Volume 77 / Number 48 - April 30 - May 6, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since

Celebrating 75 years:

nessA weekly that makes top coverage its business

By Dirk McCall

I am delighted to congratulate the Villager on its 75th anniversary. This esteemed local newspaper is the embodiment of local coverage and a critically important pipeline of information to local residents. I have worked with The Villager in a number of capacities and salute them for always going that extra mile to add a Greenwich Village perspective.

As the executive director of the Greenwich Village – Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, I can attest that the local small business community utilizes The Villager to get information about new trends in our community, new stores coming in and the loss of local commercial landmarks due to rent increases and new building construction, as well as proposals that could have a negative impact on business in the Village. The Villager is adept at talking with local restaurant owners, merchants and solo practitioners to get their stories out and include their perspectives in local news coverage, which is often amplified when larger media outlets follow The Villager’s lead.

When I served as the chief of staff to City Councilmember Alan Jay Gerson, in the First District — Lower Manhattan — we always looked to The Villager for coverage of local issues. The newspaper provides insights and information that its dedicated news staff discern at community board hearings and other local forums and the articles were always a wealth of information. You can always count on The Villager to find new sources of information and new perspectives and that is always helpful! Its reporting on issues, such as the renovation of Washington Square Park and Councilmember Gerson’s wonderful victories on the Dignity for All Students Act and on homeless-youth funding, always provides the most comprehensive coverage around.

Writing as a longtime gay rights activist, I can also attest to the impact The Villager has had on our community. The Villager has been at the forefront of endorsing gay and lesbian candidates for office and ensuring our voices are heard. It covers local L.G.B.T. political forums and actively engages our local political and community organizations.

We should all be thankful for the award-winning Villager. Its coverage helps enrich our understanding of all things Village and it helps us magnify our voices and concerns to the entire city and, in fact, the world. Congratulations on your first 75 years — I’m looking forward to the next 75!

McCall is executive director of the Greenwich Village – Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.

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