A Peek Inside the Community Alliance

Dan Yaseen

Dan Yaseen, the only advertising director we have ever had, announced last month he will be leaving the Community Alliance newspaper. Dan’s contribution to the Community Alliance has been huge. There have been months when advertising sales made the difference between being able to pay the printer or not. We will all miss Dan and wish him the best in his future adventures.

Fortunately, about the same time Dan announced he was leaving, we hired a new advertising sales associate, Smiley Calderon. If you would like to advertise in the Community Alliance and help keep the wolf from our door, call him at 714-290-6651.

A longtime staff member of the Community Alliance, Michael Evans is taking over the job of business manager (he will continue as our copyeditor) and that move has allowed me to assume the role of executive director. This job had been vacant for several years.

Probably the biggest news to share is that we have formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that will seek funding from foundations that have an interest in keeping local journalism alive and thriving in Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley. Aware of the importance of having a board that reflects the diversity of our area, we have invited Seleny Diaz, Esteban Gutierrez and Jess Fitzpatrick to join us as we keep independent journalism a vital part of this community. They will be joined on the 501(c)(3) board by Daren Miller, Pam Whalen and Bev Fitzpatrick.

Board member Miller announced last month that he is a candidate for the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.

We miss Linda Kobashigawa, who was on our board since 2016 and left in January 2022. Linda, along with her friend and fellow board member Amanda Tripp-Messier, really did hold up half the sky at the newspaper at the exact time we needed it most. We miss both of them very much.

Another important development is that we are training new writers from around the Central Valley to write for the Community Alliance. At our first Zoom webinar for writers, we planned to train three new writers who we have hired to write for us: Paulina Cruz, Smiley Calderon and Emily Garcia. Word got out about the workshop, and we had more than 50 participants, many from small rural towns in the South Valley.

We are optimistic about the future of the Community Alliance newspaper and want you to be a part of this great experiment in grassroots independent journalism. Join us today as a subscriber, advertiser, writer or help us distribute this paper.

  • Mike Rhodes is the executive director of theCommunity Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. www.mikerhodes.us is his website. Contact him at mikerhodes@comcast.net.

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