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Author Archives: Natalie Orenstein
Natalie Orenstein covers housing and homelessness for The Oaklandside. She was previously on staff at Berkeleyside, where her extensive reporting on the legacy of school desegregation received recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists NorCal and the Education Writers Association. Natalie’s reporting has also appeared in The J Weekly, The San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere, and she’s written about public policy for a number of research institutes and think tanks. Natalie lives in Oakland, grew up in Berkeley, and has only left her beloved East Bay once, to attend Pomona College.
Fine wool, blood, and business collide as Rockridge’s 100-year-old Levant Rug leaves town
A College Avenue rug shop, run for decades by the son of Armenian genocide survivors, is in its final days, prompting discussions about land use and history.
What’s happening to the people living in the COVID-19 hotels closing this week?
Alameda County officials say they’ll house all Project Roomkey residents by the deadline. A new Biden order may give them more time.
Unhoused Oaklanders on getting through a night of extreme wind
Officials told people to stay inside to avoid Monday’s dangerous gusts, but many Oakland residents don’t have that option.
Composting, cooking, clean-ups: Pick a COVID-safe service project for MLK Jr. Day and beyond
The city of Oakland has suggestions for “40 days of service” honoring the civil rights leader’s legacy. Other groups are taking to the streets.
Unusual affordable housing deal stalled after concerns were raised
A plan to turn eight rent-controlled Oakland apartment buildings into moderate-income housing would rely on private investors, not public funding.
How to watch and participate in Oakland City Council meetings
We get a lot of questions from readers who are interested in participating more in local government. Here’s a guide to watching and speaking at council meetings.
Alameda County decides not to count homeless population this year
COVID-19 risks have prompted a year-long delay in the point-in-time homeless count, a “crucial data source.”
An Oakland property owner has paid $0 in taxes since 1982. Could others fall through the cracks?
A Twitter sleuth discovered a private lot mislabeled as tax-exempt, raising questions about how often the county reviews property records.
Un paso para “restaurar a la comunidad”: trabajadores de la salud de primera línea explican por qué están diciendo que sí a la vacuna contra el COVID
Le preguntamos a los proveedores de salud y personal de emergencia cómo se siente ser el primero en la fila y cómo los residentes de Oakland pueden pensar sobre la seguridad de la vacuna.
Llegaron las vacunas contra el COVID
Aquí le decimos quienes recibirán la primera ronda de dosis.
A step to ‘restore community’: frontline health workers on why they’re saying yes to the COVID vaccine
We asked local health providers and emergency responders how it feels to be first in line, and how Oaklanders can think about the vaccine’s safety.
COVID-19 vaccines are coming to Oakland this week
Here’s who will get the first round of doses. If you’re eligible, The Oaklandside wants to hear from you.
COVID-19 leaves unhoused Oaklanders with few options for winter shelter
Emergency shelters typically provide refuge from the rain and cold. This year, safety concerns have shuttered some of those critical services. Here’s a list of what’s still available.
Clean drinking water is elusive for homeless Oaklanders. Some say they’ve found a solution
Unhoused residents and their supporters want the East Bay Municipal Utility District to expand water access for camps.
No more gas stoves? Oakland could ban them in new buildings
Here’s how to participate in Tuesday’s City Council meeting, where officials could require all-electric infrastructure in new construction.
Alameda County’s COVID-19 hotel shelter program is winding down
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new funds for Project Roomkey this week, but it’s unclear if the additional money will keep enough people sheltered while the state and county work on longer-term housing options.
East Oakland homeless residents on edge as city moves to close camp and a massive fire breaks out
An empty building burned down Friday next to an encampment the state has ordered Oakland to shutter.
Homeless? Unhoused? Unsheltered? Word choice matters when reporting on Oaklanders who don’t have permanent housing
As a newsroom, we’re committed to working with community members to define their experiences. Here’s what we learned.
Did renters’ rights shape Oakland elections this year?
As Carroll Fife declares victory in D3, voters appear to have put their confidence in candidates who share a goal: protecting tenants.