Oaklandside team
The Oaklandside newsroom team (l t o r): Amir Aziz, Azucena Rasilla, Ricky Rodas, Ashley McBride, Darwin BondGraham, Natalie Orenstein, Jacob Simas, and Tasneem Raja. Credit: Amir Aziz

We’re a small but mighty team of local journalists working for Oakland. We amplify community voices, share the power of real information, and investigate systems, not just symptoms. 

We report on Oakland every day here at our nonprofit news site. You can also find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and sign up for our weekly newsletter, where we round up our own reporting as well as great work from others.

Our newsroom is guided by a set of founding values, which we developed after spending months asking Oaklanders about how local journalism can help make their daily lives better and help build a more informed, more equitable city. You can learn more about that work, and what we learned. 

Our name, The Oaklandside, was chosen through a similar process of community listening with a wide and diverse range of Oakland residents, educators, artists, civic workers, and more. One participant told us this name suggests that “‘We’re on your side. We’re with you.'” Another said, “It says that this is Oakland’s side of the story.” Thank you to everyone involved for sharing your time and input, which also influenced the design of our logo by Oakland designed by Mike Nicholls, who shared more about his design.

The Oaklandside’s community-centered approach and commitment to reporting for underserved local communities, not only about these communities, is guided by the work of a number of other civic journalism organizations in the Bay Area and around the country. These include Oakland’s El Tímpano—who we’re proud to partner with—and Oakland Voices, City Bureau in Chicago and Outlier Media in Detroit, MLK50 in Memphis, the “southern collective for movement journalism” Press On, and many others. We’re grateful to the leaders and educators at these organizations for sharing their insights with the world.

We’re powered by Cityside, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization committed to building community through local journalism. Cityside also publishes Berkeleyside.

To help us launch, we received $1.56 million in seed funding from the Google News Initiative, an “effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.” Google has zero input or influence over our reporting. The same goes for all of our funders. Read more about our policies.

If you’re interested in supporting our work and keeping our reporting free for all to read, you can become a member of The Oaklandside. Since we’re a nonprofit organization, your support is tax-deductible.

Our Team

Amir Aziz
Visual Journalist

Darwin BondGraham
News Editor

David DeBolt
City Hall and Policing

Ashley McBride
Education Equity

Natalie Orenstein
Housing and Homelessness

Azucena Rasilla
Arts and Community

Tasneem Raja
Editor in Chief

Ricky Rodas
Immigrant Small Business

Jacob Simas
Managing Editor

Credit: courtesy Luke Wrin Piper

Luke Wrin Piper
Reporting Intern