By Holly Edgell | December 30th, 2008
Back in 1990 I was a staff writer for the State News, the daily paper at Michigan State University where I earned by bachelor’s degree. One of my co-workers was Dante Chinni, who now works for the Christian Science Monitor. Through the wonders of Facebook (!) we were able to reconnect. Dante is working on a great project called Patchwork Nation, which launched during the presidential campaign. Here is an excerpt describing the project:
“We’ve identified 11 places across the US that represent distinct types of voter communities. They are Monied ’Burbs, Minority Central, Evangelical Epicenters, Tractor Country, Campus and Careers, Immigration Nation, Industrial Metropolis, Boom Towns, Service Worker Centers, Emptying Nests, and Military Bastions. For example, Sioux Center, Iowa, typifies Tractor Country.
As the 2008 campaign progresses, the Monitor will write about what issues matter in each of these communities, how the issues affect residents’ votes, and how the candidates tailor their messages to a particular audience.”
Patchwork Nation selected Nixa, Missouri as an example of an “Evangelical Epicenter.”
Now that the election is over, Patchwork Nation continues to provide insights about the country, its concerns and values. Right now, it’s the economy. Blogger John Schmalzbauer and others continue to post dispatches from Nixa. It’s pretty fascinating stuff — not only the Nixa blogs, but those from around the other 11 representatives cities. The site also provides a wealth of detail about each community.
Enjoy! And keep up the great work, Dante…