Laurel Rosenhall to join the L.A. Times editorial board to cover state politics and policy

Portrait of Laurel Rosenhall
Laurel Rosenhall was named the 2021 Journalist of the Year by the Sacramento Press Club. She will continue to be based in the state capital.
(Laurel Rosenhall)

The following announcement was sent on behalf of Acting Editorial Page Editor Terry Tang and Deputy Editorial Page Editor Mariel Garza:

We are delighted to announce that Laurel Rosenhall will join the Los Angeles Times editorial board to help shape our positions on California politics and policy. She will be based in the Sacramento bureau.

Rosenhall is one of the most well-respected and influential political writers in California and was named the 2021 Journalist of the Year by the Sacramento Press Club. Last year, the Washington Post included her on its list of outstanding state politics reporters.


She is a founding reporter at CalMatters, a digital news nonprofit where she has written about the power and people shaping state policy since 2015. Most recently, her coverage of the gubernatorial recall election helped explain the forces at play behind the headlines. Before that, Rosenhall spent more than 12 years at the Sacramento Bee covering education and politics.

After her investigation last year revealed the growing trend of politicians creating nonprofits they or their families control that allow them to raise and spend money outside of campaign finance limits, California’s political ethics commission tightened the rules and opened an investigation into possible legal violations by a state lawmaker.

Her exclusive story about California sending half a billion dollars for masks to a 3-day-old company — and then scrambling to claw back the funds — revealed the chaotic nature of the state’s emergency response early in the coronavirus pandemic. This prompted California lawmakers to hold an oversight hearing and call for an audit of state contracts for pandemic supplies.

The head of the California NAACP resigned shortly after Rosenhall’s reporting detailed how she was being paid by the campaigns of 2020 state ballot measures that the civil rights organization had endorsed, including some that other Black leaders said were detrimental to Black communities. This story was awarded first place for enterprise reporting by the California News Publishers Assn.

Rosenhall is a Northern California native, born and raised in San Francisco. She did her undergraduate degree at the Evergreen State College in Washington state and earned a master’s degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has lived in Sacramento for nearly 20 years.

This is an exciting new chapter for Rosenhall’s journalism career — and for the editorial board as well, which hasn’t had a Sacramento-based writer since 2006.


She starts Nov. 15.