Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Laney College Baseball held a naming ceremony April 26 for its stadium, now called the Tom Pearse Diamond. The name change was approved by the Peralta Board of Trustees at its April 23 meeting. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Laney names baseball stadium, FabLab to relocate and more at 4/23 meeting for PCCD trustees
Eliot Faine, Staff Writer • May 15, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
The search for a permanent president of the College of Alameda is down to three candidates. William “Terry” Brown (left), Melanie Dixon (middle), and Rebecca “Becky” Opsata will respond to community questions at public forums on Thursday. (Photo courtesy: PCCD)
Finalists for CoA President unveiled
Community questions accepted until midnight tonight
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • May 13, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

Inside our newsroom: Will

We are fortunate to be inspired by great leadership — the type that fosters belief in ourselves and in each other.

This piece is part of a series that members of the Citizen staff wrote to share our stories and in response to comments that Trustee Linda Handy recently made about our newsroom.


My name is William Ink and I am a 54-year-old white male, Oakland local and longtime resident of the city. I grew up working in my father’s restaurant and catering business in the heart of downtown from the age of five. Our “greasy spoon” filled the stomachs and captured the hearts of very loyal customers for over 45 years until my father’s passing in the mid-nineties. I continued to serve the Bay Area in the home restoration business and in 2017, returned to Peralta after a 30-year hiatus to pursue my dream of a career in the arts. I would love my final career to be delivering content that may be of interest and service to the community dearest to me in Oakland. I believe the Peralta Community College District is a bridge to that reality.

With 27 classes under my belt since Fall of 2017, not including the four I’m currently enrolled in, I consider myself a typical community college student at Peralta with compatible goals and interests. I am a student and also an adult, like my many peers in the Citizen newsroom. We are a diverse and eclectic social mix of individuals who share a few important core tenets. The love of the community we inhabit, the want to be good citizens while we pursue our potential and a compelling need to contribute to the greater good drive our reporting. 

The Citizen newsroom has been confronted by a wild array of challenges this year, but our central focus has been sufficiently narrowed to concentrate on all things Peralta in the interest of developing our writing skills, our journalistic acumen and our civic engagement. We have all spent a disproportionate amount of our energy on supporting the health and success of the Peralta Community College District. This has included covering a wide range of events from the state chancellor and board of governors, to board of trustees meetings, to participating in candidate forums, asking tough questions, doing interviews and conducting countless hours of research. We are fortunate to be inspired by great leadership — the type that fosters belief in ourselves and in each other. The type that is so rare to manifest itself in life that when you find it, you immediately recognize its value. Eleni Economides Gastis, Laney’s journalism department chair, has been our pillar. She is a tireless advocate and her guidance is unwavering.

It is inexplicable to us in the newsroom why our longest-tenured trustee, Linda Handy, would publicly demean the intelligence and acumen of the entire student body as well as the integrity of our newsroom by suggesting that students are unprepared or ill-equipped to form sound political opinions and that our journalists will lie to get a story or that we aren’t even student journalists at all. It’s condescending, short-sighted, manipulative and just plain wrong.                 

We in the newsroom believe civic engagement to be at the forefront of our responsibility to our community. We also believe that we have more information at our disposal than ever before, making this the most well-informed generation in human history. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. This newsroom is intent on finding answers. The who, what, when, why and how is what we do. This is a challenge to the status quo, and if that makes people uncomfortable, so be it. 

About the Contributor
William Ink
William Ink, Staff Writer
Born and raised in Oakland, William returned to the Peralta school district in 2017, after a 25-year hiatus, to advance his education recently receiving his AS-T in Film, Television and Broadcasting and an AA-T in Communication. He has enrolled in and been accepted to San Francisco State as a dual major in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Art (BECA) and Communication Studies. After nearly 50 years working in the restaurant and catering business, residential construction and In-Home Care, William now pursues a long dreamed of career in the Arts, as a writer, producer and editor of media content in both fictional and non-fictional realms. Mr. Ink loves people and their stories, believing we are all capable of serving our communities well and elevating our standard of living.
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