Sharon McNary Politics Reporter

Sharon McNary
Contact Sharon McNary

Sharon McNary is a Politics Reporter for Southern California Public Radio. She uses public records, public engagement sourcing and other methods (like good old fashioned shoe leather) to help draw stories from the experience, expertise and concerns of our communities as well as from political agendas.

In her first three years at KPCC, Sharon launched KPCC’s Public Insight Network, a group of several thousand people who — by sharing their experiences and expertise — help the newsroom cover Southern California. People who respond to Public Insight Network questions have been included in many KPCC award-winning news reports, including investigative coverage of prison conditions, long-form narratives, and talk show segments.

A military veteran, McNary was a computer programmer before she was a journalist, so she has always sought out tech-savvy and creative ways to cover news.

McNary has worked in TV news and documentaries, radio, wire service and newspapers in the Southern California news market, developing award-winning investigative and computer-assisted reporting projects.

Following a mid-career public service break with the Peace Corps in Bolivia, McNary returned to print and multimedia reporting. She has covered disasters, government corruption, growth and immigration, often using databases, mapping and other technology tools to break news.

McNary is an avid cook, seamstress and knitter while her outdoor pursuits are competing in marathons and triathlons

Stories by Sharon McNary

Critics rally to expand Long Beach language services

Critics say a plan to add language services for residents who don't speak English well should include Tagalog, Vietnamese and phone lines for other languages.

State audit: $22M spent on voting machines that can't be used

Riverside County alone spent $13 million on the high-tech voting systems, but got burned when the state changed the rules for the machines.

Whittier Latinos sue city to force district elections

The Whittier Latino Coalition recently agreed to hold off on the lawsuit, but then the city hired a law firm that has defended at-large systems.

Venice Boardwalk: 16 confirmed hit, driver possibly jailed in Colorado (updated)

Police have raised their estimate of the number of people allegedly struck in Venice by a driver who may have been arrested several times in Colorado.

Spike in marriage licenses follows Prop 8 demise

July numbers were up in several So Cal counties. The hottest spot, no pun intended, was Indio, which has the nearest clerk's office to Palm Springs.

Turmoil in San Bernardino a year after filing bankrupty

Angry residents are trying to recall three council members and the long-serving city attorney. Pensions and spending priorities still spur debate.

Inland area runoff election may impact Assembly supermajority

The Sept. 24 runoff election will be closely watched because the Democratic supermajority in the Assembly could be affected by the outcome.

Prop 8: Calif. court rejects bid to stop gay marriages

California's highest court still must consider a petition arguing that a voter-approved gay marriage ban remains valid in all but two counties.

Former Vernon city exec sues to keep $500K pension

After an audit, CalPers decided last year to cut Bruce Malkenhorst's annual payments to $115,000. He is suing CalPers and Vernon to keep the money coming in.

San Diego County Clerk asks for halt to gay marriage permits

Ernest Dronenburg, San Diego's County Clerk, is asking the state Supreme Court to let him stop issuing marriage licenses while legal questions are pending.

Voter engagement effort in South LA is both high-tech and personal

The strategy combines in-person contact with digital tools to transform non-voters into active participants in civic life.

Whittier Latino Coalition will delay voting rights lawsuit

In a combative letter, the group's attorney accused the city of seeking unnecessary delays, but agreed to wait for results of a new study of voting patterns.

Prop 8 update: Gay marriage opponents ask court to deny licenses (PDF)

Despite last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the sponsors of Proposition 8 continue their effort to block same-sex marriage. Read their full petition here.

Whittier Latinos may use courts to seek district elections

A local group sets a July 17 deadline for the city to change its at-large elections to a district format or face a lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act.

Costly special stateouse elections draw few voters

Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties spent $2.4 million holding special elections to fill a state senate seat but only 10 percent of voters turned out.