Since 2008, Mission Local, an independent news site based in the Mission District, has been focused on high impact, enterprise reporting on everything from police reform to corruption at City Hall, housing, education and now the pandemic. Because we’re based in the city’s oldest (and arguably, best) neighborhood we also chronicle the lives and changes here, but often, what is happening in the Mission is happening across San Francisco.

Originally a project of UC Berkeley’s Journalism School, we struck out on our own in 2014. In the summer of 2018, we became a fiscally sponsored project of San Francisco Public Press, which means your donations are tax-deductible. You can also make checks out to SF Public Press,  put Mission Local in the memo note and send to Mission Local at 2489 Mission St. #14, SF, CA. 94110. Any questions? Call us at 415-275-4739 or contact us at

We aspire to be a model of local, self-sustaining, fiercely independent neighborhood news. And we believe sustainability comes from our readers. You keep us here doing excellent work.

You can find a list of all of our supporters here.

Site illustrations: The man above our What To Do listing and the sweeper at the end of each story are illustrations done by Rini Templeton, an activist-artist who did thousands of illustrations and allowed organizations and individuals to use them as open-sourced artwork. She died in 1986 in Mexico City. Some of her illustrations are kept online here.

We want to hear from you! Send your tips, story ideas, and unique perspectives to

We Promise to
Offer original, transparent reporting.
Admit and correct our mistakes.
Cover everyone in the neighborhood.
Experiment on how best to make civic issues meaningful.

Our full policy on editorial independence is here.

Lydia Chávez

Founder, Executive editor

Lydia has been a Mission resident since 1998. Her earlier career was at the NYT on the business, foreign and city desks. Local has long been in her bones – her Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on NYC’s experiment in community boards. Now, she’s searching for a sustainable news model. She was a professor at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism until the spring of 2019.

Joe Eskenazi

Managing Editor

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.

Annika Hom


Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Eleni Balakrishnan


Eleni comes to us from Houston, but she’s been living in the city for more than eight years and the Mission has become her home. She graduated from Rice University in science but fell in love with journalism at the City College of San Francisco.

David Mamaril Horowitz

Reporting intern

David’s one of those SF natives who gets excited whenever City College of San Francisco is mentioned. He has journalism degrees from there and San Francisco State University, graduating from the latter in May 2021. David’s played five different roles as an editor at college news publications and reported as an intern for three local newspapers, mostly while waiting tables at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Anlan Cheney

Reporting intern

“Annie” is originally from Nebraska, where she found her calling to journalism as editor of her high school newsletter. Before returning to the field, she studied peace and political science in the Balkans, taught elementary and middle school, and worked as an epidemiologist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will Jarrett

Data intern

Will was born in the UK and studied B.A. English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism at Columbia University. Will has strong views on healthcare, the environment, and the Oxford comma.

Madison Alvarado

Intern and now freelancing

Madison is a Bay Area native currently pursuing the Policy, Journalism & Media Studies Certificate at Duke University. She fell in love with reporting in high school, and after a brief hiatus is eager to continue learning and growing as a storyteller.

Ana Aguilar


Ana has a decade of experience working with nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Austin, TX. Her role as the outreach manager focuses on fundraising, outreach events and partnerships. Feel free to contact Ana if you are interested in fundraising for Mission Local and helping us continue to provide the best local news possible.

Mimi Chakarova

Multimedia Advisor

I’m a documentary filmmaker who taught with Lydia at Mission Local when it was a Berkeley Project. Now, I’m called in to advise on projects and delight in doing so. Otherwise, I’m making films. My last was The Price of Sex. Others include Men: A Love Story and In the Red. My current project is Still I Rise.

Sandra Salmans


I provide editing support for Mission Local from New York, about 2500 miles away from SFO. (I just looked it up.) This allows me to retain my journalistic objectivity and fussy adherence to East Coast standards of punctuation. I contributed Mission Local’s first fiction series, a comic novel, Love in the Middle Ages

Beth Winegarner

Copy Editor

Beth Winegarner is a Bay Area native who’s lived in San Francisco since 2004, and she’s in the Mission at least once a week. She’s written for local publications like the SF Weekly, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco magazine, as well as the New Yorker, the Guardian, Wired, Mother Jones and others. Her favorite tacos and alambres come from El Farolito.

George Lipp

I do everything

George Lipp has long lived in the Mission. He’s our volunteer extraordinaire – always out taking photos or running across crimes in progress.

Where we are

Our Address: 2489 Mission Street #14, 94110, San Francisco
Our Telephone Number.: 1-415-374-7329

Best way to reach us:


2021 July – Mission Local wins an APEX award for the pandemic project, “How Do We Survive,” supported by the Pulitzer Center.

2021 May – Julian Mark wins the Social Justice Award from the Ethnic Media Awards contest for his piece, “Maurice Caldwell had his conviction overturned a decade ago: city attorney says he’s a killer.”

2021 March – “Testing the Limits,” a series of heavily reported stories spread over the course of months earned Mission Local a semi-final nod in the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Journalism.

2021 February – Julian Mark wins outstanding emerging journalist from the Northern California Socitey of Professional Journalists

2020 October – Mission Local wins Best of the Bay award for best website.

2019 October – Our managing editor Joe Eskenazi is named journalist of the year.

2018 Fall – Mission Local celebrates 10 years!

2018 October – Mission Local wins three top awards from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists

2018 Summer – We’re in the process of becoming a fiscally sponsored, non-profit project.

2018 Summer – Joe Eskenazi, formerly with SF Weekly and SF Magazine, becomes Managing Editor

2017 Fall – Instead of covering crime, we focus on covering the SFPD and how it works.

2016 November – In the race for District 9 Supervisor, a civic engagement project – 43 Questions – runs for 43 weeks and ends in a public forum.

2015/2016 – The community helps photograph every block in the Mission for Good Morning Mission.

2015 October – Daniel Hirsch, Andrea Valencia, Laura Wenus and Lydia Chavez of Mission Local win the SPJ NORCAL Excellence in Journalism Award for Community Journalism for “their broad, in-depth coverage of San Francisco’s Mission District, with a strong focus on how housing issues affect residents.”

2015 March – Mission Local moves into a new space at 19th and Mission.

2015 January – The 108-year-old building where Mission local’s offices are located is damaged in a fire that leaves one dead and dozens of tenants and businesses homeless.

Mission Local produces numerous articles covering the fire including two in-depth investigative pieces on the owner.

The staff finds temporary refuge with neighbors Mission Bicycle and the data analysis team Wagon.

2014 October – We redesign and add new features. We also start selling business and reader memberships.

2014 September – CBS local names Mission local as one of the best local blogs in the Bay Area. We’re pleased, but we’re not a blog!

2014 June – We’re officially Mission Local Inc. We publish a print edition of historical pieces.

2014 February – Ed Wasserman, a new dean at Berkeley’s J-school decides that “The curricular value (of Mission Local) to our students is limited or even, at times, non-existent.” He stops funding for the hyperlocals during school breaks or vacations.

We disagree about the value, and spin Mission Local off as its own independent, media enterprise.

2013 March – Rent Increases mean Mission Local moves to 2588 Mission Street.

2011 Fall – Mission Loc@l becomes Mission Local.

2011 September – Streetfight writes about Mission Local as the “Hyperlocal That Gets Its Right”.

2010 Fall – Mission Local is a Finalist for SPJ’s National Mark of Excellence Award.

2010 May – Mission Local wins first place for Region SPJ on How Clean Are San Francisco Restaurants? – by Mission Loc@l Staff, University of California, Berkeley. The series changes the citywide restaurant inspection policy.

2009 Fall – We begin a collaboration with SFGate, posting our stories on their local blogs with link backs to Mission Local.

The concrete sculptures on 20th Street won’t budge from their space so we find new offices on Treat and 17th Streets.

2009 AugustKQED notices our on-the-ground reporting of the changes on Mission Street.

2009 June – Mission Local wins Webby Award for the best student news site in the country.

2009 March – Mission Local begins translating all of its content into Spanish.

2009 January – We get our first office in the Mission on 20th Street, sharing 600 square feet with some enormous concrete garden sculptures.

2008 October – Launched as a project of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Great stories, but no one is reading us.