In summary

The California Voices commentary section will provide the best place in the state to read and contribute thought-provoking editorials from a variety of perspectives.

CalMatters is expanding its commentary section, California Voices, and creating a hub to help provide a variety of ideas about dealing with some of the state’s most pressing issues.

California Voices Editor Yousef Baig will spotlight voices of people directly impacted by policy or its absence with Voices featuring regular, staff and guest commentaries.

This new commentary model translates to empowering those who feel the effects of California’s biggest issues at the ground floor. Already, nearly 40% of CalMatters commentaries published this year fit that mold.

“People are more passionate, more pragmatic and more persuasive when they talk about things directly affecting their life,” Baig says.  “I’m excited to see what ideas bubble up in this statewide civic town hall.”

California Voices will also spotlight multiple perspectives on a single subject so readers can gain a fuller picture of topics in the news cycle. Over the past year, Baig has paired multiple commentaries together on topics including the state budget, rooftop solar, high-speed rail, water management, psychedelics, labor issues and public meeting reforms.

Columnist Dan Walters will continue explaining California politics four times a week. At the same time, CalMatters will grow its roster of commentary contributors.

Veteran journalist and author Jim Newton has sharpened the commentary focus on Los Angeles, and spent much of the year scrutinizing the Inland Empire warehouse boom. Cal Poly journalism lecturer Julie Lynem has covered a mix of subjects including social media regulation and whether being “woke” is bad for business. Prominent human rights advocate Pedro Rios has been covering immigration issues at the California-Mexico border, shedding light on federal surveillance and the policies that force migrants into deadly deserts. Baig will also regularly contribute to Voices.

We want to hear from you

Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? You can find our submission guidelines here. Please contact CalMatters with any commentary questions:

Sonya builds bridges between the community and CalMatters as director of membership and engagement. Previously she managed engagement, fundraising, marketing, digital storytelling and UX at Voice of OC,...