“A sharp and smart digest of local, national and international news”

The Nation‘s “2018 Progressive Honor Roll”

UpFront delivers a mix of local, state, and international coverage through challenging interviews, civil debates, breaking updates, and in-depth discussions with authors.

About Us:

Brian Edwards-Tiekert  [@bedwardstiek] is the founder and co-host of UpFront. He started his work in media helping to set up the Independent Media Center in Chiapas, Mexico, where he also did human rights work. For two years, he ran a nationwide support program for progressive publications at colleges and universities. He started in radio as a beat reporter covering environmental justice issues for KPFA, where he also served as a network correspondent for international climate talks, produced an award-winning climate documentary series, established a long-form journalism training program, then adapted that curriculum for groups ranging from high school students in Los Altos to inmates in San Quentin Prison. In 2016, he was awarded a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.


Cat Brooks is UpFront’s Co-Host, and a long-time performer, organizer and advocate.  She played a central role in the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant, and spent the last decade working with impacted communities and families to rapidly respond to police violence and radically transform the ways our communities are policed and incarcerated. She is the co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP) and the Executive Director of The Justice Teams Network. Cat graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and trained at the Royal National Theater Studio in London. Notable roles include Lady Macbeth at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland and Ruth in Raisin in the Sun. In 2018, she won 40,000 first-place votes for Oakland Mayor–more than any candidate in the prior two Oakland mayoral elections.


Corinne Smith [@cocoluces] is UpFront’s Producer. She’s worked as a reporter for KPFA’s News Department, and produces special broadcasts for KPFA and the Pacifica Network, including election-night broadcasts, presidential debates, and KPFA’s live broadcast from 2018’s history-making She the People summit.



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Aileen Alfandary [@KPFANews] is UpFront’s News Editor. She’s been co-directing KPFA’s award-winning news department since 1978, when she cut her teeth producing all-night coverage of the nuclear disaster at Three Mile Island. She gets to work at 4:30 AM every morning . . . by bicycle.



Mitch Jeserich [@MitchJeserich] is UpFront’s national politics editor.  He got his start as KPFA’s California State Political Reporter in Sacramento before going to Washington DC to cover the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court. In 2009 Mitch launched a pilot program called Letters from Washington, chronicling the first 100 days of the Obama administration, that would become Letters & Politics, a nationally-syndicated daily radio program that won the designation “Most Valuable Radio Show” on the 2016 Progressive Honor Roll of The Nation magazine.



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Kirsten Thomas is UpFront’s board operator, line producer, call-screener, and pre-dawn ray of sunshine.