Cecily Hastings


About This Author

Cecily Hastings owns and operates Inside Sacramento and offers her insight and views on local issues each month.

Articles by this author

It’s A Small World

The essay below appeared in February 1996 in our first Inside East Sacramento. I found it recently in a book of the first year’s editions my husband made for me as a gift.

My first reaction was astonishment. As I read, I realized little has changed with our mission after 25 years.

Last month, Inside Sacramento was honored with two special awards. First, we were selected as part of “10 News Publishers That Do It Right 2021” by the trade magazine Editor & Publisher.

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Suitable for Framing

This month celebrates a milestone: 1,000 Inside editions in 25 years of publishing. Each edition has featured an original piece of local art on the cover. It’s fair to say we have circulated and promoted more art than anyone in Sacramento history. When our quarter-century press run is added up, more than 20 million impressions of art have been shared since 1996!

I am honored to serve as Inside’s cover art curator-in-chief. It’s by far the best part of my job.

At first, when we published one edition, I worried we’d never find enough art for 12 covers a year. I knew a watercolorist who painted house portraits. She had a portfolio of a dozen pieces. That got me started.

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Farewell Neighbor

I grew up in a small Michigan town with a lovely Main Street. Local merchants owned the shops and cafes. My mom and dad were friendly with many of these small business owners. We knew their children and they knew us.

A large part of what attracted my husband and me to East Sacramento was the small-town attitude that supported local merchants. When we bought our vintage 1925 home in 1989, one of the first neighborhood shops we discovered was East Sac Hardware at 48th Street and Folsom Boulevard.

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Silver Lining

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Inside Sacramento. At a time when print publishing has been decimated, my husband Jim and I feel grateful to have survived and thrived.

Today, a new publication like Inside would be called a “micro” business. In 1996, we divided the tasks based on the experiences and success of our previous careers. My career was in interior design and project management. My strengths were writing, graphic design, sales, marketing and community involvement. Jim handled accounting, payroll, printing, delivery, invoicing and business details. He had been an executive for IBM and a small business manager.

What made Inside unique was our motivation. Neither of us had publishing experience.

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Hard Road Ahead

Lost among the election reports was some of the best national economic news ever. The October federal employment report showed 906,000 jobs were added in the private sector, with an increase of 724,000 jobs to the labor force. Wages were up 4.5 percent. Unemployment dropped dramatically across every demographic group.

The federal government said the gross domestic product—the measure of total economic output—grew by a record-setting 7.4 percent between July and September, or 33.1 percent on an annualized basis. The economy grew at a pace never seen before. This is what economists call a V-shaped recovery.

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