a gil dressed in a pink dress with cartoon characters on either side
By Neil Ballard

Mission Local turns 15 this year!  

Why is that meaningful, you ask? Well, if you were a young Latina, you’d be celebrating your quinceañera. You’d have a fabulous dress and a party!

We’re forgoing that expense. No cake, no fancy party — just a note to you, our loyal readers, asking if you’d support Mission Local as part of our 15-day-long flash fundraising campaign! 

We have no specific target for this campaign, although we could use a nice boost. How much feels right for you? We’ll gratefully take $15, $150, $1,500, $150,000 or $1.5 million. 

Size matters, obviously, but every donation counts. I remember two, small and large, from our previous campaign: The first was $6 and change in cash, folded up in an envelope and stuck under our door at 2489 Mission St. #22. The donor scribbled an unsigned note, thanking us for our work – it felt lovely to get. The second was a $50,000 check from the Green Fairy Fund. When I opened it, I nearly dropped it in surprise. It too felt lovely to get.

Move us, surprise us. Over the next 15 days, we will be reminding you why Mission Local’s nonprofit newsroom is important to all of San Francisco. 

Enjoy and engage!


Independent reporting makes for informed citizens.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.