Erika D. Smith is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times writing about the diversity of people and places across California. She joined The Times in 2018 as an assistant editor and helped expand coverage of the state’s housing and homelessness crisis. She previously worked at the Sacramento Bee, where she was a columnist and editorial board member covering housing, homelessness and social justice issues. Before the Bee, Smith wrote for the Indianapolis Star and Akron Beacon Journal. She is a recipient of the Sigma Delta Chi award for column writing, a graduate of Ohio University and a native of the long-suffering sports town of Cleveland.
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Commentary on people, politics and the quest for a more equitable California.
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In the 1990s, Republicans spread fear over people of color “replacing” white people in California. It’s tenet of white supremacy we must confront.
LAPD officers are behind some $2 million in ads to stop the congresswoman from becoming mayor. It should be a wake-up call for reluctant progressives.
We can talk needing police reform all we want in California. But until elected officials do more and walk their talk with sheriffs, it won’t happen.
The community of millions that figured out how to turn Twitter into a platform for real-world activism and power won’t survive this $44-billion deal.
Los estudios relacionan la desigualdad de ingresos con la delincuencia. Basta con mirar a Los Ángeles, donde hay miles de personas sin hogar y a las que les roban relojes que valen lo suficiente para comprar una casa.
Studies link income inequality and crime. Just look to L.A., where thousands are homeless, and people get robbed of watches worth enough to buy a home.
As Vice President Kamala Harris knows, it’s hard being a first as a Black woman. Symbolism, when it comes to public opinion, is often a fickle thing.
The case of Melinda Davis, who was shot dead outside a Sacramento nightclub, is indicative of the many ways California has failed its vulnerable residents.
Will Smith was right to apologize for his caveman-like behavior slapping Chris Rock. But his instinct to protect his Black wife was absolutely correct.
Only a few of the homeless people living at the encampment ended up in permanent housing, a new report says. Yet similar cleanups continue. Blame public opinion.