By Nancy Welch

Last year exacted a price so dear that it defies description. As political acrimony and civil unrest rocked the nation, many of us lost faith in democracy itself. Individually and collectively, we shouldered unimaginable losses due to the pandemic: We lost jobs and homes, the opportunity to spend time with loved ones, chances to explore the world, both near and far. We reshaped familiar routines and repurposed kitchen tables into offices and classrooms. Our days lost structure, and we often struggled to find focus. And so many lost their lives – parents and children, family and friends, the old and the young – so many. In ways both small and large, exceedingly large, 2020 forever changed us – all of us.

For all these losses and the challenges that still remain, 2020 also gave us something good, right here at home: the College Park Here & Now. Yes, we launched a newspaper. At a time when the world is losing newspapers faster than delivery boys can flick them up the walk, we did this. Rumor has it that only a few new papers – perhaps two or three – got off the ground in the U.S. during 2020. We are honored to be part of that pack. 

We are indebted to our writers – the residents, city officials and journalism students at the University of Maryland who share their stories. Our contributors bring us more than the news; they invite us to explore the city’s rich history and diverse neighborhoods, and meet the people who call College Park home. The paper simply would not exist, but for the energetic and dedicated teamwork our writers bring to these pages.

We launched this paper at a time when the planet was struggling with conditions that pulled us apart. Our mission here was simple: We wanted to offer you connections — with ideas and events, with College Park’s history and its culture. And just as we want to connect you with your community, we, here at the paper, want to connect with you, too. So don’t be a stranger, and do be in touch. 

And you can now stop by our new website and say hello: streetcarsuburbs.news.