by Alex Mulcahy
The Free Press
Here’s a bet I’d like to make: You were among those sign-carrying activists, rallying for justice and equality during last month’s march. I believe this to be true because the people who read Grid are the people who are passionate about making Philadelphia a better city, and the world a better place. And you are willing to work for it.
Whether you just moved here a year ago or you’ve lived here all your life, you believe the same thing we do: Philadelphia can be a just and sustainable city that will serve as an example to the rest of the country about what is possible when we all work together for change.
For the last eight years, Grid has been there to document and reflect your victories, great and small. The innovative projects and programs you’ve run. The community gardens you’ve started. The bike lanes you’ve swarmed. The socially responsible businesses you’ve launched. We’ve seen you turn problems into opportunities.
As we approach our 100th issue, we’ve been thinking about what we can do to continue to support your work. In the face of a brutal national regime intent on dismantling everything we believe in, we’re rethinking our commitment to you, our neighbors and fellow Philadelphians, and we believe we need to do more.
We’re doubling down on Philadelphia.
Because human beings do not live on artisanal bread alone, we are going to expand our coverage to include Philadelphia’s vibrant arts and culture community. In a time when the human spirit needs to be inspired and nourished, the role of the artist has never been more essential. Because it’s critical that peace and happiness begin with each person in our city, we’re going to devote more editorial to self-care and health and wellness. In the face of disorienting and dispiriting news, we must keep our minds calm.
Now back to that artisanal bread. Since the food we eat is both personal and political, and the fortunate among us partake in it three times a day, we’re going to expand our food coverage, as well. We will support our farmers, and the chefs and restaurateurs who share our values.
Finally—though this is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle—we would like to provide investigative journalism and cover stories that others can’t or won’t. The news on the federal level is alarming, and you can be sure that the local fallout will be significant. We want to separate the facts from the alternative facts, and hold people accountable and keep you informed.
We’re going to stay free.
Grid was originally conceived as a newsstand publication, but we decided to forgo that income to ensure that we reached the widest possible audience. We knew we needed to be in every neighborhood to honor our lofty stated goal to make Philadelphia “a more just and livable city.” Since our inception, we’ve given away over two million copies of Grid, and we hope to give away two million more.
We’re going to amplify the positive voices that share our vision of the world.
I’ve been in business, and committed to print, for over 20 years. I still believe in the medium’s power and the value of holding a publication—particularly a publication dedicated to your city—in your hands. In the slippery world of fake news and lie-spewing social media accounts, the importance of credible and independent journalism has never been greater.
I also still firmly believe in Grid’s original mission. As we evolve, we’ll remain grounded in our roots: a belief in economic, environmental and social justice.
To achieve our vision, we need your help.
Donate. Subscribe. Advertise. It’s how we survive as a free, independent voice in the city.
A personal note on behalf of our staff: Thank you for all the kind words you have shared with us through the years about this publication. Grid was designed to inspire you, but—in reality—it is you who have inspired us
Alex Mulcahy, Publisher
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Help us be the best publication in Philadelphia
1. Make a monthly contribution. Like many other publications, we are now accepting donations that will go directly to the cause of expanding our coverage, widening our distribution and keeping Grid free. You can donate in any amount, so support us with a monthly dollar or two. Or 10. Or 20.
2. Subscribe to the magazine. Like your favorite public radio station, you can always pick up Grid for free. But if you can afford to subscribe, we encourage you to do so. You’ll get the best of Philadelphia delivered to your door and know that you’re supporting a positive force for change.
3. Subscribe to our new weekly newsletter. Starting in February, we plan to send out a weekly newsletter where you’ll get featured events, job listings, curated recommendations for taking action on local causes, and highlights from the magazine.
4. Advertise, and encourage others to do so. We love bringing you the stories we cover, and our advertisers are a big part of ensuring that we get them to you each month. By advertising in Grid, you’re investing in your business. But you’re also investing in independent media and a more culturally vibrant Philadelphia.