Fifth & Mission

The flagship news podcast of the San Francisco Chronicle. Producer/host Cecilia Lei and director of news Demian Bulwa discuss the biggest stories of the day with Chronicle journalists and newsmakers from around the Bay Area. | Get full digital access to the Chronicle:

Tiny Homes at 16th and Mission: Will It Help Ho...
Other Bay Area cities have used tiny homes to address the housing crisis, but San Francisco has been slow to embrace the model. Chronicle reporter Trisha Thadani joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss a proposal to build a temporary tiny cabin village at 16th and Mission, and why that may signal a shift in how the city is addressing homelessness.
13 min
The Future of Gavin Newsom's Political Power
California's governor was to be inaugurated for his second term Friday after facing down a number of challenges, including a recall election and the COVID-19 pandemic. Chronicle political reporters Dustin Gardiner and Sophia Bollag join host Cecilia Lei to talk about what we can expect.
17 min
Why Fixing Homelessness Is Personal for Oakland...
Sheng Thao will soon be inaugurated as Oakland’s new mayor. The daughter of Hmong refugees and survivor of domestic violence joins host Joe Garofoli to speak about her journey to the mayoral office, including how she plans to tackle Oakland’s homelessness crisis — something she’s experienced firsthand.
23 min
How to Weather the "Bomb Cyclone" Storm
While some Bay Area residents are still recovering from the New Year’s Eve storm, Wednesday’s “bomb cyclone” storm is threatening the region with further devastation. Chronicle meteorologist Gerry Diaz joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss what to expect, why this latest storm is dangerous and how you can stay safe.
14 min
"Put Down the Baggage": How to Avoid Chronic St...
Exercising and healthy eating are common new year's resolutions but Dr. Elissa Epel, author of "The Stress Prescription: 7 Days to More Joy and Ease," shares why stress management might be the most important goal you make this year. She joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss simple tips to alleviate stress and anxiety as we enter another year of the pandemic and tackle other uncertainties.
18 min
What Surprised Us and What We Missed in 2022
For the last Fifth & Mission episode of the year, Chronicle reporters and editors talk about the news story that surprised them the most in 2022, and what story they think the newsroom overlooked. Plus, editor-in-chief Emilio Garcia-Ruiz joins host Cecilia Lei to reflect on what it's been like to lead the newsroom since coming to San Francisco in 2020.
21 min
Dispatch From Ukraine: Berkeley Student Shares ...
Maksym Dubkov paused his Ph.D. studies to return home to Ukraine and found a volunteer organization to provide humanitarian aid to the areas most affected by the war with Russia. He joins Cecilia Lei to talk about why he decided to leave UC Berkeley for his home country.
23 min
The Bitter Taste of Gentrification
Calavera is an upscale Mexican restaurant in Uptown Oakland that claims to be influenced by Oaxacan culture. But Chronicle food critic Cesar Hernandez says the restaurant exemplifies "food gentrification." He joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss the fine line between upscale Mexican food and cultural appropriation.
19 min
Cal-OSHA Ends Mandatory COVID Sick Pay
California's workplace regulators have passed a new set of rules that no longer require employers to pay workers to stay home if they catch the virus. Reporter Chase DiFeliciantonio joins host Demian Bulwa with details. Plus: Reporter Mallory Moench talks about staff shortages at San Francisco General Hospital and 911 dispatch as COVID surges.
16 min
The Unseen Overdose Crisis: Inside San Francisc...
A disproportionate number of people in San Francisco are dying of drug overdoses inside city-funded single room occupancy buildings, or SROs. Chronicle reporters Joaquin Palomino and Trisha Thadani join host Cecilia Lei to discuss their latest investigation and how the city has neglected to protect its most vulnerable residents.
26 min
How Slow is S.F.'s Building Permit Approval Pro...
San Francisco has a bad reputation when it comes to building housing: It takes a staggeringly long time. Chronicle reporters Dustin Gardiner and Susie Neilson join host Cecilia Lei to discuss just how long it takes to get a permit, why it's gotten this bad, and the larger costs of the city's flawed system.
15 min
Striking UC Academics Get a Lift From Tradition...
Blue-collar labor is supporting the researchers, scholars and graduate workers who have walked out at the University of California. Reporter Ryan Kost tells host Dominic Fracasa that this kind of solidarity signals a shift in what it means to be “working class.”
11 min
A New Variant on a COVID Winter Surge
Cases are on the rise and hospitalizations are up. Is the Bay Area in for another winter COVID surge? And how are new immune-evasive variants contributing?
15 min
One Man's Long Road Back From Fentanyl
Ben Campofreda fought his way to sobriety after years on the street. Columnist and Total SF co-host Heather Knight talks to Cecilia Lei about his remarkable story, and we hear from Ben himself, who says San Francisco has to do more for people trying to navigate its system of aid.
22 min
The Story Behind Those Killer Robots
All of a sudden in recent weeks, everyone in San Francisco was talking about killer robots. What happened? Chronicle reporter J.D. Morris joins host Demian Bulwa to talk about why San Francisco police sought approval to use robots to kill suspects in extreme circumstances — and why the Board of Supervisors flip-flopped amid backlash.
15 min
The Case for a 4-Day Work Week
Chronicle reporter Carolyn Said joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss Bay Area employers who are experimenting with a 32-hour work week — at full 40-hour pay — and CommonFuture's VP of People Operations, Joann Lee Wagner, talks about why the four-day work week is about equity.
16 min
Why Did San Francisco's Tenderloin Center Shut ...
After less than a year of operations, the controversial facility has closed. Chronicle reporter Mallory Moench joins host Cecilia Lei to discuss why Mayor London Breed's emergency project is over, and to talk about how the city plans to address its drug epidemic now.
15 min
New Year, New Laws: Here's 14 Californians Shou...
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed nearly 1,000 bills into law in 2022, the most productive law-making year since the start of the pandemic. Chronicle reporters Sophia Bollag and Dustin Gardiner join host Cecilia Lei to discuss a handful that you should know about, from big issues like gun safety and abortion to smaller ones like jaywalking and selling fur.
18 min
Ex-GOP Rep.: McCarthy "Drunk on His Own Bathwater"
Denver Riggleman, who worked for the Jan. 6 committee after losing his reelection bid in 2020, talks to host Joe Garofoli about what's next for the investigation, how Republicans aren't likely to abandon Trump, and what motivates the likely next speaker of the House.
20 min
Children's Deaths Raise Questions About John Mu...
The deaths of four children are raising questions about the East Bay hospital's capabilities. Chronicle reporters Matthias Gafni and Cynthia Dizikes join host Cecilia Lei to discuss their follow-up investigation into John Muir Health and the care provided in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit. (See also April 7, 2022, episode)
31 min
How Oakland Mayor-elect Sheng Thao Plans to Lea...
The 37-year-old progressive will be the first Hmong American to lead a major U.S. city. How does she plan to tackle its biggest issues? Chronicle reporter Sarah Ravani joins host Cecilia Lei to talk about what Thao plans to do in her first months as mayor to address Oakland's pressing problems around public safety, homelessness and economic uncertainty.
15 min
Twitter Layoffs and the Immigration Fallout
With Silicon Valley tech heavyweights like Twitter and Meta cutting jobs, thousands of people are looking for work. But for immigrants on H-1B visas, the consequence of not finding something quickly can be life-changing. Chronicle reporter Carolyn Said joins host Demian Bulwa with details.
13 min
Knocking Down Mental Health Taboos in Sports
The COVID-19 pandemic has both created mental health challenges for athletes — and fans — and spotlighted the opportunity to discuss them in a new way. Chronicle sportswriters Marisa Ingemi and Connor Letourneau join host Cecilia Lei to talk about the changing attitudes
21 min
Fixing Our City: Lessons From Portugal Decrimin...
We're sharing this episode of the Fixing Our City podcast from The Chronicle's SFNext project in which host Laura Wenus talks to Dr. João Goulão, Portugal's drug policy coordinator, about how that country dealt with an overdose epidemic similar to San Francisco's. Fifth & Mission returns with new episodes Monday.
26 min
Best of 5M: Oakland Skaters Fight For the Right...
The COVID pandemic caused a roller skating boom. Now, skaters in West Oakland are fighting for a rink of their own. Producer Caron Creighton reports on the history of Black roller skating and why the sport is deeply personal for the community. First published 9/16/22. Fifth & Mission returns with new episodes Monday.
14 min