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Strategic communications pro turned Foreign Service Officer. Husband, dad & urbanist. Ran for Seattle City Council, '11.
Recent Activity
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As I've started preparing to move to Mexico City, I've been thinking more about the form of cities in the United States, how we got this way and how we might change. The other day I made the following points in a Spanish presentation about transportation in the U.S. The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at bradmeacham.com
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Until several months ago I thought of Washington, D.C. as a great urban success. With its booming, diverse economy, urban core and globalizing culture – all tied together by enviable transit – it has so much to offer. However every time I’m on the Beltway, experience the sprawl of Virginia... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2013 at bradmeacham.com
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Months into my campaign for Seattle city council, a neighborhood business owner invited me to meet voters (and potential donors) after the service at his synagogue. Doing my best schmoozing, I introduced myself hundreds of times. They had fantastic food, ranging from stuffed grape leaves to sweets -- all much... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2013 at bradmeacham.com
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I moved away from Seattle last month to join the U.S. Foreign Service but my hometown is still home. For everyone who has asked how I'm voting, here are a few thoughts. From my temporary perch in Washington, D.C. -- on my way to a tour in Mexico City --... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2013 at bradmeacham.com
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I was frustrated with politics in my home town. Then I went to Bosnia. Best known among Americans for the genocidal wars of the 1990s, the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina today is a safe, fascinating place to visit with rich culture, great scenery and excellent food. Yet the divisions... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2013 at bradmeacham.com
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Downtown Detroit is undergoing a renovation boom that's bringing new office space and housing to a long-suffering urban core. Despite the investment, however, the area seems almost hostile to people. At 4 p.m. on a recent Wednesday the main streets were almost devoid of pedestrians. While it's easy to be... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2013 at bradmeacham.com
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I didn't make it to the funeral for former Gov. Booth Gardner this weekend but still I'm in awe of the man and the inspiration he caused. The old photo I dug out reminded me of what public service should be. In the mid-80s I was a kid from suburban... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2013 at bradmeacham.com
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One of the best pieces of advice I've seen this year-end season is to read more broadly. As you may know, I couldn't agree more. If I'm asking people to read more, it follows that writers should up their game. More precise writing is high on my list of New... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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I recently attended a fundraiser for a cause that almost everyone ignores: homelessness. That's where Operation Nightwatch comes in. The group provides basic services and housing for people who don't have shelter -- more than 2,500 people on an average night in Seattle. Read that again: that's TWO-THOUSAND FIVE-HUNDRED people.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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Imagine a growing mid-sized city just south of the 49th parallel that has a booming technology sector, a diverse, international population and innovative approaches to transportation and land use. My family and I recently visited this place: Montreal. Seattle and Montreal are roughly comparable in metro population and economic size... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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One of the dirty secrets of the PR and communications business is that many people in it can't write. Everyone says they can, of course, but PowerPoint and "talking points" are no substitute for crafting paragraphs. One of the best ways to get better at writing is to read. That's... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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Anyone who sticks their neck out knows one of the downsides of modern media: anonymous online comments. "They are ugly, they are racist," said former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels during a conversation on KUOW radio. Until recently, "you had letters to the editor where you had to sign your name... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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My campaign for Seattle City Council was a fantastic professional development experience. And it offers several takeaways that can help anyone get their message out. I learned to better articulate policy ideas, of course, by doorbelling thousands of households and speaking to community groups across the city every day. At... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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Today's announcement of big changes at the venerable New Orleans Times-Picayune -- cutting 1/3 of its staff and printing just three days a week -- is the latest in a long slide for metropolitan newspapers that once tried to be all things to all people. The industry downsizing has cost... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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Amazon is discovering a truism: the more successful you become, the more you're a target. In Seattle the company is increasingly criticized for keeping a low community profile. The hometown daily recently spent four days amplifying criticism of its philanthropy and business practices, adding to a string of controversies. Amazon... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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Shell has received promient attention for its efforts on Facebook, including laudatory coverage by The Wall Street Journal. It looks like another company confusing tactics for a true strategy to engage with its stakeholders. Since May 2011, when the oil company launched its Facebook page, it's gained 946,000 "likes." This... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
This video from Mexico City shows two types of drivers: the Everyday Driver, who drives no matter how much it costs, and the Shadow Driver, who drives only when it’s the most convenient option. Imagine the benefits if we made it easier to be a Shadow Driver. This is the... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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Now that two of three candidates to lead Seattle's public schools have dropped out of contention, the appointment of a new superintendant is a mere formality As with Seattle's national search for a police chief two years ago, when our interim chief was the last man standing, this was really... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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It's tempting to shrug off the report that Walmart illegally bribed government officials abroad in order to open new stores as yet another scandal around a company with a rapacious reputation. U.S. companies are bound by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal to bribe foreign officials. That... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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I ought to be feeling a little schadenfreude at the struggles of Sony, the legendary electronics firm that just projected its biggest ever loss of more than $6 billion. My first job out of college was at Panasonic (formally called Matsushita Electric) which is a bigger, older company that always... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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With Seattle's police under federal scrutiny for using excessive force you would think everyone's top priority would be solving the problem. You would be wrong, apparently. It's a struggle to find something positive to say about Seattle's response to the police crisis. There's fault among the city council, the mayor,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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Turning Seattle's underused central waterfront into a civic centerpiece will require political courage to learn from previous missed opportunities. It could be one of the great urban spaces of the world. I’m thinking along the lines of Union Square in Manhattan, La Rambla in Montevideo, the banks of the Kamo... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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It's exciting to see construction cranes popping up across Seattle's skyline. But it will take more than a handful of building projects to transform the city and make it sustainable. Projects such as housing in the parking lot of Seahawks/Sounders stadium and a new ferry terminal may make Seattle a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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The anniversary of the Fukushima tsunami and nuclear disaster is just the latest unpleasant news from Japan. There's also the recent failure of a huge electronics company, Japan's widening trade deficit and ongoing political paralysis. Since I spent my 20s living and working in Japan, people often ask me whether... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2012 at bradmeacham.com
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The air-travel geek in me is titillated to learn that Air France is launching nonstop flights from Paris to Wuhan. When I visited that Chinese city by train in 1994 it was a burning hot, dusty place that seemed completely isolated from the rest of the planet. I knew it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2012 at bradmeacham.com