Why I joined The Capital City Hues
A Journey with a Purpose
Heidi M. Pascual*
Publisher & Editor
* 2006 Journalist of the Year for the State
of Wisconsin (U.S.-SBA)
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It is often said that when a door closes on you, another door opens. True, but I’d like to add, you have to work doubly hard
to keep yourself inside, whether or not you own the place.
When I left as associate editor of a local Madison newspaper, the parting was unpleasant and it hurt so bad that I
developed a cautious attitude toward people who did not look like me. Thoughts of people of color harming one another often
lingered in my subconscious that I would have nightmares about them. I became wary of other people’s intentions as I dealt
with them, scared that I would be taken advantage of or discriminated against, considering my gender, my race, my skin color,
my nationality and all other “minority” concerns. The fact that I was a new immigrant whose accent always left people asking
me, “What did you say?” added some more to my growing discomfort in a place I wanted to call home.
But I was blessed with new friends, not surprisingly mostly who looked like me, some from “other” communities of color,
and a few White folks including my former editor at the local newspaper I used to work for, who kept on convincing me that I
was highly skilled and experienced in the field of journalism, and that I could be whatever I want to be in Madison. They made
me feel welcomed and allayed my fears that there would be nothing worthile for me to do here in Wisconsin.
Such a sense of community encouraged me a lot, coupled with the desire to prove to myself that I can create my own destiny.
Hence the birth of my own publication in 2005, Asian Wisconzine, a monthly magazine that has become the only all-inclusive
Asian American magazine in the state of Wisconsin.
In 2006, my former editor, Jon Gramling, started his publication as well. He called it “The Capital City Hues,” to reflect the
diversity of people and ideologues in the Madison area. The Hues is a biweekly newspaper that sought to highlight the
realities and dreams of people of color, their successes as well as failures, and focused on helping solve problems and
uniting people. It has become, to my mind, a symbol of my early struggle in Madison and the sweet returns resulting from
sheer determination and hard work. When Jon invited me to be his managing editor and one of his partners/co-owners, I
didn’t hesitate a bit, for I knew that this endeavor would mean wider involvement with other communities of color -- a positive
step towards helping heal a wound from an earlier painful job separation. In addition, Jon and I have become a team for so
long that working together -- though allowing for each other’s independence -- has become second nature to both us. It would
be difficult to work with someone whose goals you disagree with. Jon and I share similar goals as regards our publications,
and we saw The Hues and Asian Wisconzine as complementary to each other rather than competitors. It’s amazing how our
friendship and respect for each other’s capabilities created a harmonious balance between two different undertakings. The
truth is, I love working for an organization or an individual with a good purpose. The Capital City Hues is one such
organization. Although very tiny, The Hues has created a huge impact in this community. Although regularly challenged by
minimal incoming resources, The Hues continues to be a force, a bridge that connects people of color to their community and
to one another. It discusses issues through in-depth interviews and coverage that not only touches the surface but reaches
down inside. Jon, to my mind, has found what he really wants to do in life. An exceptionally good writer, his long romance with
Madison has made him a historian of sorts, and his social and political activism has found a perfect venue through which his
thoughts could be shared by many. And I became a student, for Jon is a master of words when his pen is in action, and a
loyal servant to the Madison community when he senses the need to help its people, particularly those whose voices are
rarely listened to.
With the increasing trend in online publishing, Jon and I ventured at making parallel issues in print and on the web.
Though self-taught in web designing and layout, I found the courage and the confidence to create The Hues’ website as soon
as we started publishing in March of 2006. It’s amazing how we reach more people through the cyberspace! We don’t even
need to pump gas and personally deliver our newspapers even in the midst of a snowstorm. We reach our readers through
their computers -- at home and at work!
But of course, I know how Jon feels about the printed edition of The Hues. Nothing beats a hard copy on your hand that
won’t disappear before your eyes when you happened to click the wrong button. The web simply cannot compare. The printed
media, hopefully, will last our lifetime and way beyond. But the signs are here, and we must adapt as we seek to spread our
gospel of truth not only in Madison but out there. So, do visit our home on the web, www.capitalcityhues.com.
Hopefully, with the exit of this Great Recession, The Hues would continue to grow, develop and attract more and more
readers in our community and our state. Word is spreading fast that it is becoming to be the best alternative newspaper in