When Juliet Eldred launched a Facebook group called New Urbanist Memes For Transit-Oriented Teens in 2017, she figured it might last a few months. Sharing irreverent memes about public transit, mixed-use housing, and other city planning fodder was just a way to blow off steam with friends as a geography major at the University of Chicago.
But NUMTOT lasted well past her graduation. Fueled by attention from increasingly influential media organizations, the group now counts more than 180,000 members worldwide. And they’re making their presence known in the offline arena of national politics. On Wednesday, Eldred and the group’s other top administrators, Jonathan Marty and Emily Orenstein, posted an official endorsement for Bernie Sanders in his run for president: “As transportation and housing professionals, as well as urbanists who are deeply invested in the social and economic welfare of our communities, we are committed to Senator Sanders’ vision of peace, equity, and justice,” they wrote.