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

The biggest gender gap in years in CA's Legislature

As California lawmakers begin a new session, data shows the 120-member Legislature is far more male and white than the state it represents.

AP calls close race for Rep. Darrell Issa

The controversial congressman won re-election in a tight race to represent parts of San Diego and Orange Counties, according to the Associated Press.

LA has the second most airplane laser beam strikes

Lasers beamed aimed at airplanes are a growing risk and L.A. is a national hotspot for the problem.

How does this year's rainfall in SoCal stack up?

As Southern California moves into another year of drought, every drop of rain helps. But just how much rain is falling? We're tracking rain gauges across the region to help answer that question.

When it rains, it pours... bacteria into the ocean

The rain fell hard enough to swell rivers, flood freeways and knock out electricity. That's good news for drought-stricken Southern California, but bad news for beachgoers.

4.1 million ballots left to process in California

Several close races are in the balance while votes remain to be tallied across California, according to Secretary of State figures. About a million of those are in Los Angeles County.

Millions of ballots still need to be processed in California

Election Day is in the rearview mirror, but more than 4 million ballots in California still haven’t been processed. Those votes could still swing tight races across the state.

Bitter Inland Empire election unseats Democrat incumbent

In a hard-fought, expensive race to represent the Inland Empire, incumbent Assemblymember Cheryl Brown fell to challenger Eloise Reyes. Both are Democrats.

Charter school-supported candidates successful in state races

Charter school advocates flooded state legislative races with more than $18 million in campaign spending — and mostly got the results they were seeking.

LA says 'yes' to tax increase for transportation

Los Angeles County voters weighed in Tuesday on a proposal to raise the sales tax to fund billions of dollars in transportation projects.

How many LA voters will show up on Election Day?

If history is any guide, a majority of registered voters will cast a ballot. L.A. County's voter turnout in the last presidential election, in 2012, was 71 percent.

#WhoMailedIt: KPCC breaks down political mailers

KPCC has been collecting political mail this year and a number of themes reappear on mailers for different candidates in different races.

KPCC story on Inland Empire election makes its way into political mailers

The mailers come amid a contentious race for state Assembly in the Inland Empire's 47th District. KPCC did not participate in the mailers or endorse a candidate.

How charter school advocates became top campaign spenders

No organization in the state has spent more outside money in the 2016 election cycle than two pro-charter committees. They've spent $17 million on state contests.

Charts: Money from charter school advocates in 2016 elections

Explore the funding and political spending of groups advocating for charter schools in California.