What to expect from your Southeast Express: Inaugural issue to publish in February

Launching a new community-powered and empowering newspaper is not for the faint of heart. It has taken two years of planning and conversations with civic and faith leaders, community advocates and activists, business owners, nonprofit directors and hundreds of others to determine the news needs of the amazingly diverse and vibrant, but economically changing, 80,000-person community living in and around the 80910 and 80916 ZIP codes.

What we repeatedly heard was the need for information. What they say is true: Information is power. The opposite is also true: a lack of information leads to powerlessness.

So here is just a taste of what you will find in this new neighborhood newspaper:

Stories about our schools, teachers, kids and administrators. Sure, we’ll cover local sports heroes past and present, but we’ll also get you plenty of information about what’s happening in the classroom and on the school board. This means both the great — the recognitions, the rebuilding, the student achievements — and the not-so-great — say, gang activity in schools and drop-out rates.

• Business news, such as profiles of current companies, corporate leaders and up-and-coming entrepreneurs who will be our next generation of employers. We will also cover and promote employment events, networking events, internships and educational opportunities.

• General interest and community stories, featuring the interesting characters who comprise our community. We will also offer an inclusive community calendar that details local happenings, meetings, program events, volunteer opportunities, training sessions and more.

• Governmental and legislative updates that matter to Southeast. We’ll be your eyes and ears on happenings at City Council, at the county board and in the state legislature for programs and issues that are relevant to the neighborhood. We will also let you know how to get involved and will host events like candidate forums.

• Lifestyle stories, such as religion and spirituality; healthy eating, good nutrition and diet; reviews of culinary hot spots; arts and entertainment stories and listings; and historical looks at the neighborhood. We will also have plenty of photos of the people and places in Southeast Colorado Springs.

• Hard looks at the social and economic challenges facing Southeast, including crime and gang activity; poverty; transportation issues; and the driving forces behind the renewal of the community. We will look at these issues with an eye not toward glamorizing, but informing and with a goal of finding solutions.

• Birth notices; engagement, wedding and anniversary announcements; death notifications; and — for those wishing to honor a late loved one — obituaries and memorials. The community asked for them, and not for nothing are these called “vital statistics.”

All of this will be sent directly to 30,000 households and distributed at select locations in the region at no cost to the readers. In short, if a topic is important to the community, it’s important to us.