I love Arizona!
Yeah, you heard me right.
I’m a native – almost born, raised product of the 48th state in the Union. So, of course, I am a fan of the heat, love me some good Mexican food and am a Sun Devil to the end.
But about eight and one-half years ago, I left all I knew to come to the San Francisco Bay Area to experience all it has to offer – the people, the culture, the liberal politics and more.
Now I ‘hella’ love the Bay!
No, I’m not into one-night stands, and I won’t be on the first plane out of Dodge once the ground starts shaking too hard. The Bay is my home.
Before I arrived on the scene, I wondered if there was a place where such a diverse mix of individuals could cohabit in one place without World War III erupting. I used to think I’d never find a land where every race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, physical and mental challenge has a voice – more importantly, a voice that is heard.
Most of the time.
Sure, our elected officials aren’t always on top of their game, and our neighbors can sometimes be hateful … and hurtful. But I see the Bay as a place that attempts to push racism, ignorance and hatred to the side.
And nowhere is this truer than on this side of the Bay Bridge.
I know there are parts of the East Bay that get a bad rap. Like any community, it has its issues. But often times the light is shown on what’s wrong and what’s not working rather than what’s right and is working.
I think it’s time we heard more about the latter. Beginning next issue, I plan to “stir the pot” a little.
This regular column, will not only point out government wrongs and social injustices, but with each turn of my proverbial spoon, I hope to educate, enlighten and engage you with stories of our communities and its residents, which often times, go unshared.
I want to provide you with observations – the kind that make you go “hmmm.” And in doing so, I will continue to blend the flavor of the area – the good, bad and indifferent – into a feast that we all can savor.
I don’t claim to have all the answers – in fact, I probably don’t have that many – but I hope that after reading each column, you will appreciate more the local sights, sounds, tastes, ambiance and people that make the Bay Area, and our country, the place we love to call home.
Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig is an award-winning, professional journalist who resides in Oakland. If you have an individual, organization, issue or other topic that may be of interest to our readers, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.