As Metro’s newest columnist, Erika Smith will capture the diversity of California

In her new role, Erika Smith will travel the state, helping our readers understand shifting politics, culture, demographics and social issues.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine made the following announcement.

I am happy to announce that Erika Smith is shifting from editing to become a columnist for Metro, joining a roster of distinctive voices in the California section. In her new assignment, Smith will focus on statewide coverage, helping our readers understand the shifting politics, culture, demographics and social issues that have long made the state a forerunner for both better and worse. Smith will write twice a week for the California section, but her schedule will be flexible, allowing her to file quickly off the news and as ideas develop. She plans to travel the state, when that is allowed again, digging into issues and capturing the diversity of California.

Smith joined The Times in 2018 and helped launch our expanded homeless and housing coverage. She is uniquely qualified for this new adventure, having served as an opinion columnist for the Sacramento Bee and a metro columnist for the Indianapolis Star. Her new posting is part of a larger effort by The Times to expand our coverage of the state.