Good Luck Allison. Good Luck LJI.
This is a bittersweet post.
In our work at the DCF, we are laser focused on a great quality of life for everybody in Delaware – for opportunity, for equity, and for all the things that make this state a great place to live. There is much to feel good about – in the arts, in youth supporting efforts, in environmental protection, and much more.
At the same time, we all also see the diminution of strong civic institutions, growing bitterness, and a mistrust of those we don’t know well. The civic institutions that enable our form of democratic society are frayed.
And that’s why we are so incredibly proud of Allison Taylor Levine, our longtime Vice President for Communications and Marketing, as she leaves the DCF and launches the new Local Journalism Initiative (LJI). This is a project that seeks to strengthen local journalism when so much of journalism has been lost to business models that no longer work. That kind of local information is critical to a successful community. Study after study shows that the loss of strong journalism is followed by a loss in voting, a loss of trust in government, government that is less beholden to citizens, loss of a sense of community. It’s a huge problem. And the loss in journalism in Delaware is replicated across the country.
LJI – in partnership with many in Delaware – is an incredibly promising project to rebuild some of our local information systems, and to ensure we don’t deceive ourselves about what works and what doesn’t. She’s been building the bones for this project for a number of years – and now it’s launched. We are thrilled to continue supporting the work, through a three-year grant and through back office support. LJI and DCF will remain partners for years to come.
And as we at DCF continue to expand our explicit efforts to strengthen our civic life, our support of this journalism work will remain a key element.
So… bittersweet. Allison’s work here – over almost 13 years – has been a central part of our evolving strategy. And her work as our communications expert has been absolutely first rate. We will miss Allison greatly, but this next stage of her career is exciting and much needed.
Congratulations, Allison. Congratulations, LJI. We are fully with you. And we look forward to continuing to work together.