Aaron Mendelson

Data 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

Charter school groups spending big in California legislative races

If you vote in the 43rd Assembly District, you've probably seen the glossy mailers, many of them bearing negative claims about one candidate. Here's where they came from.

Bike To Work Day is Thursday. But biking to work in SoCal is still rare

Pasadena has the highest share of bike commuters of any city around Southern California. But cities in the north of the state are the true bike commuting hotspots.

Metro's buses, trains have trouble sticking to schedule, data show

Metro's trains are late just 1 percent of the time, though that number has ticked up in recent years. Buses can lag behind, but some lines much more so than others.

2015 saw surge in LA sheriff's deputies shooting at cars

L.A. County sheriff's deputies shot into moving cars eight times in 2015—a practice discouraged as "dangerous" by department policy. Sheriff Jim McDonnell promises changes.

Shooting at cars is a bad idea. So why do LA deputies still do it?

While LAPD officers have largely stopped shooting into moving cars, LA County sheriff's deputies have continued the practice despite policy changes.

Map: LA's missing bus shelters

In 2001, a contractor promised to install hundreds of shelters in Los Angeles. But the agreement unraveled and the majority still haven't gone up. See where on KPCC's map.

LA city bus shelters going unbuilt as city seeks to renegotiate contract

A KPCC probe found the city's bus shelter program has collapsed, with hundreds of structures unbuilt and millions in projected revenues yet to be realized.

California gun sales spiking in 2016

Gun sales surged last year after the San Bernardino shooting. Those sky-high sales have carried over into 2016, new data shows.

LAPD failed to report policy on license plate readers

Law enforcement across Southern California employ automated license plate readers. But many have failed to make their policies on the technology public.

Revised water conservation targets are good news for SoCal providers

Districts such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the city of Long Beach would have met their new water conservation targets.

Students track the invisible threat of air pollution

Real-life science lessons in Lincoln Heights are leading to student advocates for cleaner air.

How much rain has SoCal received this winter? Not much at all

How much rain has El Niño brought this winter? We crunched rainfall data from 20 rain gauges in greater Southern California to get an answer.

Map: Where child care facilities are next to highways

Living next to heavy traffic can be harmful to children's health. Yet dozens of child care centers in Los Angeles County are located next to heavily-trafficked highways.

Polluted Preschools: 169 LA childcare centers are too close to freeways

A KPCC investigation found 169 childcare centers located too close to highly-trafficked freeways, putting small children's health at risk.

Man paralyzed by LAPD gets $5.7 million one decade later

LAPD officers shot then-gang member Robert Contreras in the back and left him paralyzed. Officers thought he had a gun, but he ended up being unarmed.