Nicole Jones

John Russo reflects on his time as Oakland City Attorney

John Russo is getting ready to pack his bags on June 10, ending his 11-year term as Oakland City Attorney to start his new position as Alameda City Manager on June 13. In this exclusive interview, Russo looks back on his time in Oakland, including six years on the city council, and talks about the city’s budget problems, gang injunctions, and the vote he thinks he got wrong.

Zombies lurch down Telegraph to support libraries, brains

Oakland library supporters crawled down Telegraph Avenue Saturday evening in their zombie finest to protest the potential closure of 14 of the 18 city libraries. The living dead groaned “Zombies need brains, keep libraries open!” to passerbys in cars, restaurants, and at Oakland’s Uptown galleries.

Residents, organizations walk Lake Merritt to end poverty

Local agencies that serve Oakland’s low-income residents joined community members at Saturday’s 6th Annual Walk to End Poverty, which is designed to draw national attention to the issue of poverty. The day was hosted by the Oakland Community Action Partnership and United Way of the Bay Area, which reports that one in five families in the Bay Area are living in poverty. That number includes 76,000 Oakland residents who are struggling to make ends meet.

Creative Growth provides an outlet for extraordinary artists

The Creative Growth Art Center, located north of downtown Oakland, has been serving artists with developmental, physical and mental disabilities for over 35 years. Located right next door to the studio is the exhibition space — the first of its kind dedicated to people with disabilities.

City Council votes to continue funding gang injunctions

The Oakland City Council burned the midnight oil late last night and into Wednesday morning as they passed a measure that will continue to fund gang injunctions as a crime-fighting tool. By a 4-3 vote, the city council voted for the measure, which has cost the city about $1 million to date in court costs and police overtime.

Trauma experts meet in Oakland to share practices for youth violence prevention

During a two-day conference last week, Youth ALIVE! hosted the third annual National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs National Conference at Oakland’s Preservation Park. Over 120 representatives from non-profits across the country met to discuss strategies on how to stop the “revolving door” of young gunshot victims who are treated at urban emergency rooms, only to return later.

County program helps residents’ clean up their criminal records

Mike H. had been waiting for half an hour to hear his name called by an intake counselor at the Rubicon Legal and Economic Service Center in Richmond. But he was in no rush. He had been waiting for over 30 years for this; Saturday was the closest he’d ever been to getting his criminal record dismissed.

A company of circus performers thrives in West Oakland

This story takes us under the big top. Traveling troupes of trained animals, acrobats and clowns may have originated in Ancient Rome, but today in West Oakland, a group of twenty-somethings are not just reinventing the old art form—they’re living it.