From the mountains of the Klamath Basin to the deserts of the Imperial Valley, and from the beaches of Santa Monica Bay to the orchards of Kern County, the California dream has turned into the California divide. With America’s highest poverty rates, Californians are struggling to pay for shelter and food even if they are employed. Nearly four out of every 10 are living in poverty or on the brink. And the gap between rich and poor is among the nation’s largest — and still growing.
Through local storytelling by our journalists throughout the state, The California Divide explains what is happening and why. Our coverage shares the personal struggles of Californians trying to get ahead and holds leaders accountable for restoring the dream.
The California Divide, By the Numbers
From Our Newsroom
Health and Environment
About this project
The California Divide is a collaboration of media organizations representing more than 35 California newspapers. It is directed by a CalMatters hub editor who works with editors and reporters in local newsrooms to coordinate and share coverage. The partners include:
- USA Today Network-California, part of the Gannett Co., is hosting a reporter at The Salinas Californian.
- McClatchy Co. is hosting two reporters at the Fresno Bee.
- Media News Group is hosting a reporter at The Mercury News in San Jose.
- ImpreMedia is hosting a reporter at La Opinión in Los Angeles.
Other newsrooms will also participate in parts of the project.
The California Divide project is funded through individual donations and foundation grants to CalMatters. Specific support for the project comes from:
- The James Irvine Foundation
- Report for America
- The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
- Stephen Silberstein
- Ann and John Doerr
- Howard and Barbara Wollner
- Blue Shield of California Foundation
- The Goldhirsh Foundation
- The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Each participating news organization has appointed a lead editor to coordinate coverage with the project:
- McClatchy: Robert Salladay
- Media News Group: Rebecca Salner
- USA TODAY NETWORK: Silas Lyons
- La Opinión: Agustin Duran