We’re 2.5 months into 2014 (but who’s counting?). Oakland Local’s published more than 300 stories during that time, but there’s a specific set of stories that are the most talked about: commented on on our site, read and discussed on social media, buzzed about at work. Everyone who lives in Oakland KNOWS how much Oakland folks have to say about events and issues in the Town. We’re so argumentative sometimes that we have no need to watch wrestling on cable TV — we can just tweet #Oakmtg instead, and have even more room to debate. To us, Mayor’s Quan’s thoughts on public safety have more interest than Miley’s costumes (yes, that was a cheap shot, but the art is cool.)

So what got Oakland’s juices flowing since 2014 lurched to a start?

The top story (no surprise there) is Danette Lambert’s piece on gentrification, which, weeks after it was published, is still getting new comments. 20 ways to not be a gentrifier in Oakland (Community Voices) is one of the many pieces we’ve published on this topic, and a great essay.

The second most popular story, however, is about something really different: hot dogs. Yep, hot dogs. Max Gibson’s Wine & Bowties interview with the Top Dog guy got beaucoup readers.

Mayor Quan addressed the audience at her State of the City Speech last week, as Liam Curley reported, but February’s first town hall was filled with protesters chanting “We don’t need more police.” Why did they say that?  Read this and find out.

Oaklander Mitsu Fisher’s letter to his council person, An open letter to Councilmember Schaaf about the Waterhouse shooting (Community Voices), also provoked a lot of discussion with more than 600 Tweets linking to the story and vibrant exchanges in the comments.

Eric Arnold’s #Oakulture story on The Coup’s Whiteboard Show at Pandora and Two New Co-Working  spots pretty much blew up on social media, with hundreds of people linking to the story and the great picture of Boots Riley and Band.



What should happen with our downtown spaces in Oakland? Laura McCamy asked some notables, and Naomi Schiff,  Chris Pattillo, Chair of the Oakland Planning Commission and President of PGA Design,  and  Alan Dones, Managing Partner and CEO of Strategic Urban Development Alliance (SUDA), were among the folks who weighed in. HINT: How do economic development and equity fit together?

Kheven LeGrone’s piece on racism, relationships and colonization, What I fear about Oakland (Community Voices) echoed many commentators who worry about Oakland driving African-Americans away as neighborhoods become more upscale and gentrify.

And Oakland becoming certified cool with a Levi’s skateboard fashion commercial happened this month as well, with Del the Funky Homosapien in the mix. Did you see the videos? You want to: http://youtu.be/0NzhixaHDQ4.

The rest of the best?

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Have a great Monday and a good week.

About The Author

Susan Mernit is editor & publisher of Oakland Local (oaklandlocal.com) a news & community hub for Oakland, CA. A former VP at AOL & Netscape, & former! Yahoo Senior Director, Mernit was consulting program manager for The Knight News Challenge, 2008-09; was a 2012 Stanford Carlos McClatchy Fellow; and is a board adviser to The Center for Health Reporting at USC, Annenberg School of Journalism. She has consulted with many non-profit organizations on strategy, product development and social media/engagement, including Salon.com, TechSoup Global, Public Radio International and the Institute for Policy Studies/Economic Hardship Reporting Project, led by Barbara Ehrenreich.

3 Responses

  1. Sandra Rogers

    The reason Danette Lambert’s piece got so much attention is because it was a race baiting piece. Lots of comments as noted in this piece simply means that it was controversial… NOT that it was a good piece

  2. John

    14 ways you’re talking about Oakland in 2014

    1. Crime
    2. No police presence
    3. Jean Quan = brain-dead
    4. Pot holes
    5. Poor quality housing
    6. Awful schools
    7. Shooting every night around 98th & Int’l Boulevard
    8. Sideshows
    9. Shooting gallery
    10. No parking
    11. Smash-and-grab robberies
    12. Oscar Grant
    13. Snide hipsters
    14. Hey, Piedmont’s really close, let’s move there


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