Media Partners:

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


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Our Topics

Health and Environment
Economic Inequality
Public Assistance
Criminal Justice

About this project

Our Partners

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.

Our Funders

The California Divide project is funded through individual donations and foundation grants to CalMatters. Specific support for the project comes from:

Our Journalists

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


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 Gary Reed with any commentary questions: gar[email protected], (916) 234-3081.