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Zoneil Maharaj is the editor of Union City Patch. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (510) 677-0915 Hometown: Stockton, CA Birthday: November 4 Bio: I was born in Fiji and raised in Stockton. I've spent the last several years living, learning and working in the Bay Area. A graduate of San Francisco State University's journalism department, I've worked for multiple publications in various capacities. I was a staff writer/podcast host for PopandPolitics.com, an intern and contributor for music magazine XLR8R, an editor for Asian American lifestyle magazine Hyphen and, most recently, an arts and culture fellow with WireTap Magazine and The Nation Institute. I also helped launch Oh Dang!, an independent arts and culture webzine. My freelance work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, East Bay Express, The Bold Italic and The Record (Stockton), among others. I also enjoy working with youth. As a high school program coordinator for The Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, I helped re-launch defunct school publications at a handful of high schools in the Bay Area, organized high school journalism conferences and worked with dozens of youth in the center's Bay Area Multicultural Media Academy. I'm new to Union City, but I promise to do right by the community, so feel free to drop him a line any time. Beliefs: At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for you to inject your beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that your beliefs are on the record will cause you to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know. Politics: I'm a registered democrat, however, I examine all sides of an issue before making a decision rather than blindly following a party. Religion: I'm not religious but I was raised in a Hindu household. Through my experiences with friends from diverse backgrounds, I've come to know and understand multiple religions; I even attended Bible school for a couple summers as a kid. I believe this has helped shape a well-rounded system of morals and values. Local Hot-Button Issues: What do you think are the most important issues facing the community? School and city budgets, the youth violence prevention program. Where do you stand on each of these issues? No one's pleased with budget cuts, and it's unfortunate that the city and schools face potential reductions to programs and services. I'll be following both issues to inform myself -- and, of course, you -- about the latest developments. Youth violence is definitely a major concern. I think the prevention program has made some great strides but still has some hurdles to leap. I'll be tracking the program's progress and keeping you updated.