The Frontera Fund

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Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are co-founders of one of the most respected newspapers in Arizona. They founded Phoenix New Times in the early 70s during their college years. Both men dropped out of college to focus on their newspaper. Their paper quickly became one of the foremost respected papers in the industry. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:

Nearly a decade later, they began building Village Voice Media. It started when they acquired Westword, a like-minded paper in Denver. Eventually, VVM grew into a multimillion-dollar media conglomerate consisting of 17 like-minded papers from all over the country. Recently, they sold VVM to some long-time executives.

A while ago, Lacey and Larkin were subjected to tremendous trauma at the hands of an abusive sheriff. They suffered months of harassment that inevitably ended in their arrest. The sheriff was upset that their local paper, Phoenix New Times, wrote several articles detailing his illegal activities.

They were immediately released after the nation found out about the little war and sued Maricopa County. The money they got from the settlement, $3.75 million, was used to create the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. That fund supports Arizona-based organizations that advocate for migrant rights and civic participation. Phoenix New Times is an avid supporter of Mexican migrants.

The actually abuse they suffered started long before their arrest. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio seemed like a benign character to most people. Upon further inspection, New Times discovered a slew of inappropriate and illegal activities. It immediately became vital that the people of Arizona know what kind of man Joe Arpaio really is. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Michael Lacey | Facebook

Phoenix New Times began writing articles about his financial irregularities and rampant mismanagement in his own office. He regularly abused his power, especially when harassing Latinos. Despite being a man of the law, he actively encouraged anti-Mexican fear-mongering.

His fear-mongering tactics didn’t stop at abusing local Latinos. After learning that New Times wrote articles about his activities, he started harassing the New Times executives. When Lacey and Larkin refused to back off, he had them arrested in the middle of the night.

Both men were forced from their homes and into unmarked SUVs. They were then taken to separate jails were Arpaio tried to break them. He tried to use fake subpoenas, signed by one of his corrupt prosecutors, to force Lacey or Larkin to give up the names of their employees and anyone who might have read any of their articles about him.