Ese Olumhense, David Brand and Liz Donovan will join the nonprofit’s editorial team this spring covering government, housing and climate change.

Courtesy of the authors

City Limits on Wednesday announced the hiring of three experienced reporters to its editorial team covering city government, housing and climate change.

Ese Olumhense will start in May as a senior reporter/editor covering the government, politics and investigations beat, taking over lead coverage of the 2021 elections.

Olumhense is an investigative reporter and adjunct assistant professor at Columbia Journalism School. She has worked at THE CITY, the Chicago Tribune and the Investigative Fund; as a freelance producer she has worked on programs for MTV and Netflix. She is also a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and was a fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism there.

In 2017, while reporting as an Ida B. Wells Fellow, Ese produced an in-depth investigation for City Limits looking into NYCHA’s procedures for relocating victims and witnesses of violent crime in public housing, a story that won a 2018 New York Press Club Award and a Front Page Award.

David Brand will join City Limits later in May as a senior reporter/editor covering housing and homelessness, continuing City Limits’ extensive coverage of city land use and development with a renewed focus on the ongoing evictions and shelter system crises.

Brand served for three years as the editor of the Queens Daily Eagle, a daily print newspaper covering the World’s Borough, and has written for The Nation, CityLab and Gothamist. He is the co-host of City Watch, a one-hour weekly program on radio station WBAI.

Prior to his career in journalism, Brand worked as a licensed social worker. He has also reported dozens of freelance stories for City Limits since 2017, including a series on Family Homelessness and another on the intersection of art, politics and policy. His article about artists with disabilities fighting for inclusion in the city’s cultural plans earned a 2018 Ippies Award for Best Social Issues Story.

Liz Donovan will join City Limits in June as a reporter covering climate, health and the environment. Donovan is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program of The GroundTruth Project that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover under-reported topics.

Donovan is an experienced multimedia journalist who most recently served as a Global Migration Project Fellow with Columbia Journalism Investigations, and as a youth journalism instructor at The School of The New York Times. She is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Sciences Po School of Journalism.

Olumhense, Brand and Donovan will join City Limits’ existing editorial team which includes Executive Editor Jeanmarie Evelly; Jarrett Murphy, City Limits’ longtime editorial leader who will transition to Contributing Editor as he departs this spring to attend nursing school; and Spanish-language Reporter/Editor Daniel Parra. Parra joined City Limits in 2019 to spearhead the outlet’s bilingual news initiative, Una Ciudad Sin Limites, and he co-hosts a weekly policy podcast in partnership with El Diario.

City Limits uses investigative journalism through the prism of New York City to identify urban problems, examine their causes, explore solutions, and equip communities to take action. Founded in 1976 in the midst of New York’s fiscal crisis, City Limits exists to inform democracy and empower citizens to create a more just city. The organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by foundation support, ad sponsorship and donations from readers.

With a staff of nine, City Limits provides in-depth coverage of housing, the COVID-19 crises, climate resiliency, aging, politics and more; operates a youth training program; co-hosts a weekly radio show; and operates the Voices of New York project and Una Ciudad Sin Limites, a Spanish-language reporting program. The outlet is celebrating it’s 45th anniversary this year.

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