Danielle Bergstrom, an urban planner turned nonprofit journalist, has lived in big cities across the country but has always felt drawn to Fresno. “There’s a very magnetic pull to the [San Joaquin] Valley. It’s a very intriguing and mysterious place that holds a lot of contradictions,” Bergstrom explained, pointing out that Fresno is the home of insightful California writers, opposing political forces, and populations dramatically affected by climate change. “You see how the contradictions and chaos produce a lot of creativity.”
Inspired by her work at nonprofits, Bergstrom transitioned from advocacy to journalism and launched Fresnoland, a nonprofit newsroom, to investigate issues affecting the Fresno community. The organization, whose pieces are published in the Fresno Bee, reports on topics including housing, renters’ rights, and the region’s water crisis. “Coming from an advocacy background has been really helpful for my career as a journalist, but I really appreciate the place where I’m situated now, where I can go deep in helping people understand the different pros and cons of a solution,” she explained to Alta Live. When she’s not reporting, Bergstrom is grabbing Fresno tacos—she claims they’re the best in California—and looking for new ways to celebrate the city she loves.
Check out these links to some of the topics Bergstrom and Spotswood brought up at Alta Live.
- Read “Fresno on Her Mind,” by Brad Balukjian, from Alta Journal’s Winter 2022 issue.
- Read Fresnoland’s reporting with the Fresno Bee.
- Read an interview with Fresno poet Sara Borjas in Alta, and read two of her poems: “To the Woman Who Said She Could Hear My Accent” and “Note for Daughters.”
- Read about valley fever in Alta’s newsletter.
- Enjoy a perfect day in Fresno, according to Bergstrom:
- Grab coffee at Fulton Street Coffee.
- Hike in the Sierra foothills.
- Visit Woodward Park on the San Joaquin River.
- Get tacos from La Elegante Taqueria or Taqueria El Premio Mayor.
- Explore the high-speed rail construction or the Blossom Trail.
- Grab dinner and dessert in Chinatown from Chef Paul’s Cafe, Central Fish Company, or Kogetsu-Do.
- Follow Bergstrom on Twitter.•