The end of the year is, for many, a time of reflection. Once every ten years, that retrospection goes into overdrive as one publication after another puts out their ‘Best of the Decade’ list of albums and tweets, and reflections on how far they’ve come in that time.
We thought about doing our own South Side best of the decade list, but quickly realized it’s all but impossible to summarize a decade’s worth of moments for an area as big and diverse as the South Side into a tiny list. Sure, we might all agree that Rahm Emanuel announcing he wouldn’t run for re-election is up there—but outside of that, you’re likely to get as many different lists as there are South Siders.
It also occurred to us that it would be odd to write about a decade we haven’t even been around long enough to see through from the beginning. South Side Weekly, in our independent form, under our current name, has only been around since 2013. In that time, we’ve gone from a ragtag group of UofC students putting the paper together in a basement to a slightly less ragtag group of volunteers from across the city, with an office and a budget and a new website.
It hasn’t been easy. But then, nothing worth doing is. There have been times when the paper nearly didn’t make it to the printer, or when we’ve considered taking a hiatus. And in these past years, the South Side has changed too. Many people, especially Black people, have moved away. Real estate developers have altered the landscape of neighborhoods like Pilsen and Woodlawn, maybe forever.
Where do we stand at the end of it? At least we can say there’s good news from the Weekly. Earlier this year, we applied for and received a $50,000 grant from the McCormick foundation. With that support, we’ve been able to create our first-ever paid editorial position. And today, after an extensive hiring process, we welcome Jacqueline Serrato as our new editor-in-chief.
Jacqueline, who was born and raised in Little Village, has been a journalist in Chicago for seven years and has written for a number of Chicago outlets. We’re excited for her to bring her skills, knowledge of the South Side, and commitment to local journalism to the Weekly.
As we near the start of the new decade, we look forward to facing the uncertainty of what the coming years might bring with the same energy that’s driven us this far.