Erica C. Barnett

Erica C. Barnett
P.O. Box 14328
Seattle, WA 98104


Erica C. Barnett is an award-winning political reporter in Seattle who covers addiction, housing, poverty, and local news and politics at her website, The C Is for Crank, which she founded in 2015. Previously, she co-founded the news and politics website PubliCola with Josh Feit in 2009, after working as a news editor and reporter. She now writes about news and politics for her website and as a freelancer for local, state, and national publications.

Prior to 2009, Erica was a news editor and reporter for the Stranger, Seattle Weekly, and the Austin Chronicle.  She started her career as an intern at The Texas Observer in the 1990s.

She has written for many local and national publications, including The Huffington Post, Seattle Magazine, Crosscut, and Grist. 

Professional Experience
The C Is for Crank
Founder, Publisher

The C Is for Crank is an independent website featuring breaking news, analysis, and insight from one of Seattle’s most experienced and trusted political journalists. A must-read for political insiders, journalists, and anyone who wants to know what’s going on inside and outside City Hall in Seattle.

Freelance Journalist

Freelance reporter and writer for publications including Huffington Post, Seattle Magazine, Crosscut, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Sightline, the South Seattle Emerald, and Grist. 

Co-Founder, Editor

Cofounded and co-managed successful startup website. Responsible for breaking multiple news stories daily, producing smart, timely commentary on local and state news and events, and editing reporters’ work for Seattle’s non-partisan, daily source for local and state news coverage and commentary.

PubliCola was purchased by Seattle Metropolitan magazine in 2012, and I became a staff writer for the magazine in addition to my titles at PubliCola.

The Stranger
News Editor, Senior News Writer

As news editor, managed a full-time staff of three, assigning and editing stories, writing news stories and a weekly city hall column, and contributing to the Stranger’s blog, Slog. As senior news writer, independently reported and wrote multiple news and analysis stories weekly, and several blog posts daily, on tight deadlines. 


Seattle Weekly
Staff Writer

Covered city and state politics, with an emphasis on transportation and housing.

Austin Chronicle
Senior News Editor, News Reporter

Assigned, edited and wrote news stories and City Hall column for Austin’s alternative weekly, with  focus on state and local politics.

Texas Observer
Political Writer

Covered state politics for weekly magazine founded by Molly Ivins.

Public Speaking

Visiting lecturer, expert panelist, radio and television talk show guest, forum moderator, media trainer, and keynote speaker on a variety of topics, ranging from journalism to news and politics to recovery and sobriety. 


Seattle’s Most Influential News Reporter, Seattle Magazine

“News Nerd of the Year,” Seattle Magazine

NARAL Power of Choice Award

Government Affairs Reporter of the Year, Seattle Municipal League

Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Award


B.A., Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin