Nicole Santa Cruz


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Nicole Santa Cruz is a reporter covering issues of inequality in the Southwest.

She joined ProPublica from the Los Angeles Times, where she spent nearly 12 years as a staff writer. As lead reporter on the Times’ Homicide Report, a groundbreaking public service project that documents every homicide victim in Los Angeles County, she reported on the lives of hundreds of people, highlighting neighborhoods that were disproportionately affected by violence and uncovering trends, including an increase in women being killed even as officials hailed a decline in murders. Santa Cruz also assembled a first-of-its-kind database of county prosecutor memos detailing fatal police encounters.

She began her career on the Times’ national desk, from which she was dispatched to the swamps of Louisiana to cover the BP oil spill and to her hometown of Tucson, Arizona, to write about the 2011 mass shooting at an event held by then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Santa Cruz’s work at ProPublica focuses on investigating the impact of inequities on marginalized communities. She is based in Phoenix.

Utah Child Care Providers Are Struggling. Lawmakers Haven’t Helped.

Legislators ended their session without making a direct investment in child care. Instead, they loosened regulations on unlicensed care, a move that operators, parents and other advocates say is unsafe.

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Utah Bills Itself as “Family-Friendly” Even as Lawmakers Have Long Neglected Child Care

Federal relief had improved access to child care. But when funding expired, the state rejected proposals to replace it. Some advocates say the historical influence of the LDS church has added to the resistance.

A Prominent Museum Obtained Items From a Massacre of Native Americans in 1895. The Survivors’ Descendants Want Them Back.

After the mass killing at Wounded Knee, the American Museum of Natural History received children’s toys taken from the site. A 1990 law was meant to “expeditiously return” such items to Native Americans, but descendants are still waiting.

A Fifth of American Adults Struggle to Read. Why Are We Failing to Teach Them?

The nation’s approach to adult education has so far neglected to connect the millions of people struggling to read with the programs set up to help them.

Her Ex-Husband Is Suing a Clinic Over the Abortion She Had Four Years Ago

Experts say the Arizona lawsuit shows how civil suits could be used to intimidate providers and punish people who’ve had abortions.

The Invisible Hand of Steve Twist

How an Arizona man who’s never held elected office has shaped one of America’s most punitive criminal justice systems.

Has Your School Had a COVID Outbreak? Is Your District Following CDC Guidelines? Help Us Report.

As the Delta variant spreads across the country, ProPublica is reporting on the health and safety of students. Tell ProPublica whether your school is following CDC guidelines and whether any students, faculty or staff have gotten sick.

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