Longtime alternative news media executives Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey have covered a wide range of controversial issues in their news outlets, but probably none more notorious than their documents of the tenure of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio has been noted for things that have appalled the newspaper’s readers such as having jail inmates wear pink, setting up a correctional facility that consisted of tents and tough conditions, and most notably going on raids targeting the Latino community.
In the general election of 2016, Arpaio was finally defeated and an investigation also followed into his office. But after President Trump was elected, he issued a pardon to Arpaio to ensure he was cleared of any wrongdoing. This angered Larkin and Lacey, but they have vowed that their Frontera Fund will continue to help immigrant communities fight for justice.
Jim Lark and Michael Lacey’s Frontera Fund was actually founded as a result of a legal battle they won against Arpaio. The Frontera Fund works to help immigrants by advocating for college tuition discounts, housing programs and helping prevent ICE from unfair deportation or profiling.
Organizations that the Frontera Fund has partnerships with include the Mexican Foundation, the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, GED2DACA and many other organizations that are lobbying for immigration reform policies. The main idea behind the Frontera Fund is to tell the truth about the immigrant situation in the US and tell stories you won’t hear about in the mainstream media.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey met back in the early 1970s while writing about anti war protests at Arizona State University. Lacey had developed a love for journalism as a young man and while the Vietnam War was going on, the student protests were at the front of most news headlines and he felt they weren’t being reported on correctly.
He had already begun publishing articles for the New Times when Larkin came to the organization, and with his help attracting advertising sponsors and shareholders to the paper, the New Times started taking off. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Jim Larkin | Angel.co
It was eventually titled the Phoenix New Times, and over the next 40 years it had editions that opened up all across the US from Miami to Los Angeles. Numerous stories from the developments of Watergate all the way to Enron.
Larkin and Lacey had been covering immigration issues for a while, but it was around the mid-2000s that they started documenting more of Sheriff Arpaio’s raids into Latino communities. The stories that were published about Arpaio angered him and his department that he began to start going after the two journalists eventually arresting them in the middle of the night and seizing the Phoenix New Times computers.
But a district judge ruled in court that they had been illegally detained and upon their release, they sued Arpaio’s department for their actions in 2013, and with the damages awarded to them of $3.75 million that they used to start the Frontera Fund.
Since then, Larkin and Lacey have sold the Phoenix New Times and focused in on the Frontera Fund’s initiatives.