SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It is a Sacramento civic treasure. Now the city’s black-owned newspaper, the Sacramento Observer, has a new headquarters, only it’s no longer in Oak Park.
The publisher has moved the headquarters to Del Paso Heights, leaving some to call it another sign of Oak Park gentrification.READ MORE: 'Never Been So Excited': Nonprofit Gets Unexpected Help As Storm Threatens Shelter
Publisher Larry Lee says gentrification did not force the paper to leave.
He gave CBS13 a look inside the new newsroom.
“I’m really excited about our construction,” Lee said. “We’re calling it a 21st-century newsroom.”
Lee is the son of the paper’s founder. Its first edition was printed in 1962.
“We really want to make sure we provide news and information and a gathering location for the African-American community,” Lee said.
But Oak Park advocate Eliza Deed says the Observer’s exit is one more example of Oak Park’s gentrification.
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“The fact that they’re leaving is enough,” Deed said. “They symbolize a lot for the black community of Oak Park, and to see them leave is actually detrimental but also proof, that gentrification is also massively taking a stance in Oak Park and we’re being pushed out and so is the history as well.”
“We knew that there was going to be an emotional response, to us relocating,” Lee said.
Lee says his decision to move the Observer from Oak Park was about finding a modern-day space for the newspaper. He knows other blacked-owned businesses are being forced out.
“I can understand the narrative, I can understand people saying you know ‘hey, Oak Park is changing,’ because Oak Park is changing. There’s no doubts that it’s changing,” he said.
A new headquarters for new headlines.
“I’m just trying to be a good steward,” Lee said.
The Observer has left Oak Park.
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This new headquarters is set to be opened and fully functioning in August. Meantime, the paper has not missed a singe publication during COVID or during the construction of their new building.