In late 2008, journalists Angie Schmitt and Kate Giammarise lost their jobs at the Toledo Blade—"about the scariest time and place ever to be laid off," Schmitt says. But rather than lick their wounds, the duo (whose members recently relocated—Schmitt to Cleveland, Giammarise to Pittsburgh) founded Rust Wire, a collaborative, all-volunteer news and commentary website that champions the region's cities, protesting, for instance, the demolition of a historic building in downtown Cleveland to clear space for yet another parking lot. Its greatest coup so far: After a post bemoaning "soul-crushing sprawl" went viral, Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, shifted his policy position in favor of denser, more walkable cities. Schmitt describes that experience in a single word: "triumphant."