I joined CalMatters when we launched in July 2015, and back then we were a small team of just six employees jammed inside a tiny office in downtown Sacramento. With one editor and three reporters on staff, it was pretty difficult, as you can imagine, to meet the overwhelming task of covering a state government that serves 40 million people.

But since we started this journey, we’ve worked hard to build up our team in order to better serve you and other Californians, adding journalists to report on issues including criminal justice, inequality, the housing crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. That scrappy news startup founded six years ago now employs 50 people and reaches 1 in 10 Californians.

This has been no easy feat  — and it’s only been possible because of the support of our readers. You are the reason we’ve gotten this far, and your continued support ensures that we can provide free, fair and accessible reporting to Californians that need it the most. Will you support CalMatters during our birthday month?

With reader support, we’ve been able to accomplish many things over the years. For our 6th anniversary, here are just six ways our supporters have made an impact through our journalism:

  • We explained how Bank of America fueled California’s unemployment crisis, and our reporting led to the bank restoring payments for Los Angeles housekeeper Stephanie Moore, who used the money to find housing after being forced to live with an ex-partner.
  • Our housing coverage prevented several evictions, with one Riverside councilmember reaching out to help a pregnant mother of two who was evicted by maskless sheriff’s deputies and faced the possibility of a second eviction.
  • The agency that oversees workplace protections cited our investigation when it mandated new rules that hold businesses accountable for protecting their workers from COVID-19, require employers to report outbreaks, and decrease overcrowding in housing for farmworkers.
  • California’s former NAACP chief resigned amid the fallout from my story detailing how she made $1.7 million campaigning for ballot measures that her organization was also endorsing.
  • PBS NewsHour broadcast our segment on the state’s mental health crisis, explaining how many families struggle to find adequate long-term care for loved ones in need.
  • Every election, we create voter guides and 1-minute videos that make sense of those perpetually confusing ballot measures by breaking down what they do, highlighting the arguments for and against, and listing who supports and opposes them (John Legend is among our voter guide fans).

During our birthday month, we’ll highlight some of the ways we provide journalism that informs and empowers Californians to engage with their state government. I’m looking forward to what CalMatters can accomplish in the next year — thank you for reading and continuing to support our work.


Laurel Rosenhall
Political Reporter, CalMatters

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Laurel covers California politics for CalMatters, with a focus on power and personalities in the state Capitol. She's been included in the Washington Post’s list of outstanding state politics reporters...