Crosscurrents | KALW


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Crosscurrents is KALW Public Radio's award-winning news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community.

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Who Is Kamala Harris? Ep. 3 - That Little Girl Was Me

Nov 19, 2020

Today, we're continuing a new series from the San Francisco Chronicle looking at Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's early life and career as a prosecutor to her rise to the national stage. It's Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Karris? In this episode, we hear how Harris’ early life in Berkeley shaped her worldview and her politics.

Who Is Kamala Harris? Ep. 2 - Bigger Job, Bigger Fights

Nov 18, 2020

Today, we're bringing you a new series from the San Francisco Chronicle that looks at Vice President-elect Kamala Harris's early life and career as a prosecutor to her rise to the national stage. It's Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Karris? In this episode, as California’s Attorney General, Harris takes on Wall Street.

Who Is Kamala Harris? Ep. 1 - Top Cop

Nov 17, 2020

San Francisco is a city of just seven by seven miles, but it's produced some of the nation’s biggest political names — most recently Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. She was the first woman and the first person of color to serve as the City's district attorney. But, she had a reputation for being tough on crime. Now, her politics are being scrutinized on the national stage and the country wants to know: Who’s the real Kamala? Today, we're bringing you the first episode of the San Francisco Chronicle's new podcast Chronicled: Who Is Kamala Karris?

Flickr user Christopher Michael (CC BY 2.0)

At the beginning of the Coronavirus shutdown, the city of San Francisco rented hotel rooms for over 2,300 homeless people. For many, it was the first time in years they had a bed and bathroom to themselves. Now, the city is gradually closing these shelter-in-place hotels.

Peter Rosos

Jazz vocalist Valerie Troutt tells a coming-of-age story in her new album "The Oakland Girl."

Jewel Devora

Natalie Devora’s memoir "Black Girl, White Skin: A Life in Stories" is about challenges she faced growing up with albinism during the '60s and '70s in East Oakland. 

Denis Perez-Bravo / Richmond Pulse

This election, voters in Richmond elected City Council members, West Contra Costa School Board members, and passed Measure U, which changes the way businesses are taxed — it would generate $5 million dollars a year for the city.

Cheryl Guerrero / Hoodline

The country is starting the week with a new president-elect. For many people, it was a weekend of celebration. For others, it was a weekend of protest. And, while we’ve been directing a lot of our attention to the presidential race, we are also following the aftermath of our local elections here in the Bay Area.

The National Endowment for the Arts named the artistic directors of Oakland-based Diamano Coura West African Dance Company, Zakarya and Naomi Diouf, 2020 National Heritage Fellows. 

Steve Drown

From the series Uncuffed:

When I first heard of Thomas “Truck” Evans, I was instantly interested. I wanted to know how a man without a truck teaches a truck driving class in a prison. It turns out he did have a truck. This man had built a simulated dash out of random scraps of cardboard and plastic containers.

Davis Le

Cindy Emch is the queer country lead singer for The Secret Emchy Society. You can dance to her music or enjoy it in a low tempo mood. Cindy knows how to reach people when they're at the bars (metaphorically speaking), lonely, or in love. In this edition of Bay Area Beats, Cindy shares the band's history and its connection to the Bay Area.

Photo provided by Akashic Books

The short story collection Berkeley Noir shows a dark side to the college town with tales of deceit and murder. In this interview, co-editors Jerry Thompson and Owen Hill talk about the book and why they love the noir genre.

Photo provided by El Tecolote

El Tecolote is the Bay Area’s longest running bilingual newspaper. It covers areas with Spanish speaking voters, such as East Palo Alto. Looking at the 2020 election results, there have been some wins and some losses for local organizers in those communities, plus lots of conversation about the Latino vote. 

Ben Trefny / KALW

Over the past weeks, we've ramped up our voter outreach in five communities with historically lower voter turnout rates.

Sarah Lai Stirland

It’s around 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning at the 2200 block of the Wood Street homeless encampment in West Oakland.

Anna Rotty


In San Francisco, there are 588 polling places spread out across the city. And, most elections, the city needs about 3,000 people to volunteer to work them. This year, the Department of Elections got more applicants than ever -- 14,000! They actually had to turn people away. 



Why Basketball Players Shouldn't Just 'Shut Up And Dribble'

Oct 29, 2020

This year has marked a turning point in how American athletes have engaged in political issues. Over the summer, the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks refused to play to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Soon, other teams followed in an unprecedented wildcat strike. In this episode of tbh, Maddie Johnson catches up with a Bay Area group that has been organizing basketball-themed Black lives matter protests around the country.

Tim Adams / Wikimedia Commons

In these final days before the election, we’ve been checking in with locations around the Bay Area with the lowest voter turnout rates. We’ve gone to Richmond, East Palo Alto, West Oakland, and today we go to San Francisco's Bayview-Hunters Point district to hear what’s being done there to engage voters.

Sanfranman59 / Creative Commons

Measure Z is causing debate in Alameda. It would repeal a rule in the city’s charter that limits the density of housing. But some say more dense housing would hurt the island.

Mark Fujiwara, Legal Services for Prisoners With Children

California is one of just three states that requires people convicted of felonies to finish parole before they can vote. Prop 17 would change that, and grant voting rights to nearly 40,000 Californians on parole.

Ying Liu doesn’t just tell ghost stories, she shows them. Liu is creator of the documentary series "The Haunted Bay," where she and her team investigate haunted places around the Bay Area from gay bars to old ships.

Flickr user GPS (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Nearly every election you'll see a bond measure on San Francisco ballots. It’s always the first proposition listed, and it's a way to fund what the Board of Supervisors or the mayor deem essential city services, like earthquake safety, school repairs, or park maintenance. 

Schools Should Support Students — Not Criminalize Them

Oct 22, 2020

America’s entrenched institutional racism has roots in its schools. In this episode of tbh, Masiyah Edwards reflects on how too often, students in the Bay Area experience severe consequences for their "bad" behavior rather than understanding, mentorship and help.


Oakland Poet Tureeda Mikell has many stories to tell. Her first book "Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine" is a collection of poetry that covers spirituality and Black culture, while also challenging organized religion and institutionalized racism.

Diane Yee / Flickr Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Cropped

In the final weeks leading up to the election, we’re checking in on five locations in the Bay Area with the lowest voter turnout rates: Richmond, East Palo Alto, Bayview, Fairfield, and West Oakland. Today, we're going to Oakland.

Stephanie Penn / Richmond Confidential

We are listening to our audience to cover the issues that matter most to you this election season. This story is one example, and please share your own questions here.

In these last couple weeks leading up to the elections, we’re talking to people in Bay Area neighborhoods with the lowest voter turnout. Today, we go to the City of Richmond in Contra Costa County.

Courtesy of Rosie Chavez

When people are killed by law enforcement, family members don’t get the same resources family members killed by civilians get. That’s what Rosie Chavez learned after her nephew Jacob Dominguez was killed by law enforcement in 2017. So without help from the state, she found her own support network.

Reflecting On Segregation At One Of The Most Diverse Schools In America

Oct 15, 2020

Oakland Tech is one of the most diverse schools in the country, and Chosang Tenzin, a Tibetan American and high school senior, had looked forward to going there. But, she was disappointed. The high school's academic tracking programs, which schools often use to attract more affluent parents, contributed to in-school segregation. In this episode of tbh, Chosang talks to her friends and education experts to understand what the school can do to be better at integrating.

Christopher Michel / Creative Commons, used under CC-BY-SA 4.0

Wildfires have caused record-breaking stretches of bad air quality in the Bay Area these last few years. In this interview, Dr. Gina Solomon from UCSF and the Public Health Institute speaks about the long term health effects of breathing in all this smoke.

Flickr user josepha / Creative Commons, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In Deep East Oakland, a big city council race is happening. And, the current city council is set to vote on a policy that could change the visibility of homelessness in Oakland.