Group pledges to continue legal challenge to Proposition 209

On Friday afternoon, the civil rights group BAMN held a press conference in front of Oakland Technical High School to announce that it will continue its fight to overturn California’s Proposition 209 despite a federal judge’s recent decision to dismiss the group’s lawsuit challenging the initiative.

Volunteers work to restore wetlands on National Bird Day

Wearing gloves and holding shovels, a group of volunteers knelt down along the Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline on Wednesday afternoon near the Oakland International Airport. They were carefully planting seedlings in the soil surrounding a piece of marsh. “One Mississippi,” a lady in a straw hat counted to herself quickly—the verbal signal is a simple technique to avoid pouring too much water onto a new plant.

Victoria Kolakowski sworn in as first openly transgender US trial judge

As prolonged applause broke out from the crowd, Victoria Kolakowski, the first openly transgender trial judge in the United States, took her oath of office on Tuesday evening at the Asian Cultural Center in downtown Oakland. The special session of the California Superior Court drew more than a hundred people, including some LGBT community leaders and council members from several cities within Alameda County.

Video highlights from Jean Quan’s inauguration ceremony

Jean Quan became Oakland’s 49th mayor on Monday as she was sworn in during a ceremony at the Fox Theatre. In her 12-minute inauguration speech, Quan spoke about her priorities for her term and asked residents to “dream of a better Oakland.” Watch this video of the ceremony and Quan’s historical walk from earlier on Monday.

Phat Beets Produce launches the Beet Box CSA program

For North Oakland residents who don’t live near a farmers’ market, there’s now a new way to purchase organic produce. Phat Beets Produce, a volunteer-run collective that aims to connect small farmers to urban communities, is now taking orders for their “Beet Boxes.”

Exclusive video interview with mayor-elect Jean Quan

On Sunday, December 5, Oakland North reporters sat down with mayor-elect Jean Quan at World Ground Café in the Laurel district. We asked Quan about her transition into the city’s executive office, and what she’ll do at the start of her term. Click through to see the video and a transcript.

Expo connects local small businesses with utilities companies

On Wednesday, more than 300 people attended the Oakland Small Business Expo and Matchmaking Fair at the Asian Cultural Center located in Chinatown. The expo, co-sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Pacific Gas Electric Company (PG&E), aimed to help connect small businesses to contract and procurement opportunities from utility companies and government agencies.

How to milk your goat

What would you expect to find in a farmers market? Fruits, vegetables or fresh local produce? How about a goat that poops and pees at will? Well, you got one on Saturday morning, at the North Oakland Farmers Market. Oakland resident Crow, brought along his Oberhasli goat named Prema — which is often mistaken for a giant dog — to show the neighborhood how to milk a goat.

City embraces Black Friday, complete with campouts

By 5 am Friday, David Martinez and Derrick Love, both Oakland residents, had spent nearly 48 hours stationed outside the Best Buy on the city’s Mandela Parkway.  The first night, they slept in a borrowed tent. On Thursday they ate Thanksgiving dinner—turkey on paper plates—under the streetlights as the line circling the building formed behind them. “It’s totally worth it,” said Love, who had locked his target on one of the store’s ten $349 laptops that usually sell for $600….

Nonprofit program gives local businesses tools to grow

Created In Oakland, a nine month business consulting program, is helping local small businesses grow their businesses through workshops and individual advising. The program, which enrolls roughly 15 businesses each session, has worked with organizations ranging from hair salons to architectural design firms.

In China, Quan’s Mayoral Victory is “Huihuang!” — “Glorious!”

It was 10 o’ clock in the morning in Beijing when the announcement that Jean Quan had won the Oakland mayoral race came out. About two hours later, readers of, and—the three largest Chinese portals, where millions of Chinese consume their daily news, could learn about the new mayor of a city 10,000 miles away.

“Miracle: third-generation Chinese American is Oakland’s new mayor” was the headline on the website of Qiaobao, the largest Chinese-language newspaper in the U.S. Its front-page op-ed, using language even more emphatic than any from Quan’s campaign, read, “Jean Quan gloriously rewrites the political history of America.”

Yes on 19 campaign goes full throttle on Election Day

Prop 19 advocates swung into full gear in downtown Oakland on Tuesday, convening a rally in front of City Hall and calling all volunteers to the Yes on 19 headquarters. The measure would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for people over 21.

Tree planting project seen as solution to water pollution

Xiao’s current research involves the designing of a new model of tree wells—the area right around the tree root—that are integrated into the city’s drain system. This will allow the tree roots to become the cheapest water purifier. “The new well will save at least 20 percent of water in terms of irrigation as well,” Xiao said.