Newsletter: Essential California


What to expect:

With Essential California, you will get smart, interesting roundups of the stories shaping California. While we’re a bit biased toward the Los Angeles Times’ coverage, we recognize that good stories come from a variety of sources, so we’ll do our best to include those as well.

“Essential” is a subjective idea, but we think it includes politics, the environment, transportation, education and immigration. We also like to have fun, so don’t be surprised when you see the occasional photograph of a baby mountain lion or a listicle on the best taco spots. When we can, we like to throw in a bit of history too.

As California goes, so goes the nation.


Host: Shelby Grad

I’m Shelby Grad, and I oversee California and Metro coverage for the Los Angeles Times. Since joining the Times in 1990, I’ve worked as a reporter and editor covering county government, urban affairs, wildfires, earthquakes, rains, droughts, public corruption and celebrity misbehavior, among other things. My staff won Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of the Bell corruption scandal in 2010 and the San Diego wildfires in 2003. I’m also an L.A. history buff.


Host: Alice Walton

And I’m Alice Walton, a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. I’m a Californian by choice (thanks USC!). For the past decade, I’ve covered politics, with occasional pit stops on the courts and crime beat. For years I wrote the Maven’s Morning Coffee, a daily newsletter on politics in Los Angeles. I’m a voracious reader, which certainly comes in handy with this job. And if I can tear myself away from the computer long enough, you’ll probably find me exploring Southern California on my bicycle.


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