  He also gives voters advice on what to look for in a candidate running for mayor.  

My conversation with him is posted here.  

Join us for “Knight Cities,” and look for new content posted every Wednesday here. You can follow us on Twitter at #knightcities or @knightfdn. And if you have ideas for people you’d like to hear more from, please email me.

Carol Coletta is vice president of community and national initiatives at Knight Foundation.

48 projects advance in the Knight Green Line Challenge

Aug. 26, 2014, 9:01 a.m., Posted by Polly M. Talen

Above: Polly Talen takes questions in a town hall meeting about the Green Line Challenge.

Just a couple months ago we asked the community for their best project ideas to make the neighborhoods along the new Green Line even more vibrant places to live, work, play and visit. A remarkable 579 people, organizations and businesses shared their passion and projects with us. Today we’re announcing 48 finalists in the Knight Green Line Challenge

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"Knight Green Line Challenge names finalists" -- Aug. 26, 2014 press release

Knight Green Line Challenge
home page

Our panel of 11 local readers—from a variety of communities and sectors—carefully reviewed the submissions before arriving at this list. We set out to attract projects from all neighborhoods along the Green Line. We wanted organizations, small businesses and individuals to apply. It was important that the projects truly reflect the people who live and work in St. Paul. And they do. From an expanded open-air night market in Little Mekong and Frogtown to a year-round community gardening effort, from a youth apprenticeship program in green transportation to an art exhibit of the faces and voices along the Green Line, the finalists proposed a range of ideas to benefit St. Paul neighborhoods. We’re thrilled with the results.

News Challenge winners gather in Kansas City, Mo., to share ideas, insights

Aug. 25, 2014, 3:48 p.m., Posted by John Bracken and Kul Wadhwa

John Bracken addresses 2013 Knight News Challenge Summer attendees at the Stanford Photo by Megan Zimroth. 

Monday evening more than 80 Knight News Challenge winners, Knight staff and a team of our advisers, traveling from all across the country, will come together. For the second year in a row we’re bringing active News Challenge winners to one location to help them advance in their projects. We hope that by bringing them together they can benefit from being around one another, sharing challenges and opportunities. Last year we hosted our event in the heart of Silicon Valley at Stanford University’s where we heard talks from people such as John Lilly, Megan Smith, Rick Klau and DJ Patil.

This year we’re doing a couple things differently. First, we’re gathering in Kansas City, Mo. Although not as widely known, there are amazing entrepreneurial communities in various parts of the country and Kansas City’s is one of the most vibrant. This will expose the News Challenge winners, many for the first time, to innovation coming out of the Midwest. We’ll hear from Mayor  Sly James – known for helping develop “Silicon Prairie” and bringing Google Fiber to the region. Also, we will hear from Asim Pasha, the co-founder and co-CEO of Sporting Innovations. Sporting Innovations has made KC’s professional soccer stadium the most innovative fan experience in the country. Our host for the two days is the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which is known for its commitment to entrepreneurship. Kauffman will also run an event on Tuesday evening that will bring the Knight News Challenge and greater Kansas City entrepreneurial communities together--and host a 1 Million Cups event on Wednesday morning.