I moved to Seattle in August 2009, a year out of college and really just getting my feet under me as a journalist. I had the good fortune to work at Publicola in its early start-up days, first as a legislative reporter in Olympia then as a columnist covering the city’s bike politics and culture. It was my first introduction to City Hall and the people and power dynamics that shape life in Seattle.
I first freelanced for Crosscut in 2014, when it was a scrappy little nonprofit working out of a tiny office in Pioneer Square. I’ve also had the opportunity to work for great publications, such as The Nation, The Guardian, CityLab, Next City, Shelterforce Magazine and plenty of others. I often reported on the growing pains Seattle was experiencing as the population boomed, construction cranes dotted the skyline and life got vastly more expensive.
In 2018, I joined Crosscut’s staff as the changing region reporter, covering housing, homelessness and transportation and plenty of other issues the Puget Sound region was grappling with (and still is today). Life took me to the Bay Area for a few years, but I am thrilled to return home and return to Crosscut as the Seattle city reporter.
This beat is broad. I’ll be covering city politics, government and a whole host of issues that impact our lives as Seattleites. Two of the most important are affordable housing and homelessness.
Housing and homelessness are thorny, intertwined issues with no easy solutions. They are among the most pressing for our city, region, state and country to solve. And they have been the central focus of my reporting work as a staff writer and freelancer for the past five years. My goal is to help readers understand the wonky policies and politics of housing and homelessness and share with them the stories of people most impacted by them.
But, of course, housing and homelessness are just two of many critical issues affecting Seattle. Public safety, police reform, the city’s post-pandemic recovery, transportation and so much more fall under the city reporter’s purview. To really succeed in this role I need your help, Crosscut readers.
I want to hear from you. What issues are impacting you, your family and your friends? How are the decisions made inside City Hall changing life on the ground? What do you wish you better understood about the inner workings of Seattle government, or why things are the way they are in the city?
Please contact me with tips, questions and comments through our Northwest Wonders tool or by email.
This story was first published in Crosscut's Weekly newsletter. Want to hear more from reporters like Josh Cohen? Sign up for the newsletter, below.
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