By Hannah Brandt
It’s been twenty years of Community Alliance! Can you believe it? There have been many twists and turns in the story, shown so vividly by the tapestry of past covers that our layout designer Joel Perez created for this month’s anniversary edition. At the beginning, it was a newsletter and has now been an established newspaper for more than a decade.
Many of you have been on the journey from the beginning. I admittedly have not. When the paper began as the Labor Community Alliance, I was 18 and just starting college in Santa Barbara. I learned of the paper only a couple of years ago when I moved back to Fresno after more than ten years living in the Bay Area. My mother had begun getting it through the local Sierra Club chapter.
Although I have lived throughout California, in other states, and even overseas, I have never seen anything quite like Community Alliance in my lifetime. It is vital in our community to have an alternative to the corporately funded mainstream media. This month also marks one year of my time as editor. A year can seem like a long time, but this is also a job that takes some time to learn. I want to thank everyone for their patience as I continue to figure out how it all works.
Over the next months, as we celebrate our twentieth anniversary, the paper will return to some of the most salient issues we have covered to see how much progress has been made in addressing them. There are so many struggles for which people still fight for justice, freedom, and dignity. Education, adequate housing, a living wage, economic equality, environmental justice, disability rights, women’s rights, equality and justice for people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual orientations, and where all these issues intersect are just some of the topics we will revisit.
There are local political decisions and policies that have had consequences we will reexamine, as well. If you have particular insights and information on local politics, we would love to hear from you. Of course, this is always true! If you have a letter, article, or calendar item to contribute, please do. The submission deadline is the 15th of the preceding month and more info is on the sidebar of this page and on our website. Please limit calendar descriptions to 150 words or less to ensure room for as many events as possible. Advertising and subscription memberships keep us going and are much appreciated. We encourage those who can afford to participate in this way to do so in order that we may stay accessible to everyone.
I want to take this time to thank our volunteers who have distributed the printed papers to our various locations throughout Fresno and the Central Valley, some traveling quite a distance. Vic Bedoian, Ed Castro, Steve Claassen, Jim Compton-Schmidt, Nora DeWitt, Michael Evans, Bev Fitzpatrick, Ruth Gadebusch, Paul Gilmore, Richard Gomez, Victor Kral, Joan Poss, Leni Reeves, Camille Russell, Sal Sandoval, Stan Santos, Pam Whalen, Nancy Waidtlow, and Dan Yaseen. If there is anyone I have missed, please let me know so I can thank them personally.
And thank you to all our readers, who contribute to this publication in so many ways. We value each and every one of you. Here’s to the next twenty years of Community Alliance!