The Beginning of Frontera Fund in Arizona

Arizona is synonymous with racial tension and rampant hate acts. Unfortunately, the people of Arizona haven’t been able to overcome this negative stereotype. Over the past ten years, the state has made tremendous progress, but unfortunate stories like Lacey and Larkin vs. Sheriff Arpaio keep pulling the state in the wrong direction.

For a really long time, Arizona has struggled to accept its Hispanic locals. Even though most of the people living there have some genetic connection to a Hispanic nation, racism seems to be the predominate mentality. As horrible as the story of Lacey and Larkin’s battle against the local sheriff was, it ended in triumph.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin met back in the early 70s. Both college dropouts, they co-founded Phoenix New Times and would later co-found Village Voice Media. Lacey initially started the local paper after seeing how the local media portrayed campus antiwar protests.

When Larkin joined the paper, they began building a media conglomerate. Despite the huge success they would find, they never lost sight of what’s important. In the early 2000s, their paper, Phoenix New Times, picked up a story about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Immediately, the paper realized that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a horrible person. The other newspapers and news companies ignored Arpaio, even referring to him as a benign character. New Times discovered that Arpaio was anything but benign. For a start, he seemed to lack the ability to manage the sheriff’s office and the jails he was responsible for overseeing.

Honestly, he probably couldn’t run his office because he was too busy mistreating and abusing local Latinos. Most racists in positions of power don’t take pride in blatantly abusing their power. Sheriff Arpaio is no ordinary racist. He loved being sheriff because that meant he could abuse whoever whenever. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Jim Larkin | LinkedIn

Fortunately, his reign came to an end when Phoenix New Times challenged his abuse. He failed to silence the paper and even got Maricopa County sued after he wrongfully and illegally arrested Lacey and Larkin. He’s since faded into nothingness while Larkin and Lacey achieved a great success for migrant and human rights.

In 2013, the county awarded the duo with a $3.75 million settlement. They used that money to create a special fund that supports local groups fighting for human and civil rights. The fund also supports border-related groups fighting for migrant rights.

As powerful of a message that the Frontera Fund is, Larkin and Lacey will need something extra to undo what Donald Trump did.