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Living in the O’s Fifth Birthday

8 Jun Sunset City Hall Federal Building

Though Living in the O is on hiatus, I couldn’t let my blog’s birthday pass without acknowledging it here. I’ve really wanted to write lately. It’s taken self-restraint to not write about the June election, so many fantastic restaurants and other businesses opening, and most of all, everything I’m learning about BART and the East Bay through my campaign. I haven’t blogged because I’ve needed to focus on campaigning to be elected to the BART Board.

But today I felt compelled to write because writing this blog and building a community around Oakland blogs is part of why I’m running for office.

Five years ago, many things rapidly changed in my life. Over a span of three or four months, my sister (who I’m very close with) and my two best friends moved away from the Bay Area. And right after that, my girlfriend (now wife) was diagnosed with a major health issue. To say it was a tough year would be an understatement.

I needed something positive to focus on outside of work, so I decided to start blogging, but I couldn’t have imagined how much blogging would change my life for the better. Continue reading

Join me in supporting one of Oakland’s most committed, inspiring activists

23 Sep Karen Smulevitz

There are many reasons I’m grateful that I got involved in Oakland advocacy, but one of the things I’m most grateful for is all of the amazing people I have met along the way. One of these people is someone I first got to know during our campaign to stop the Oakland Airport Connector, someone who often advocates for seniors, pedestrians and bus riders. If you watch City Council, AC Transit or MTC meetings or if you read comments on Oakland blogs, I’m sure you’ve seen her speak or read her comments and know what a fierce advocate she is. Though she’s an incredibly sweet lady, Karen Smulevitz is also not afraid to speak the truth, even if that means calling a government agency out.

If you haven’t gotten the opportunity to hear her speak, here’s some video of her speaking at a health care rally this summer: Continue reading

Living in the O’s Fourth Birthday

8 Jun cropped-bike-vw

Four years is a long time.

Four years marks some significant milestones in my life. I went to UC Berkeley for four years. My wife (then girlfriend) and I lived in our last apartment for just over four years. And as of today I’ve been blogging for four years.

During all of these four-year time periods, much has happened and I’ve grown so much. My years at Berkeley were marked by my evolution into an activist, my years in our last apartment by my growing love for my then girlfriend and my growing love for Oakland, but these four years blogging are a bit more difficult for me to define succinctly.

So I thought I’d mark them here with the blogoaksphere successes that stand out for me. These victories could not have been won without the help of multiple bloggers and blog readers. There are many more blogoaksphere successes, I’m sure, but these are the successes that mark my four years of blogging at Living in the O: Continue reading

Blogs worth reading from Oakland organizations

18 Apr Ella's Voice

I was so excited last week to find out that TransForm had started a blog, and it got me thinking about the other great Oakland based organizations that have blogs. I link to some of them in my blogroll but felt it was worth a post to spread the word about these great blogs:

TransForm – TransForming the Bay Area: The blog is new so it’s hard to know the scope, but judging by its name and TransForm’s mission, it is likely to cover transportation and land use issues in the Bay Area.

Ella Baker Center – Ella’s Voice: Ella’s Voice covers a wide range of issues that the Ella Baker Center works on – the environment, criminal justice, civil rights, and much more. I’ve been following the blog for a while and have enjoyed the mix of story telling, action alerts, and policy updates. Continue reading

New blog design, updated blogroll & plenty on the City Council agenda

28 Feb cropped-blog-header-image.jpg

If you’ve been to the Living in the O site since Sunday, you’ve probably noticed that I finally updated the look and navigation of the site. I picked this theme because of how it features photos and how it fits so much but doesn’t feel cluttered. I hope you like it.

If you haven’t been to the site (and I know from stats that most of you read via RSS feeds), take a minute and check it out, as I also updated my blogroll, which I haven’t done in a very long time. I added a bunch of Oakland, California, and transportation blogs I read regularly. If you’re looking for new blogs to read, check some of them out. Continue reading

Another reason to celebrate at Thursday’s Blogoaksphere Party

4 Jan

Yesterday I went to the inauguration of Jean Quan and the swearing in ceremony for Councilmembers Libby Schaaf, Pat Kernighan, and Desley Brooks. Overall, I really enjoyed the event and the speeches and hopefully will have time soon to write about some of what happened (particularly on Jean Quan, and the election of Larry Reid as the new Council President and Desley Brooks as the new Vice-Mayor). But for now I just want to mention one comment made by our newest councilmember, Libby Schaaf.

From left to right, Pat Kernighan, Libby Schaaf & Desley Brooks being sworn in. (And no, they're not ghosts or angels, just victims of bad lighting.)

In the middle of her speech, she talked about all the reasons Oakland is so great and how involved its citizens are. As one example of this, she called attention to the Oakland bloggers who volunteer our time to covering the city. Though I’ve heard her praise bloggers many times to individuals, it meant so much to hear her say it to the thousands of Oaklanders congregated at the Fox Theater.

Libby may have been the first to thank Oakland bloggers at an inauguration, but I know first hand that many councilmembers and council staffers appreciate what we do and read local blogs religiously. And they’re not the only ones – community advocates, business owners, new residents looking to get involved, and so many more depend on our blogs.

So let’s celebrate this incredible network and community we’ve built this Thursday at the 2011 Blogoaksphere Party. I hope you’ve already put the event on your calendar, but if not, here’s the info:

When: Thursday, January 6th from 6-9pm

Where: Disco Volante, 347 14th Street in downtown Oakland

Why: To meet and hang out with the Oakland blogging community, have some drinks, eat delicious food, celebrate Oakland, and to reflect on the past year.

If you plant to attend and have a Facebook account, please RSVP via the Facebook event. See you on Thursday!

Join us for the 2011 Blogoaksphere Party!

6 Dec

When I first started this blog, I could have never imagined the incredible community I was about to join and help foster. Three and a half years later, so many Oakland bloggers and blog readers know each other well, have worked together on policy issues and political campaigns, and have become good friends.

Some of these relationships grew online, but others grew and developed in person, many at the blogger parties I’ve co-hosted with V Smoothe and dto510. Somehow, we let 2010 pass by without hosting a blogoaksphere party (I blame the elections), so we’ll need to make the 2011 party even better.

Please join us at the 2011 Blogoaksphere Party:

Disco Volante exterior. Photo by V Smoothe.

When: Thursday, January 6th from 6-9pm

Where: Disco Volante, 347 14th Street in downtown Oakland

Why: To meet and hang out with the Oakland blogging community, have some drinks, eat some delicious food, celebrate Oakland, and to reflect on the past year.

 

Whether you’ve been blogging for years or just started reading Oakland blogs last week, you’re welcome at the party and we’d love to have you there.

Disco Volante is one of Oakland’s newest restaurants, and will soon be Oakland’s newest bar and nightclub. If you haven’t checked it out yet, this is a great chance to support a new local business.

If you plant to attend and have a Facebook account, please RSVP via the Facebook event. And while I’m on the subject of Facebook, I finally created a Facebook page for Living in the O today so that’s another way to follow this blog. A Better Oakland is also on Facebook, so please “like” that page too.

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