I’m proud to announce that this week I’ll be ending my tenure as Voice of OC’s Editor-in-Chief and moving into the role of Publisher.

It’s time for me to focus on building the business end of our community newsroom.

I will retain my seat on the Voice of OC board of directors, and after nearly a decade of reporting on Orange County government and politics, I’ll be launching a weekly investigative column looking at the major issues impacting our region.

Managing Editor David Washburn will assume the title of Editor and continue his excellent work leading our dedicated staff of reporters focused on city hall accountability and the impact of public policy on community health.

In the five years since we launched, Voice of OC has proven itself as a reliable source for residents who need real-time information about what’s really going on inside their city halls. We believe our dedication and focus is why our monthly readership has expanded steadily despite a small marketing budget.

We’ve also fought hard for First Amendment rights at the local level, challenging bad practices at public agencies regarding access to records and meetings as well as records retention policies.

Our efforts have led to state and national recognition, with press awards and grants from journalism foundations such as The California Endowment, the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism and the Orange County Community Foundation.

Our hope is that my weekly column will spark an even greater demand for accountability from our leaders and spur engagement across Orange County around civics. I’ll also work with a large contingent of ever-expanding community columnists and other engagement leaders, helping focus their energy directly onto their respective city halls and public agencies.

I look back with deep pride at everything we have accomplished as journalists to not only craft real-time transparency but also to help keep a better historical record of our civic life together.

But I realize our work is far from done. We will continue to hone our municipal news coverage model and expand our efforts to provide interested residents the opportunity to truly engage with their government leaders and help craft a better quality of life for their families.

To accomplish these goals, we need you to keep reading Voice of OC and lend us your financial support.

Invest in transparency.

Please contact Norberto Santana, Jr. directly at nsantana@voiceofoc.org.

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