When I looked ahead from my spring college classes to the summer months, I had no idea what I was going to do. For a while, my plan was to move back to my apartment in Evanston, Illinois, near my campus, and drive for Uber.
Little did I know that I would spend the summer in my hometown, doing what I enjoy the most – participating and writing about politics, community organizing, and social justice advocacy.
The Voice of Freeport has been an amazing tool for progressive-minded advocates like me to start conversations in our community. Without this platform, I never would have had the opportunity to write about the problematic past of our county namesake Benjamin Stephenson, the brewing sexism scandal in our county government, and the top campaign donors of our local elected officials.
That mix of hyper-local citizen journalism is something that no other media source in the town or region has provided in recent memory.
I also take a not-insignificant amount of pride in the fact that I am the one who came up with the name ‘The Voice of Freeport’.
From the beginning, those of us who have contributed to this project have agreed that we will fight for those in our society who do not have a platform.
We will fight against apathy – the idea that we cannot push back against our neighbors who wield political power in a way that at best ignores the structural deficiencies of our society and at worst perpetuates them.
And for me personally, that I would use my privilege (as being white, male, college-educated) to be an unrelenting ally.
I’m proud that we tell the stories we do and pick the fights that have gone unfought for 400 years in this country.
I am excited for the work yet to be done.