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A Place for You

One year ago we published the first issue of the Riverwest Currents. It had 12 pages, some black and white photos, and a group of folks dedicated to the vision of a paper focused on our community. Our cover story was on the Reservoir on North Avenue. I have lost count of how many people were surprised by the fact that the hill they were so familiar with for so many years was filled with water. Likewise, it is gratifying that so many are so interested in the characters that fill our homes and businesses. Their inner stories comprise a vital ingredient of our mission. Our niche is in and around our neighborhoods. Our audience is the 12-year-old and the 20-, 30-, 40-, 50-, 60-, 70-, 80-, and up-year-old black, white, and brown people who live, work, and play here. We are not “glam” and we are not “square” either. There is a place for you here in our neighborhood and in our paper. So, here we are today with 24 pages, including color, and another slice of our history. For me, and I can only imagine for many of the volunteers who put in so many hours writing, drawing, photographing, designing, editing, compiling, distributing, selling, praying, sweating… well, you get the picture, it is a labor of love, with miles of pages to go before we sleep. Thanks especially to the Metro Milwaukee Fair Housing Council’s Housing Opportunities Made Equal (H.O.M.E.) grant that allowed us to start this paper. We are holding a mirror to show how beautiful this place, time, and people are. Yeah, there are some warts, but we never said there weren’t. There is value and it starts in your heart in your home in your neighborhood in your city in your state in your country. Remember it’s yours. Claim it. What’s ahead? I plan on writing about the slow food, slow cities movement this year. We will continue to bring up important neighborhood issues such as gentrification. You can count on us be pro-neighborhood, pro-diversity, and pro-small-local-busines, among other things. We always strive for fairness, but we never claimed to be objective. We have a stated mission that guides our work. We will be expanding our coverage of near-neighbor Harambee, an area we’ve been writing about on a regular basis already. We are lining up more editorial and artistic contributions from schools and youth centers, because we believe our youth have things to say that everyone should hear. This first anniversary of our newspaper is cause for celebration, and it also marks the time we strike out on our own financially. That part of it is a little more difficult. Away from the umbrella of the H.O.M.E. grant, we can use any form of support you can offer. Donations are always appreciated, but there will be more social ways to show your support too. We will host a plethora of events in the coming year to benefit our cause as we build towards greater self-sufficiency. These events will allow you to get together with and meet your neighbors, support the paper, and have a good time doing it. Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 2 – February 2003
by Vince Bushell