I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, but moved out to Washington, DC recently to engage more deeply in the discussions happening around the future of the Internet. I have been in the field for just over three years, half of which I spent back in Portland, Oregon. I am actively involved with numerous organizations and initiatives, including ICANNWiki, the Internet Governance Forum USA, the Greater Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society and most recently, the usTLD Stakeholder Council.
In these different roles, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people with different personal and professional backgrounds. Experiencing the great work being done in communities first hand has inspired me in my work and strengthened my belief in the power of community to make positive change.
So this spring, the time came to bring my car from my hometown of Aberdeen, WA to my current home in Washington, DC and it developed into an exploratory journey into different communities across the USA. While driving 6,000 miles across the 17 states and a brief stop in Canada, I had discussions with individuals and communities about the inspiring work that is being done to make the Internet better across the United States. The events, conferences and meeting along the way covered a wide variety of topics, from broadband connectivity to agriculture technology.
In between these discussions, I discovered many local community highlights including the parks, small businesses, and quirky artists.
We know millions people, places and businesses use the .US domain for a variety of reasons.
Here are just a few of the organizations, companies and more that are building stronger communities with a .US domain name.
Coastal Harvest, Southwest Washington
Non-profits offer essential services in providing community driven solutions for the issues in their communities and coastalharvest.us in southwest Washington State provides a great example of this in action. Their mission is “to provide nourishment to our neighbors in need” and are on pace to deliver over 2.5 million pounds of food to over 460,000 people during this fiscal year.
Lithia Park, Ashland, OR
Parks and public squares are the bedrock of many communities. They provide a common resource for people from all walks of life to gather for recreation, relaxation and socializing. Lithia Park in Ashland.or.us is one of the more beautiful city parks I saw on the trip. It provides a hub for an eclectic town that is known for bringing together one of the most well-known Shakespeare Festivals in the world.
Acquolina.us, San Francisco, CA
Culture is cooked into the food that we eat and restaurants are the places where communities gather to enjoy it. For Acquolina.us, food is a social matter and works to combine its passion for food with respect for the community that welcomes regulars and newcomers of all ages and lifestyles to gather around its authentic, Tuscan-infused cuisine.
Brewd.us, Tuscon, AZ
Cafes and coffee shops have long been a place for community discussion, caffeine and inspiration. In Tucson, Arizona, I spent a day getting work done and talking with the locals at brewd.us. The establishment aims to be an extension of its community, by providing a place for food and coffee during the day and special community events in the evening, including family game nights, craft fairs and wine tastings.
Salons and Barbershops
Spesh, Hoboken, NJ
Growing up, I would go to the same barber shop when I needed a haircut, usually along with my family. We built relationships with the people at the shop and the other patrons. During haircut time we would catch up on what’s happening in our lives and in the community. I have since grown averse to getting my haircut, but the people of Hoboken spoke highly of Spesh.us, which is “making the world a better place, one strand at a time.”
Art and Music
Slab City in the Sonoran Desert of California is a unique place to be. On the concrete slabs from abandoned World War II Marine Corps barracks, a community that chooses to live off the grid has turned this place into their home. It has a hostel, a library, a concert venue and so much more, including two .US sightings, including JaJMusic.us and salvationmountain.us.
Bonus: Pop Culture
For viewers of NBC’s hit comedy The Office, you’ll be thrilled to know that Dunder Mifflin has a .US presence: dundermifflin.us.