Connectivity and Information are the Lifeblood of Communities.
However, in our hyper-connected world with millions of online communities, our physical communities have never been more disconnected. Few of us get to know our neighbors and even less of us get involved in community issues. We believe The Burg will be a unifying element and become the community's app, the platform where people can connect with their community and stay informed.
To Los Angeles, on the local level there isn't a bright line between the official news and informal news-- or the sharing of info between members of a community. However, there are a number things normal everyday people simply cannot accomplish with our limited time and budget, and for these stories, we rely on professionals to sift through the noise and get to the bottom of issues. Today's article in the Daily Breeze is a great example of the power of local news collaborating with the community.
Members of the South Bay community noticed the gross incompetence and exorbitant salary of the Centinela Valley Union Superintendent Jose Fernandez, which led to an investigative team on the Daily Breeze to start snooping around. They uncovered quite a lot, to put it mildly. In 2015, their work was considered so thorough and transformative that they won the Pulitzer Prize. Earlier today, the Breeze published an update to the story which is in large part the outcome of diligent reporting and persistence: Fernandez has been arrested and charged on public corruption charges.
Stories like this remind us that we need to stay informed about the inner workings of our community. The way we engage in our neighborhoods is reminiscent of centuries past. We need a 21st-century upgrade. We need The Burg: community app, a digital public square where people can learn, stay informed and engage directly with their fellow voters in their communities.