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Nimble Imby: R Street Institute Acquires In My Backyard Blog

by UrbanTurf Staff

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Construction on 14th Street NW

Michael Hamilton’s IMBYdc blog has found a supporter in a like-minded DC-based think tank.

On Thursday, The R Street Institute announced it had “assumed responsibility” for In My Backyard – D.C., a blog that the Columbia Heights-based Hamilton started to counterbalance the NIMBY or Not in my Backyard movement which, he told UrbanTurf back in March, “leads a small group of active opponents to sometimes derail developments that the more-silent majority may favor.”

In addition to acquiring the blog, Hamilton joined R Street as an associate policy analyst, but will be keeping his day job. R Street president Eli Lehrer told UrbanTurf that the organization plans to modestly increase the frequency of the site’s content in the near term and host events publicizing the blog starting in October. The organization will also promote IMBYdc through its public relations channels.

The R Street Institute is a conservative think tank founded in June 2012 by former employees of the Heartland Institute’s Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate. The organization’s mission statement states support of “free markets; limited, effective government; and responsible environmental stewardship.”

“In My Backyard is in line with our mission,” Lehrer said. “We liked the work that Michael had been doing and it seemed like a good cause that was worth supporting.”

Hamilton started IMBYdc after reading about the proposed liquor license moratorium centered on U Street. The site has not been updated very frequently, but we imagine that will change in the coming months.

Update: Michael Hamilton emailed UrbanTurf about the acquisition:

IMBYdc won’t change at all in terms of perspective or policy goals. I will be the sole person at R Street contributing to the blog. Partnering with the think tank is important because it will give me greater resources to work on a wider scope of issues than I have been able to in the past.

My role will be largely the same, but I’m working on adding new features to the site that will better connect IMBYdc supporters with each other so that we can cover a lot of ground together. Readers should expect more work on specific development projects, and more coverage of NIMBYism around the District.

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See other articles related to: r street institute, nimby, in my backyard dc, imbydc

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/nimble_imby_r_street_institute_acquires_in_my_backyard_blog/7462

5 Comments

  1. Kevin said at 11:30 am on Thursday August 15, 2013:

    Great. The blog is now part of a highly partisan group.

    The R Street Institute was founded by Heartland Institute employees—a right wing organization that, among other things, “worked with Philip Morris to question the link between secondhand smoke and health risks” and argues that “global warming is not occurring and, further, that warming might be beneficial if it did occur.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heartland_Institute

    I’m still against a liquor license moratorium in the U Street area but my support for In My Backyard has now completely evaporated.

  1. R.J. Lehmann said at 2:52 pm on Thursday August 15, 2013:

    Kevin,

    It is true that R Street was founded by former Heartland employees, but it most certainly was not founded BY Heartland. You may want to look into why we left and just how much we differ, especially on the issue of climate change (R Street has not worked on the issue of second-hand smoke at all.)

    http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/07/conservatives-climate-denial-ending

    http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059984618

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2013/07/will-more-conservatives-experience-an-r-street-or-bob-inglis-metamorphosis/

  1. Colin said at 2:53 pm on Thursday August 15, 2013:

    @Kevin so much for the enemy of my enemy is my friend I guess. Not sure why that background should matter if you share the same policy goals.

  1. CentristMan said at 3:32 pm on Thursday August 15, 2013:

    thanks for the response Mr lehmann - I do note some rhetorical tropes that make me uncomfortable - the usage of “the left” to refer to figures who by historic US standards or contemporay european standards are center left, centrist, or even almost center right.  And the claim that no on denies anthropogenic GW - even people like Krauthammer imply that in some of their rhetoric.  I would also hope you would take issue with the “Well there is AGW but its costs are trivial vs the cost to mitigate” and “there is AGW but we shouldnt do anything because of China” memes. 

    But I guess right wing rhetoric is better when it at least takes issue with the denial of science - and certainly more welcome by centrist/center leftist market urbanists like myself.

  1. jim said at 9:45 am on Friday August 16, 2013:

    1) What isn’t partisan in DC?

    2) It’s nice to have some sane thinking people writing to counteract the constant BS of groups like the DCFPI.

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