In November, my former publication, OC Weekly, closed down after 24 years of hell-raising in a place that desperately needs it.
Today, California’s newest newspaper, Sustainable City News, makes its debut in Whittier, in a place that desperately needs it.
Whither Whittier? The people are prettier. Great food. Lotta rich people and not. Wonderful private college. Uptown. Your namesake boulevard. Politicians and city leaders that don’t reflect the city’s demographics.
In short, a town that desperately needs a nosy rag that hates it and loves it like no one else possibly can.
So I salute the founders of this paper on their mission to spread the gospel of Whittier, at a time when we need to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable more than ever before — and at a time where too many want to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.
It’s not going to be easy, Sussies (or whatever the in-house nickname is going to be for those who work for this paper). Too many people only want to read what doesn’t challenge them and only affirms their worldview. But take my advice: Challenge at all times. People will read you, whether they love the story or hate it, if there are stories worth reading, written by people with a devotion to their area that borders on religion.
There will be haters. There will be doubters. But stick to your mission, and become the must-read I know you will.
And to you gentle readers? It’s your mission to make sure SCN succeeds. If not, you’re no better than Orange County — and who the hell wants to be *them*?
Gustavo Arellano writes pure DESMADRE about everything and is based in Orange County, California. The former editor-in-chief, investigative reporter, and columnist at the OC Weekly now reports for the Los Angeles Times.
Photo: SPIRIT LIFTER by Louis Rico, originally published in Whittier, California – Our Hometown.