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Kerry Cavanaugh promoted to assistant editor of the editorial page

Los Angeles Times staffer Kerry Cavanaugh
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

The following announcement was sent on behalf of Editorial Page Editor Sewell Chan and Deputy Editorial Page Editor Mariel Garza:

We are delighted to announce that Kerry Cavanaugh, who has covered city government, housing, transportation and the environment for the editorial board since 2013, has been promoted to assistant editor of the editorial page, effective Sept. 6.

Cavanaugh will be central to our ongoing push to make our editorials more urgent, relevant and bold for readers across Southern California. She will continue to report and write — taking on business and economic issues, including income inequality, tax policy, technology and privacy — while also taking on line-editing duties.

Cavanaugh’s writing has examined the tensions and contradictions that arise when policy makers try to live up to California’s ideals of affordability, equity and environmental stewardship.

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She reads the fine print, and she does not pull her punches. She has written bold editorials arguing for a transit line through the Sepulveda Pass and for a state law that would loosen single-family zoning to allow denser housing development. She has stood up for bus-only lanes and chronicled the effects of e-commerce on the climate. Her editorial calling out the city for not being bolder with the Housing Element — a state-mandated plan that lays out the city’s housing needs for the next eight years — was cited extensively by U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter in his ruling ordering the city to house everyone on Skid Row by the fall. Her 2018 editorial “The homeless in L.A. are not who you think they are” contributed to increasing awareness that the housing shortage really is at the root of the homelessness crisis, ahead of mental illness and substance abuse.

Quality-of-life issues matter deeply to our readers. In persistently advocating for greater housing density, a city more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists and urgent action to combat climate change, Cavanaugh has undoubtedly rankled some readers who don’t want their neighborhoods, their automobile culture or their vision of postwar California life to change. But she is crystal clear about the tough choices that need to be made for California to become more inclusive, fair and accessible.

A graduate of NYU and the Columbia Journalism School, Cavanaugh grew up in Newark, Calif., a Bay Area suburb. She started her career as an environment and transportation reporter at the Bakersfield Californian and worked for a decade at the Los Angeles Daily News as a reporter, columnist and editorial writer. She was a producer at KCRW-FM (89.9) before joining The Times in 2013. She lives in Van Nuys with her husband, fellow journalist Jason Kandel, and their two sons.


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