I am a political reporter based out of Los Angeles with expertise in education, housing, drug use and more

I cover California politics and 2024 election for the LA Daily News / Southern California News Group. I recently published an award-winning four-part investigation on fentanyl addiction in partnership with the USC Center for Health Journalism.

Storytelling is my MO and no matter what topic I am covering I always make sure to connect it to the human impact. I am skilled at both breaking news coverage and deep dive investigative work.

CBS interview on fentanyl investigation

A marketplace for shoplifted goods, a high concentration of drug dealers and a general tolerance for open air drug use have put MacArthur Park at the epicenter of LA's fentanyl epidemic.

I spent five months investigating this deadly crisis and shared my findings on CBS News Los Angeles.

Recent articles

Fentanyl addiction fuels underground shoplifting economy in LA’s MacArthur Park

For someone with no phone, no home, no job and no more possessions than can fit into a backpack, this is no easy task. So Elliot, like many others battling addiction, makes money for fentanyl by selling shoplifted goods to street vendors around MacArthur Park.

The Southern California News Group interviewed Elliot, dozens of other people who use fentanyl, business owners, residents, LAPD personnel, homeless outreach workers, and medical professionals over several months, discovering how the inte

My fight with fentanyl: Stories from 3 people battling addiction

They are among the many people bound by addiction to MacArthur Park, the sluggishly beating heart of Los Angeles’s fentanyl epidemic.

In any given week, hundreds of people come to the neighborhood to purchase and use fentanyl, a synthetic opioid responsible for 1,504 fatal overdoses in Los Angeles County in 2021, according to the most-recent available data from the county’s Department of Public Health.

For every person killed by fentanyl, many more are living with it. And those who are addicte

In LA’s fentanyl epidemic, MacArthur Park community bears the heavy burden

A local shopkeeper hoses down his front stoop, washing away the layer of debris that accumulated overnight.

As water strikes the already hot asphalt, steam rises and mingles with clouds of smoke coming from a group of people slumped on Alvarado Street. A mother shuttles her two young children past the huddle, weaving through dozens of vendors to reach the playground.

The majority Latino, working-class community has adapted to life around one of the largest fentanyl markets in Los Angeles — but

How can LA combat its fentanyl crisis? MacArthur Park offers clues

People pass out with a burned piece of tin foil in one hand and a butane torch lighter in the other. Those who are awake often hunch over to cope with the bone-deep aches of withdrawals.

But a closer look also shows seeds of hope.

There are grassroots efforts working to connect people who use fentanyl with help. There’s a passionate young councilmember trying to launch an overdose prevention team and a harm reduction center offering resources to people who use drugs. There are public health pr

‘Devastating’: Mayor Bass, other leaders, react to MacArthur Park fentanyl crisis

Los Angeles city leaders say they will tackle a fentanyl addiction crisis that is consuming L.A.’s MacArthur Park, which has become a hub for fentanyl sales and consumption in the midst of the heavily Latino working-class neighborhood of Westlake.

The neighborhood is facing devastating consequences for people who use the synthetic opioid and the community forced to adapt to life around it.

Mom and pop shopkeepers suffer from a spike in shoplifting fueled in part by people seeking money to buy

Long waits and hallway beds, as crowded ERs struggle to meet patient demand

Born with only half a heart, Marissa Long has spent three decades accessing lifesaving medical care at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, but her most recent visits to the ER have been nothing short of a nightmare.

During two separate visits in February, Long spent several days living in a hallway as she sought emergency treatment for rejection of her heart transplant.

One night she was placed in a bed next to the ambulance entry doors where paramedics constantly rushed in and she was unable t

School community rejoices as LAUSD, union leaders reach historic deal

The Los Angeles Unified School District finally hammered out a deal with labor leaders on Friday, March 4, after a sprawling three-day strike that shut down America’s second-largest school system and disrupted learning for 420,000 students.

The deal was brokered between the district and SEIU Local 99 — the union representing 30,000 bus drivers, custodians, instructional aides, cafeteria workers and special education assistants — with help from Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.

According to the sch

There’s a dire need for male teachers of color. These men are stepping up

Latino males make up less than 6% of California’s public school teachers and Black males make up around 1% — two shockingly low statistics that have prompted a slew of new initiatives to bring more men of color into the classroom.

“There’s just simply not enough educated, Black or Brown men contributing to education,” said Joshua Shuford, a substitute teacher in the Rialto Unified School District. “Us teachers are taking back the power of freedom, unity and equality, from a system that’s not me

Meet the South LA couple building a literal village of Black male educators

For now it’s a grassy plot of land nestled on the border of the Pico Union and West Adams neighborhoods, but soon Dr. Peter and Dr. Didi Watts hope it will be the home for a new generation of Black male educators.

The leadership of these future teachers is sorely needed.

In California, Black boys have the lowest reading levels and highest rates of suspension of any demographic group, and Black students in general have the highest absenteeism rate. But, as soon as a Black teacher enters the cla

LA is losing the battle against mental illness among its homeless

Dr. Brian Benjamin, a psychiatrist specializing in serving the homeless, was excited to tell one of his regular clients that a shelter spot had opened up, but unfortunately there were 20 murders in that building every day and the Mafia lived there – or so the client told him.

The client, who Benjamin did not name to respect his privacy, suffered from hallucinations, delusions and paranoia as a result of schizophrenia.

“I do think there’s a lot of times where there’s a direct connection between

Monterey Park shooting victim Ming Wei Ma was ‘the heart’ of Star Ballroom Dance Studio

Ming Wei Ma, a dance instructor known as the heart and soul of Star Ballroom Dance Studio, was among the 11 killed in the Monterey Park mass shooting and died trying to protect others, according to friends and reports.

Friends said Ma, 72, was killed at the popular Garvey Avenue studio on Saturday night, Jan. 21, where he and a group of fellow dancers had gathered for a social event on the night of Lunar New Year, which drew thousands to the downtown area. Friends said Ma’s family in China was

New racist texts emerge from Torrance police officers

Reigniting a scandal that began last December, new racist texts have emerged from Torrance police officers who joked on their telephones about urinating on a Black child, gassing Jews and beating up a woman.

The state Attorney General’s Office launched an investigation eight months ago into allegations that Torrance officers were engaging in racist conduct, including the painting of a swastika on a suspect’s car and sharing racist and homophobic text messages.

But the latest release of 390 tex