Here’s the deal …
Since 2008, Mission Local has been all up in the Mission District reporting on everything from tacos to tech, crime to culture, murals to MUNI, recording the lives and changes in the city’s oldest (and arguably, best) neighborhood.
Originally a project of UC Berkeley’s Journalism School, we struck out on our own in 2014. We aspire to be a model of local, self-sustaining, fiercely independent neighborhood news. We hope to reflect the Mission in all its diverse, fun, conflicted, and fascinating brilliance. We plan to keep chronicling its many stories for years to come.
We want to hear from you! Send your tips, story ideas, and unique perspectives to tips@missionlocal.com.

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.


Lydia Chávez 
Founder, Executive Editor 
I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998. My earlier career was at The NYT on the business, foreign and city desks. As an old friend pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on NYC’s experiment in community boards. (Note: I am away this year from the Mission, but editing from afar.)
I report on everything from transit to education to art in video, audio and copy. I also host Listen Local every other Thursday on BFF.fm with Lydia and Dan, cover breaking news, and dabble in graphic design.

Laura Wenus 
Managing Editor 
Recent Stanford political science graduate and long-time Bay Area resident, I’ve been reporting at Mission Local for almost a year. Swedish, Chilean, and American – globe-trotter since birth. Beats are housing, homelessness, crime, culture, politics, and anything in between.
The Mission was one of the first places I landed after immigrating from Germany in 2007 – and I immediately felt at home. Three years later, as a journalism student at San Francisco State University, an internship with Mission Local gave me the opportunity to discover the neighborhood more intimately. Since then, I have worked as a freelancer covering a variety of topics for local and statewide publications – an amazing journey so far, in which I’ve discovered community reporting to be the most rewarding.

Laura Waxmann 

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. My current projects are Men: A Love Story and In the Red.
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.

Sandra Salmans 
 October 2015 
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.”.
 March 2015 
Mission Local moves into a new space at 19th and Mission.
 January 2015 
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.
 October 2014 
We redesign and add new features. We also start selling business and reader memberships.
 September 2014 
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!
 June 2014 
We’re officially Mission Local Inc. We publish a print edition of historical pieces.
 February 2014 
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.
 March 2013 
Rent Increases mean Mission Local moves to 2588 Mission Street.
 Fall 2011 
Mission Loc@l becomes Mission Local.
 September 2011 
Streetfight writes about Mission Local as the “Hyperlocal That Gets Its Right”.
 Fall 2010 
Mission Local is a Finalist for SPJ’s National Mark of Excellence Award.
 May 2010 
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.
 Fall 2009 
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.
 August 2009 
KQED notices our on-the-ground reporting of the changes on Mission Street.
 June 2009 
Mission Local wins Webby Award for the best student news site in the country.
 March 2009 
Mission Local begins translating all of its content into Spanish.
 February 2009 
American Apparel tries to move into the neighborhood, a battle ensues and so does our coverage of it – we interview every store on Valencia Street. We get some attention for our coverage – and new readers.
 January 2009 
We get our first office in the Mission on 20th Street, sharing 600 square feet with some enormous concrete garden sculptures.
 October 2008 
Launched as a project of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Great stories, but no one is reading us.

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