Why Starting a Preschool Is Harder Than You Think

How A Reluctant Community Activist Took Matters Into Her Own Hands

I was a reluctant community activist. I didn’t plan on creating a movement for a new preschool in our community. I just wanted to find better care for my son. But I found myself leading an effort that, through its successes and failures, has taught me a lot about community change.

My family lives in a rural, geographically isolated area of Northern California. Del Norte County has just a handful of preschools, and back in 2009, the only two that had space for our son Henry were private religious schools that …

My Improbable Descent Into Homelessness

I Was Living with My Parents in Santa Monica When Our Life Began to Fall Apart

The homelessness issue in America can feel like an overwhelming and abstract problem. As such, it’s understandable that politicians talk about it in broad terms and propose broad policies that …

How One City’s Library Adapts to Tweens, Teens, and New Families

Santa Ana Is a Yeasty Mix of Immigrants and Trendy Urbanites

The Santa Ana Public Library is an old library. It was founded in 1891 by white, middle-class migrants from the Midwest who wanted to replicate their hometown libraries. But like …

Tech Workers with Autism Try to Reboot

The Promise—and Difficulty—of Job-Hunting in Silicon Valley When Your Brain Is Wired Differently

How big is the gap between all the rhetoric about the value of employing people with autism and other brain-wiring differences and the realities of the job market?

You …

Saving Nature, One Plastic Bag at a Time

Armed With Heavy Gloves and Trash Pickers, Salton Sea Residents Are Cleaning up Their Own Backyard

At clean-ups I help organize in communities around the Salton Sea, volunteers are a mix of residents and visitors, of every age and background. Some people drive more than 90 …

How a Little Splashing Around Is Making My Neighborhood a Better Place

Swimming Lessons Are Teaching My Community There's Nothing to Fear in Life's Deep End

I work in North Richmond and the Iron Triangle as the Community Wellness Coordinator for YES Nature to Neighborhoods, a nonprofit that strengthens local families by taking them out into …