Here at California Watch, we are committed to producing first-rate investigative journalism, but that is not enough – at least not for us. My job is to always focus on public engagement. How can our reporters and editors build stronger relationships with the multitude of diverse communities that make up our state?

We want a two-way relationship with our readers: an open dialogue that allows and encourages Californians to inform our reporting. And here’s a great opportunity for that.

Next Monday, March 28, the California Watch team will spread out to work in coffeehouses from San Francisco to Visalia to Irvine for our third Open Newsroom event. We’re doing this in hopes of meeting you, our readers, and having one-on-one conversations about the issues that matter most in your community. From 9 a.m. till noon, you’ll find us at local cafes, plugged into Wi-Fi, and waiting to meet you. Got tips? We’re here to listen and learn. Have questions about reporting in California? We want to talk to you. Stop by and say hello, or follow our tweets with the hashtag #opennews.

To find out which reporter is where, check out the map below. We’d also like to take a moment to thank the following coffeehouses who are hosting our Open Newsroom.

Meghann Farnsworth, distribution and online community manager Actual Cafe, Oakland

Corey Johnson, K–12 education reporterTemple Coffee, Sacramento

Mike Corey, digital innovations editor – Blue Bottle, San Francisco

Suzanne Yada, web producer –  Cafe 210, Visalia

Susanne Rust, environment reporterCafe Zoe, Menlo Park

Erica Perez, higher education reporter – Farley’s East, Oakland

Denise Zapata, editor, and Louis Freedberg, senior reporter – French Hotel Cafe, Berkeley

Kendall Taggart, reporter Local123, Berkeley

Robert Salladay, senior editorMishka’s Cafe, Davis

Joanna Lin, enterprise reporter Paradise Perks, Irvine

Ariane Wu and Tia Ghose, contributors – Philz Coffee, San Francisco

Augustin Armendariz, data analystRoyal Grounds Coffee, Berkeley

Chase Davis, money and politics reporter – Temple Coffee, Sacramento

Ashley Alvarado, public engagement manager Xokolatl Cafe, Los Angeles

If you can’t make it, you can always follow us on Twitter (@CaliforniaWatch) and become a fan on Facebook to keep abreast of California issues and talk to us anytime.  

View Open Newsroom in a larger map

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Ashley Alvarado is the community news editor for California Watch and The Bay Citizen, where she oversees the news-engagement and public engagement staff. She is focused on helping to reach new audiences and engaging communities around CIR, California Watch and Bay Citizen stories. Ashley is also CIR's Public Insight Network analyst. She currently serves as managing editor of Los Cabos Magazine and previously worked at Los Angeles and Tu Ciudad Los Angeles magazines. Ashley is a graduate of the University of Southern California.