Quite a few local reporters have signed up for our Stimulus Spot Check. I asked Megan Glenn, a reporter with the Imperial Valley Press in El Centro, Calif., what brought her on board. Here's her answer:
I'm participating in this project because I want to add what's going on in our region to the picture. We're one of the classic examples of what the stimulus was supposed to aid: we have a high unemployment rate (25 percent), a high poverty rate, and many of the local governments and schools have trouble raising the capital needed to fund large-scale projects. When you add in the budget problems that California is going through, the stimulus becomes one of the few ways to spur development around here. As such, its effectiveness is very important to us, both at the paper and in the community, but even at our highly local level it turned into more than I could tackle on my own. When I saw that ProPublica was working on the story on a national scale, I decided to sign up and help out, and to take advantage of the resources they've already assembled.
Local reporters, welcome!