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My first column ran in The Seattle Times today, which means it’s time to formally introduce myself to you.

I’m your new associate opinions editor / digital. I’m going to prove to you that there is such a thing as fresh, fact-based, respectful, innovative opinions in the digital world. You’ll find it here, all day, every day, and on Twitter @seatimesopinion and our Facebook page.

I am honored to carry on The Seattle Times’ great tradition of giving you a voice through our op-ed guest columns. Find out more about what we look for and how to submit an op-ed here. Don’t let our guidelines limit you either. We have already shaken things up with a hiphop-ed by the Blue Scholars’ Prometheus Brown about the Seattle shootings.

Our op-eds should feel like your dream dinner party. Who are the three people you would most want to have dinner with? Tell me so we can recruit them to write op-eds for us. (Heads up: Jesus is probably not available.) Email me at, call me at 206-464-2958 or tweet me @sharonpianchan.

On joining the editorial board: It’s like joining the U.S. Supreme Court, but the writing is better. Everyone is brilliant, articulate, witty and steeped in the history and context of our region. Kate Riley is Ginsburg. Bruce Ramsey is a libertarian Scalia. Lance Dickie is Breyer. Lynne K. Varner is Sotomayor. They might disagree with me about their SCOTUS doppelgangers. They often do.

My politics: I support gay marriage. I don’t believe in saying yes to every levy Seattle throws at us. Everything else is on the merits.

My areas of expertise: I’ve covered some of the most important institutions here for The Seattle Times — Seattle City Hall, King County government, King County courts, the University of Washington and Microsoft. Read more of my past stories here. For the last 10 months, I was a senior producer for our digital news desk leading our home page team and helping launch our new smartphone and tablet apps.

My current writing inspirations: Tina Fey, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jay-Z, Leonard Pitts Jr., Maxine Hong Kingston, Damon Lindelhof and Carlton Cuse, Ludwig van Beethoven, Langston Hughes, Lance Dickie, Lynne K. Varner, Bruce Ramsey, John B. Saul.

Background: Like Gwen Stefani, I’m just an Orange County girl. I graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. in literature and all my pre-med requisites. My first job was at Orange Coast, a regional magazine where I was managing editor. I traded in my car for a grand piano a few years ago. I live with a wrinkly dog and my husband, Seattle Times sports reporter Danny O’Neil in Capitol Hill.

Likes: Diversity and journalism are big. For journalism to survive, we must reflect who you are and tell stories that are important to you. I’m serving as vice president of UNITY Journalists, a nonprofit alliance working on diversifying news and newsrooms across America. I previously served as president of the Asian American Journalists Association.

Hates: The ubiquity of bacon, ironic moustaches and the phrase “vibrant neighborhoods.” On the bubble: Vampires and craft cocktails. I am nominating them for a sequel to this “Portlandia” video below from Youtube user Ethosandaftermath.