From the Editors
Introducing Erie's 40 Under 40 Class of 2019
Since 2013, we've proudly published our annual 40 Under 40 issue, introducing to you 40 young people who are shaping the future of Erie. Following its debut, it's become one of our most popular and widely read features of the entire year. Our mission is to give recognition to the innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who are helping our community succeed. They're the rising stars, unafraid to take risks and pursue their passions.
If you think selecting our top 40 honorees was difficult, you'd be right. This year, as in years past, we were flooded with nominations. If you know someone who is working hard to make Erie a better place and think they've earned this distinction, go to eriereader.com today and nominate them for next year's class. We'd love to meet them.
This year also marks the second year in a row where every single honoree has been photographed, thanks in no small part to our special event photographer Maitham Basha-Agha. With coordinating help from Jessica Hunter, Maitham was able to capture our honorees outdoors in Downtown Erie — the first on-location shoot since our inaugural year. Though the backgrounds may be blurry, discerning Erieites will be able to spot the locations. For the full, uncropped photos, go to our website, where each profile can be shared individually.
This is Erie's 40 Under 40 experience. It's alive and well (it also happens to be the title of our second annual event taking place on Friday, Oct. 4, but more on that as the date approaches).
Also in this issue, Jim Wertz breaks down our recent municipal primary and highlights some of the overall takeaways. The new faces and names on the ballot are one key item, as the future relies on bold, new leadership. It's absolutely fitting that this comes up now, as we shine a spotlight on some of the remarkable young people helping to make our community a better place.
One of those bold current leaders is contributing writer and Erie City Council member Liz Allen. She dials back the clock, taking a look at Erie's Community Schools project in the years following its introduction. These schools might just be training grounds for future 40 Under 40 honorees, though admittedly we'll have to wait a few years until that comes to pass.
We're proud of our class of honorees, past, present, and future. This month is a perfect time for pride, as the LGBTQ community and their allies go into the second half of Pride Month. Take a look at the spine of our current issue on the newsstand for a nod to that. As the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots arrives on June 28, let's reflect on the struggle that still continues to this day.
Thank you to all of our honorees this year. Thank you for the outstanding work that's being done in this community and the passionate engagement that our city needs. To quote James and Deborah Fallows from their recently published book Our Towns, "[The Erie Reader's] long-form reporting and opinions have made it a must-read among the progressive-minded population in Erie. The annual '40 Under 40' is an index of young business, cultural, and civic figures who have chosen to make something happen here. It is a competitive field, and the number of candidates for this recognition continues to grow."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.