Oakland Local

Oakland Local is the independent, nonprofit news resource for what’s happening in education, city government, food, innovative tech, arts and culture, youth and more in Oakland. We are journalists, educators, women, people of color and entrepreneurs funded by Google, the Investigative News Network, the California Endowment Foundation, the G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism and more.

We are the authentic voices of Oakland. Our contributors live across the city and range in age from 17-75. We publish diverse viewpoints from a range of people drawn together by their passion to reflect the real Oakland and tell the stories that should be told – but are not. We publish community voices and professional reporters and we love youth and beginners as well as OG’s and experienced folks.

We are pro-small and local business. We’re all about shopping locally and helping merchants, artisans and small business people use our site, our classes and programs to connect to the community who will buy from them and keep and bring money and jobs into our city. We celebrate Oakland innovators, workers and business folks because they are us.

We make connections across silos and sectors. Oakland Local has been involved in programs that bring together techies and local residents (Code for Oakland); small business people and social media marketers (Hack the Hood); concerned citizens and subject matter experts (Oakland News Cafe); and people who want to learn new skills (Oakland Local Academy).

We have a big footprint to tell the story of Oakland.  OL’s content is distributed across the web via Yahoo! News, KQED, SF Gate, New America Media, The Media Consortium and other partners. Our team speaks at national conferences about building a sustainable – and scrappy – nonprofit business model here in Oakland that is diverse and inclusive. We also train attendees in using media and tech at conferences organized by Netroots Nation, the John and James L. Knight Foundation SF State/Renaissance Journalism Center and others.

We need community support to tell the stories and do the trainings we do. Donate here to fund our stories and trainings; all donations are tax-deductible. Make any Amazon purchases through this link, and a portion will be donated to Oakland Local. Or consider how we can help you tell your story to our community and make new business connections.


Partner with us: Whether you want to talk to us about advertising, sponsorships, events, content creation or social marketing, we’re interested.

The back story

Oakland Local was co-founded in 2009 by Susan Mernit, Kwan Booth and Amy Gahran, who all lived in Oakland, Calif., and wanted to see more diverse, inclusive media. Mernit, OL’s volunteer editor/publisher, started out as an arts organizer in New York before becoming a senior executive at media portals including America Online and Netscape.

For more than four years, Oakland Local has played an important role educating and engaging the public and earning the community’s trust. We provide clear, objective, non-partisan information and research on the critical issues including development, food access, transportation, restorative justice, education and arts and culture issues in and around Oakland. Timely information grounded in “hardwired objectivity” is an investment in our community’s future. Our innovative news partnerships with KQED, SF Gate, The Bay Citizen,  New America Media and others help us reach broad audiences. We’ve trained more than 500 people in media/tech/social media skills and sent our interns on to jobs and fellowships.

Contributors: If you would like to be involved with our site, please get in touch – editor@oaklandlocal.com.

Nonprofits: If you would like to partner with us, contact susan@oaklandlocal.com.


Programs at Oakland Local have been made possible through the support of our funders, who include:

  • J-Lab, American University
  • The Harnisch Foundation
  • The California Endowment
  • The Renaissance Center for Innovation in Journalism, SF State/Zero Divide
  • The G.W. Williams Center for Journalism Innovation
  • The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation
  • Google
  • The Thomas J Long Foundation
  • The Fund for Investigative Journalism
  • The Kapor Center for Social Impact

Media and community collaborators/partners

Oakland Local has many partners, including Yahoo! News,  Google News, KQED, The Media Consortium, SF Gate/SF Chronicle, East Bay Citizen, the Oakland Post, the Investigative News Network and New America Media. Our local community partners include  Tech Liminal, United Roots, HUB Oakland and many other groups (see our partners’ page).imgres