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
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. Oh, she’s also a professor at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
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.
Julian Mark
Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. In the past he’s written for the East Bay Express and the San Francisco Business Times. His first-ever article detailed the life of a retired boxer who found peace in meditation outside of a museum in Eureka, California.
Abe Rodriguez
Abraham was born in the Mission but raised in Oakland. He’s written for the East Bay Express, the Silicon Valley Business Journal and the Bay City Beacon. He’s produced videos for the Business Journal and also created independent video projects. He graduated from San Jose State in 2016 and is in constant search for a good cup of coffee.
Charlotte Silver
Reporting intern
@CharESilverCharlotte Silver is a reporter at Mission Local and currently pursuing a Master’s at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Vice.com, In These Times Magazine, Al Jazeera English and other publications.
Mallory Newman
Reporting Intern
@manewmsMallory is from southern California and attended San Francisco State for her undergraduate degree. She’s currently at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to that she has a diverse background in fundraising, sales, hospitality and development. She was also in the Marine Corps Reserves, deployed to Afghanistan, and has written for Task & Purpose.



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, editing
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


Where we are

2301 Mission Street #104, 94110, San Franciscotel.: 1-415-374-7329

Time Line

 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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