Aaron Mendelson

Investigative Reporter

Contact Aaron Mendelson

I use data to power accountability journalism. That means digging through databases and public records to uncover stories about how your identity and zip code can affect the kind of justice you get in Southern California.

As a data reporter, my work spans different beats. I’ve covered the avalanche of outside money in local politics, spiking firearms sales, Los Angeles’ bicycle infrastructure, and police militarization. I helped build a unique database on police shootings in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties for KPCC’s Officer Involved project.

I attended Macalester College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and got my start in journalism at KFAI Fresh Air Radio in Minneapolis.

Have a question you want me to answer? Ask me below.

Stories by Aaron Mendelson

Lottery sales fast-paced in low-income, Latino and Asian neighborhoods

Lottery losses are felt more acutely in certain neighborhoods: KPCC/LAist reviewed store-by-store sales data from the lottery, revealing that those booming sales happen disproportionately in census tracts that are low-income and non-white.

California Lottery Sales Are Shattering Records — But Schools Aren’t Hitting The Jackpot

The California Lottery is minting money. This year, revenues will soar to $6.9 billion. That should be good news for the state’s schools, the lottery's only beneficiary. Yet even as ticket sales have skyrocketed, California schools aren’t seeing much of a return on that investment

2018 primary election: Newsom, Cox secure spots in general election for governor

Follow the latest on all the news from Tuesday's California primary election here, including updated results.

Does your county turn out to vote in midterm primaries?

KPCC charted voter turnout in each of California's 58 counties, stretching back to the midterm primary in 1990. The elections are typically low turnout, even by California standards. 2018's midterms will decide which party controls Congress and help determine the next governor.

SoCal lawmakers accused of harassment struggle to raise campaign cash

State Senator Tony Mendoza and Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, both Democrats, have lagged behind their competitors in fundraising.

LA Sheriff's watchdog is reviewing deputy shooting investigations after KPCC reports

The Sheriff's inspector general has ordered a review of a shooting investigation and other issues raised by KPCC's podcast "Repeat," which looked at deputies with multiple shootings.

Residents of another large OC homeless encampment await eviction

The latest scheduled eviction of homeless people living in a large-scale encampment in Orange County comes after a dramatic week in in the county, where officials are struggling to handle a growing homeless crisis.

Why can't American Samoans be citizens? Lawsuit says they should be

The suit is of great interest to Southern California's estimated 27,000 Samoans. Of the 16 U.S. territories, American Samoa is the only one whose residents aren't U.S. citizens.

Orange County approved — then caved — on a plan to shelter homeless people

"No one wants to have or host this difficult population. Who's willing to step up?"

Trump waited 417 days to visit California – longer than any president in decades

The nation's president has finally come to California. Just after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Donald Trump set foot in California for the first time as president — more than 400 days into his term.

Sexual harassment a persistent, costly problem for City of Los Angeles

The city has paid out millions since 2011 for settlements or judgments involving allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Why LA city sexual harassment claims have gone way up

Until recently, the city of LA's Personnel Department had received just 35 reports of harassment in a five-year stretch. Recently, reports have drastically increased.

Garcetti's PAC raises $120,000 in first few weeks

As Garcetti ponders a run for the White House in 2020, his activity in the 2018 midterms represent an early entrance onto the national stage.

Thomas Fire fully contained, as firefighting costs set new record

The Thomas Fire burned through more than 440 square miles and left several communities vulnerable to the mudslides that would ultimately hit earlier this week.

LA County had 78 police shootings in 2017

That amounts to roughly one shooting every fifth day. It's in line with the trend of recent years.