Readers React: In a big city with local newspapers in decline, Nextdoor plays a valuable role

LOS ANGELES CA. MAY 24, 2016: Canyon views and a view of downtown is on your left, as you head up th
Downtown Los Angeles skyscrapers loom behind the hilly residential neighborhood of Mt. Washington.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Joel Stein’s take on Nextdoor was rather cynical and stilted.

Nextdoor is the only online social media outlet to which I subscribe. Why? Because it takes the place of a local newspaper in a very large town.

I can find out when our councilman is giving a talk, when my polling place might change or about a community meeting to discuss an apartment complex going up and the impact it might have on my own neighborhood. I’ve gotten stuff for free, recommended a “competent contractor” to my neighbor and learned where folks are giving out candy on Halloween.

Sure, I see the “burglary while you sleep” and “packages stolen from the front porch” posts — I’ve even read about a shooting three blocks from where I live. But these notices don’t make me paranoid or fearful, only vigilant.


All this is just neighbors helping neighbors. We do live in a large city, but it’s our neighbors who make us strong. Nextdoor helps.

James Buglewicz, Los Angeles


To the editor: Stein’s piece was snarky with the requisite hook — it certainly helped him pay his bills. But it omitted any description of the positive value of connecting neighbors on a dedicated site.


I too find my Nextdoor group focuses excessively on crime sometimes. It’s definitely a place unconscious racism has to be called out on occasion.

But it’s also a place where two neighbors responded to my request to borrow a Pack ’n Play collapsible crib when my great-grandson visits and one that helps neighbors reunite with lost pets, join forces to combat blighted nuisance properties and remind each other to lock the doors of their cars and homes.

Pam Wilson, San Diego

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

A cure for the common opinion

Get thought-provoking perspectives with our weekly newsletter.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.