About

Hello. I’m Justin J. Allen, a writer and digital communications specialist based in Oakland. I was born in Bakersfield in 1979 and grew up in the Sacramento and Bay Areas. Outside of California, I’ve spent extended time in New York and Pennsylvania, and abroad in Mexico and Germany. I was a freelance designer/developer and writer for several years, starting in San Francisco, and following that worked for Citizen Engagement Lab as a web designer and developer. I now work in a similar role for EdSource, supporting the biggest team of education reporters in the state.

I earned a BA in English from San Francisco State University, but my working life has taught me more. I’ve worked as a computer programmer, designer, journalist, copyeditor, communications manager, press operator, and blogger. Earlier on I held down gigs as a clerk, canvasser, cook, dishwasher, factory laborer, fruit picker, janitor and telemarketer. Even when I can’t put the most time I put into it, I define myself as a writer first. 

I live with my wife, Aurora; daughter, Manzanita; and dog, Zora. They are the best.