Michael Lacey’s father was a construction worker. Lacey was raised in Newark, N.J. and moved to Arizona, in the late 1960s and attended Arizona State University.
By 1970. Lacey was radical progressive and dropped out of society. He went on a course that set his life’s work as a publisher of the so-called “underground” small alternative newspapers. Lacey’s first newspaper was the Phoenix New Times. New Times was a rebuttal to ultra-conservative media’s coverage of rampant campus antiwar protests across America.
Lacey partnered with Jim Larkin, who shared Lacey’s progressive values, of social and political issues. Larkin concentrated on advertising revenue to support New Times.
New Time purchased a news-and-arts weekly, Westword, located in Denver, in 1983. Lacy’s acquisitions of alternative newspapers spiraled, and he developed a multimillion dollar business, absorbing seventeen alternative newspapers, from New York to California which included the LA Weekly, Miami New Times, and New York City’s Village Voice.
Lacy’s fortunes, along with Larken, faced some serious legal problems and were arrested because the New Times published grand jury subpoenas which were issued against them. Lacy’s argued that this arrest violated his First Amendment Rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Joseph Arpaio, known as Arizona’s “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” arrested Lacey and Larkin. Arpio was Maricopa County’s Sherrif and spent much of his time actively involved in anti-immigration activities. Lacy’s legal problems were resolved when it was found that the grand jury issued fraudulent warrants. Arpaio was sued. Lacy and Larken received three million seventy-five thousand dollars.
The Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund was developed as a result of the award, in late 2013. The Fund provided financial support to Latine American citizens who resided in Arizona. Learn more about Jim Larkin: https://michael-lacey.com/ and https://michael-lacey.com/about/
The Frontera Fund is a human rights and Civil Rights 0rganization. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) presented Lacey and Larkin the Civil Libertarian of the Year Award for their contributions to the advancement of civil liberties.
The ACLU was impressed with Lacey and Larkin standing up for First Amendment rights of journalists for protecting the rights of access.
Lacing and Larkin put their business assets into the Villiage Voice Medica Holdings (VMH), at the end of 2012. VMH is celebrated as a champion of the First Amendment and became well-known for its publications of music, food, film, and the arts, and a strong progression organization.
VVM acquired Lacy’s new paper business and had nine million readers and fifty-six million online subscribers.