When we launched El Cerrito Patch exactly two years ago today, Aug. 31, I had no idea of how it would be received.
Community reaction was slow at first, as to be expected, but these days we are delighted to find that Patch seems to have found a sizable and still growing readership, and to have become established as an active forum for local information and community dialogue for El Cerrito and Kensington.
We believe strongly in the importance of a well-informed public as the foundation of healthy democracy, and so we strive to provide accurate and fair reporting. We also believe that Patch, being online, can also serve as an interactive community resource, a virtual public square where members of the community can exchange views and information and connect with each other in areas of mutual interest.
While we at Patch work hard to maintain and improve the website, and while we are buoyed by the appreciative words we hear from members of the community, we can't claim most of the credit. That belongs to you, our readers.
Much of what you see on Patch – comments, photos, events, the blog posts in the "Local Voices" section of our homepage, articles, columns, letters, guest features and reader reviews in our Directory – comes from members of the community. And much of what you don't see also comes from readers, including tips and suggestions that lead us to valuable information and stories that we didn't know about.
I'm called "editor," and I do a lot of the traditional editor tasks, but in our new world of online journalism, my role is also that of secretary or switchboard operator for the rich variety of community exchange that you engage in on Patch.
So, we don't say, "Happy Birthday El Cerrito Patch." We say, "Happy Birthday El Cerrito Patch readers!"
Without you, we wouldn't still be here. Thank you.