Today is the final day of our Webathon, and we've been so lucky this year. We know 2020 absolutely sucked for many of you in so many ways, but more than 1,200 of you still managed to find some loose change in the cushions of that couch you haven't left for months. For that, we are very grateful.
We are doubly (ha!) grateful to the folks who offered and participated in our challenge grants. We still have a little time left today on our final $100,000 grant, so take this moment to give a tax-deductible donation and double your money while also legally evading the taxman.
Besides our magic powers to turn your dollars into doppelgangers, why should you give to Reason? I already told you the story of Elias Zarate, the barber whose troubles inspired a crew of people to take action to fix bad licensing laws. But I want to tell you a couple more stories of how solid reporting can lead to reform—and how long that process can take. Tennessee finally passed drug-free school zone reforms while explicitly citing work done years ago by Reason Reporter C.J. Ciaramella and co-author Lauren Krisai. Chicago reformed its vehicle impound program at long last, too. Both stories were broken wide open by Reason. Two of the people Reason profiled in our 2017 Florida opioid investigation were released early from prison this year as well. This year, Ciaramella reported on the detrimental presence of police officers in schools as well as flagrant abuses within Alabama women's prisons; both stories we hope will bear fruit in eventual reform.
There is still much more work to be done. Freedom of Information Act requests take time. Data scraping and crunching takes time. We're lucky to have talented people who have the lightly obsessive personality required to see those inquiries through to the end, and we're lucky to have your help in supporting their work.
At the end of the Webathon, we like to share testimonials from donors. This one caught my eye this year. Libertarians, at least some of them, are born, not made. For decades, Reason has been helping people—including Drew Carey and John Stossel—figure out where they fit. This week we got a donation from someone who wrote:
I'd like to thank you for your work this year. I'm one of many people that found themselves politically homeless after all that's gone on over the past few years, with 2020 accelerating those feelings. I'd always thought of myself as sort of a standard, left-of-center type, but I now realize that I'm much more libertarian than liberal. Much of that is due to what's happened this year. It started with questioning lockdowns and business closures from a civil liberties perspective. I came here for perspective I didn't see represented in "mainstream" media. But as I read pieces on other topics, I found the new perspective on them refreshing. In short, I'm a convert. Now, if asked my political affiliation, I'd answer "small-l libertarian." Thank you.
Nope! Thank YOU. Reason is made possible through the support of people who donate their hard-earned cash. But you're also supporting Reason every single time you read, watch, or listen to something we publish. Our mission is to get libertarian ideas out there; hash them out; make them stronger through original reporting, research, and debate; and introduce more people to them—because you never know who might be in a position to effect lasting change. Just tweeting something from Reason or chatting about one of our podcasts with someone at dinner is a major contribution to Reason. Liking a video on YouTube or sharing a post on Facebook helps us meet our goals and support our mission of making the world safe for free minds and free markets. So even if you don't have a ton of cash to donate, we appreciate your willingness to share a little space in your brain and in your day with us. Seriously, thank you.
Of course, we wouldn't say no to cash money either.