A bit of confusion, sometimes. When our managing editor Chad Oliveiri spoke to a class at the University of Rochester recently, some students said they were surprised that we were writing about suburbs like Chili and Mendon. Aren't we a "city of Rochester" paper?
Well, no, and we haven't been for years. We began, as longtime readers know, as a neighborhood newspaper, serving the southeast area of Rochester. But it quickly became apparent that there was a need for much broader coverage, and a much broader mission. And so, we expanded, first to cover the entire city, and then the county and its surroundings.
We bear the name City proudly; the city is the heart of the Greater Rochester area. And we view our role as similar to that of the world's cities: to serve as a political and educational center, where the issues of the day get discussed and analyzed; to serve as a cultural center, giving the public access to the arts and entertainment of the region; to serve as a community center, a gathering place, where members of a diverse community come --- to get to know one another, to support one another, to argue with one another, to shape public policy.
In many ways, the Greater Rochester area is simply a grouping of individual, often parochial small communities, divided by seemingly impenetrable geographic boundaries. But the fact is, we are one community, and it has become increasingly important for us to act as one.
And so over the years, we have pushed City out, beyond the city limits, beyond the county line. Our distribution now covers the region. You'll find City in suburban Wegmans and Tops as well as the chains' city stores; in suburban and city Starbucks, in Xerox's Webster plant... on nearly every area college campus, in nearly every hospital... in Canandaigua, Geneseo, Lima, Lakeville, Victor, Farmington --- 737 distribution points in all.
Our popular Mail column reflects that diversity: In recent issues we've published letters from readers in Pittsford, Webster, Greece, Brighton, Irondequoit, Avon, Spencerport, Henrietta, and Penfield, as well as the City of Rochester.
Regardless of where we live, it is important for us to understand the challenges faced by farmers in rural Upstate New York, the teachers in inner-city schools, the residents fighting to protect open space in Rochester suburbs. And it is important for all of us to learn more about our neighbors, and to celebrate (and participate in) the wealth of the region's arts and entertainment venues.
We're pleased that our readership of 103,000 includes people from throughout the Greater Rochester area. Together, you create one fine, unique community.