Los Angeles, here we come! The boxes are not packed yet, but as this issue goes to press, REASON magazine and its parent "think tank," the Reason Foundation, are nearing the final, frenetic stages of a long-planned move to "the Big Orange."
There's no denying the beauty of Santa Barbara, the community nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains that REASON has called home for 15 of its 18 years. But looks don't count for everything, as they say. People who have enjoyed Santa Barbara's near-perfect climate and breathtaking views of the Pacific are often aghast upon hearing of our decision to relocate 95 miles south to the freeway jungle of America. So why are we going?
Access is one big reason. Our access to a large and vital community of university people, media people, and business people; and others' access to us. Increasingly, REASON and the Reason Foundation have become a source of information on a whole host of current issues, but there's only so far the telephone will serve in this respect. Being located in one of the country's major cities, we figure, will help us spread our ideas around more and will help others find us more easily.
Creating an outpost of free-market and individualist thinking in Southern California is another reason. Washington has the Cato Institute and Citizens for a Sound Economy and, more conservative, the Heritage Foundation. New York has the Manhattan Institute. Chicago has the Heartland Institute. Dallas has the National Center for Policy Analysis. San Francisco has the Pacific Institute. But Los Angeles, the country's second-largest city, has no "rep" in this growing network of groups devoted to advancing individual liberty in the marketplace and in personal matters. What an opportunity for REASON!
Not everyone on the staff is moving, of course. For example, I'm losing my right-hand man, Managing Editor Eric Martí, whose dedication and good spirits have been invaluable over the last few years. While we'll miss him, we're glad for his prospects: having decided to go back to school and get an M.B.A. so that he can progress on a bit different track in publishing, Eric was accepted for admission to the prestigious Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. So we wish him well—and reorganize our staff around new people with new functions.
Meanwhile, in an exciting development in connection with the move, Bill Kauffman, who joined the staff a year ago, will be heading east to take up residence in the cesspool on the Potomac as a Washington editor for REASON. There, he'll continue to do a lot of what he's doing now—writing for the magazine, editing, working with REASON authors, brainstorming cover headlines, etc., etc., etc.—and also being a point of contact in and around D.C. for authors, interviewees, and assorted high mucka-mucks. After only a year, it's hard to imagine the office without him…but he'll be only a modem away.
All in all, a solid core of the magazine and the Foundation is moving. By June 27, every last paper clip will be packed and the moving van will pull up, and when next you hear from us, it will be from Los Angeles. Or actually, in a little ironic twist, from that western enclave of L.A. called Santa Monica, where political life bends in the direction of resident radicals Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda. We're ready. Move over, Tom and Jane—here comes REASON!