Oakland | KALW


Nancy Sidebotham is a tax preparer and long-time Oakland resident whose been involved with the community for decades. She ran for city council numerous times. This is her second go at running for mayor.

Wordplay with Maddy “MADlines” Clifford

Oct 10, 2018
Lea Salanon

Rapper, writer and educator Maddy "MADlines" Clifford got introduced to slam poetry as a teenager and has spent the last decade teaching hip hop lyricism, history, and performance in schools, museums, college campuses, and even as far away as Uganda.

Courtesy of Pamela Price

This spring, civil rights attorney Pamela Price lost the race for Alameda County District Attorney. Her name is on the ballot again, this time for mayor of Oakland.

Bay Area Beats: Del the Funky Homosapien

Oct 10, 2018
Bo Walsh

In 1991 Rapper Del the Funky Homosapien became the first member of Oakland’s Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective be introduced to the world with his debut album “I Wish My Brother George Was Here.” For Del, music has always been a family affair.

Courtesey of the Marchon Tatmon campaign

Marchon Tatmon was 16 when he took a class trip to our nation’s capital and down south to where Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. That experience inspired him to be a public servant. Now, he works for a nonprofit called Building Futures that houses homeless families.

Courtesy of Cat Brooks

Cat Brooks is an activist and actress. She was a major voice in advocating for Oscar Grant. Brooks is the executive director of the Justice Team Network, which is an organization that helps people who are victims of state violence and criminalization.

Oakland Proposition W: Vacant Property Tax

Oct 4, 2018
Creative Commons. By Grendelkhan. Cropped and resized

Measure W is a vacant property tax in Oakland, aimed at reducing homelessness and illegal dumping.

Courtesy of Libby Schaaf

Four years ago, Libby Schaaf won Oakland’s election for mayor. Since then, the city has experienced major changes, from a rise in homelessness to a tech and real estate boom and winning NBA championships. Mayor Schaaf is campaigning for re-election and is up against nine other candidates.

Public Domain. Cropped and resized

Voters around California are weighing dozens of ballot measures that would impose taxes on marijuana businesses in different cities and counties. Oakland’s Measure V is unique, however, because it could lead to lower tax rates for marijuana businesses.

Courtesy of Cedric Troupe

The city of Oakland is in the midst of a big election. There are ten people in the race for mayor. One of them is Cedric Troupe. He’s a swim coach and has a custom integration business where he designs multimedia systems.

Selene Ross / KALW News

Locally-sourced internet? A group of hackers and activists in Oakland are convening to build just that: a decentralized, democratic internet system that is community-owned and operated. The People’s Open Net in the East Bay is what’s called a “wireless mesh network,” connected via rooftop routers that beam signals from house to house.

Courtesy of Jesse Smith

It’s election season and the Oakland mayor’s race is underway. Ten candidates are vying for the big city position. As in past elections, KALW will bring you interviews with all the mayoral candidates.

Filmmaker Amir Soltani and his team spent seven years following the lives of three people who make a living recycling bottles and cans in West Oakland. The film,"Dogtown Redemption", brings up questions about how gentrification affects some of Oakland’s poorest residents.

Courtesty of Eastside Arts Alliance

Twenty years ago, black people made up 35 percent of the city’s population. Since then, there’s been an exodus of black residents from Oakland. Today the black population is just under 25 percent. And the numbers continue to decline.

The Black Woman is God transforms conventional notions of divinity through art

Sep 26, 2018
Courtesy of Karen Seneferu

Several years back, Oakland artist Karen Seneferu envisioned a communal space for art made by black women. At the time, there were very few galleries in the Bay Area exhibiting black artists, and even fewer hosting solo exhibitions for them.

When you hear the term ‘Black Muslims’ what may come to mind is the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X, or, if you’re from the Oakland, the controversial Your Black Muslim Bakery. Local filmmaker Nijla Mu’min wants to tell a different story.

Holly J. McDede / KALW News

In Oakland, black cyclists are more than six times as likely than white cyclists to be pulled over by cops. Last month, Najari Smith, a Richmond-based community organizer, was arrested by Oakland police while biking and playing loud music. Now, cycling groups around the Bay Area are pushing for change.

Courtesy of Alia Sharrief

A young musician in Oakland is making waves in the Muslim community: Alia Sharrief. She’s part of a new generation of Muslim hip hop artists following in the footsteps of people like Yasiin Bey, best known by his stagename, MosDef, Lupe Fiasco, Qtip, Ali Shaheed Mohamed, the list goes on.

Ben Trefny / KALW News

The Global Climate Action Summit will be hosted here in San Francisco. World leaders will evaluate how far we’ve come since the Paris Agreement. The three-day event is co-chaired Governor Jerry Brown.

Just northeast of Lake Merritt, across the 580 freeway, you really can’t miss it. It's big, it's public, it often contains inflammatory messages, and it's neon. And, after nearly two decades Allen Michaan purchased his political soapbox for 3.75 million dollars and can’t wait to start renovations and put it in the National Register of Historic Places.

Courtesy of The Marsh

Actor Don Reed has been gracing Bay Area stages with stories about his family and life growing up in East Oakland. Now he’s back with the latest installment of his autobiographical one-man show, “Can You Dig It: The '60s.”

Jenee Darden / KALW News

This week marks one month since Nia Wilson, an African-American teenager, was fatally stabbed at an Oakland BART station by a white man. People in the community are still hurt and angry.

"Passing Go" by Dragon Whale, used under CC license/ resized and cropped

What would you do with an extra $500 every month?  Host Joseph Pace and guests explore the promise of universal basic income in California. 

Tony Webster via wikimedia, used under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped


Just over two weeks ago, 18-year-old Oakland resident Nia Wilson, a black woman, was stabbed and killed by a white man while on the MacArthur BART platform. News outlets reported the story, including KTVU Channel 2, the local Fox affiliate. But, in its broadcast, the network used a photo of Wilson holding up her phone case, which looks like a gun. That led to outrage and protest that using that photo was unethical and harmful. Shortly after, community members took their protest to the station.

A’s celebrate 50 years in the Town

Aug 6, 2018
Courtesy of the Oakland Museum of California


The Oakland A’s have won four World Series titles. The Oakland Museum of California examines one series in an exhibit that celebrates the semicentennial of the baseball franchise’s tenure in the Town.


Bay Area Beats: ASTU

Jul 31, 2018
Lara Kaur


With the 2018 release of her debut album “Patterns”;  Eritrean-American singer and songwriter ASTU explores her experiences of love, redemption and black womanhood. The songstress’ path has taken her from being a former minister in Oklahoma all the way to finding a new sense of self and belonging in the city of Oakland.

Hana Baba / KALW News


Earlier this month, the East African countries of Ethiopia and Eritrea signed a peace deal, after decades of severed relations. The two nations fought a war in the 1990s after which all connection was cut off. No diplomatic ties, no trade, no transport — not even phone lines — despite a shared heritage and decades of intermarriage and close cultural ties.

Bo Walsh

If you’ve ever attended a professional sporting event, there’s a good chance at some point you have found yourself rising to your feet with hands raised in rhythm with thousands of other fans. It’s a phenomenon known simply as “the Wave. ”

Ninna Gaensler-Debs / KALW News


In the past few weeks, the Bay Area has had one protest after another over the country’s immigration policies. There were thousands of people who took to the streets to march in protest of family separation.

Courtesy of Kev Choice

Pianist, composer, and MC Kev Choice represents Oakland hard. He started learning the piano in seventh grade at Westlake Junior High near Lake Merritt and recently composed a piece for the Oakland Symphony. Though he’s done stints in Illinois, New Orleans, and Atlanta, he considers the Town his artistic and spiritual home.