No. 3: MD's Newsletter
I'm on a humble quest
At some point a few years ago, I started joking around with corporate calendar speak. “I’ll see you in Q2,” to friends after a party, knowing I’ll see them for Memorial Day. Or “Busy end to Q4,” in a glut of holiday planning. It started as a jab at tech bro culture, and a weird side effect of doing more analytics reporting. But it started to stick around as a way to measure my own personal goals and progress: what if I looked at my income not by month, but by quarter? What if I looked at my cumulative fitness over three months, instead of one?
In a culture of never-enough-time, it’s been a beneficial shift in mindset: Ninety days is a decent stretch time to foster a new habit. It’s enough time for things to go wrong, and then go right again. When working toward a goal, we will naturally have moments where we lose our balance and have to reorient, so why not set ourselves up for success with benchmarks that are more forgiving and accommodating?
In the past quarter, I’ve launched a freelance business and worked with at least five new paying clients. I’ve spent more time on “my own writing” than I have in years. I started my final grad school course.
Pretty solid Q1, if I do say so myself — even if there were many moments where I lost my balance.
Make Rancho Mirage Great Again
My March column at CV Independent looked at the need for affordable housing in the desert in the wake of Disney announcing that they’re making their entry into the residential real estate business right here in Rancho Mirage.
While no one was really all that surprised to see this luxurious match-up — Rancho Mirage is known for many things and affordability is NOT one of them — news like this leaves working people feeling forgotten. Because is this the kind of addition to the housing inventory that they will benefit from? Not when the median wages here are about $50K. I
Many thanks to the intrepid Jake Ingrassia at KESQ for keeping the discussion going by interviewing me for his story about Disney’s Cotino & housing affordability.
A full-circle moment
I had a full-circle moment earlier this month when I attended the “Stories from Home” event put on by Lift to Rise, where I worked during 2021. This event at the Palm Springs Convention Center featured a powerful panel discussion about the history of the Black community in Palm Springs. And it included an exhibit of photographs of Coachella Valley residents from photographer Noé Montes, accompanied by reporting from yours truly.
“Stories from Home” launched in February as a social media storytelling series to highlight the importance of having an affordable place to live. It was some of my favorite reporting & writing I’ve ever done; free from the punishing news cycle, I was able to explore issues of identity and community that were much more abstract than the typical policy-driven beat work that has defined much of my career. Plus, Noé is an amazing talent and an incredible human, so it was a rewarding career highlight for me to work with him in this capacity.
So what’s in store for Q2? Hopefully, writing more about housing & economic justice, finishing up my portfolio AND completing my master’s degree! That can all happen in 90 days, right? I feel confident that as long as I have this incredible trio of new country music from Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, and Hailey Whitters to listen to, I’ll be OK.
We also have some visitors in town this week, and I can’t wait to celebrate our engagement with our loved ones. And I’m crossing my fingers for some road trips, concerts, and camping trips to take advantage of the beautiful desert spring.
Til next time,