Panel of 12 images from news stories

Mission Local’s most-read story in 2022 was Will Jarrett’s article previewing the legislative debate about whether and how San Francisco police should be allowed to kill people using robots. And this wasn’t close: It was reminiscent of waiting to see who would win the ESPN award for “Best Golfer” during Tiger Woods’ glory years. This article was the most-read article in this website’s history and threw off readership tallies for months. 

So that’s good. But what’s better is, this was the best, most accurate, and most responsibly written article about what turned out to be an international news story. Also, there were no games played to juke readership, no prurient hooks. Just a well-written article about a subject people, it turns out, wanted to know more about — small wonder; it’s about police using robots to kill people. With that said, however, Jarrett’s article patently dispelled some of the more salacious assumptions people made about killer robots: For one thing, these robots are not autonomous. So, yes, your Robocop ED-209 memes were fun. But not accurate.

Coming second was Yujie Zhou’s recap of a mass-firing and claims of illegal surveillance at the neighborhood boba shop, and taking bronze is Joe Eskenazi’s column about a well-meaning San Francisco government regulation meant to bolster the rights of oppressed minorities that, instead, led to inefficiency and cost inflation — and did nothing for oppressed minorities. 

There is a mix of local and overarching, personal and view-from-30,000-feet in here. But, most of all, these are good stories, we’re proud of them, and we’re thrilled you chose to read them. 

Thank you for reading. Onward to 2023. — Joe Eskenazi 


1. SFPD authorized to kill suspects using robots in draft policy — Will Jarrett

2. Boba guys workers dismissed en masse after face-off with founders — Yujie Zhou

3. San Francisco is now boycotting most of the United States — Joe Eskenazi 

4. DA Chesa Boudin recalled. San Francisco voters’ message to America: This is us. — Joe Eskenazi 

5. The app always wins: a DoorDash driver’s quixotic quest for $14.28 an hour — Yujie Zhou

6. Total meltdown at Everett Middle School: Teachers out, principal resigning, claims of violent beatings — Eleni Balakrishnan

7. Brooke Jenkins, the riskiest choice for Mayor London Breed, is named DA — Joe Eskenazi

8. Catalytic converter theft strikes SF Police Department — Joe Eskenazi 

9. The Central Subway will cripple Muni for years to come — Joe Eskenazi

10. Teacher dies riding scooter after being struck by a big rig — Yujie Zhou

Two stories from 2021 were also among the most viewed: 

The strange and terrible saga of Alison Collins and her ill-fated Tweets — Joe Eskenazi

As rideshare prices skyrocket, Uber and Lyft take a bigger piece of riders’ payments — David Mamaril Horowitz.

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Managing Editor/Columnist. Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left.

“Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior editor at San Francisco Magazine from 2015 to 2017. You may also have read his work in the Guardian (U.S. and U.K.); San Francisco Public Press; San Francisco Chronicle; San Francisco Examiner; Dallas Morning News; and elsewhere.

He resides in the Excelsior with his wife and three (!) kids, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists named Eskenazi the 2019 Journalist of the Year.

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