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.