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

#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.

Inside the high-tech, data-driven world of campaign mail

Campaign mailers are blanketing mailboxes across California. And while they may seem low-tech, the people sending you that mail know exactly what they're doing.

3 similar letters from 3 political wives hit California mailboxes

The three letters share the same letterhead and font, and some of the same wording. One of them comes from Christine Antonovich, whose husband Mike is running for state Senate.

#WhoMailedIt: Fact-checking political mailers

With glossy mailers stacking up in mailboxes across the state, KPCC decided to fact-check a handful of pieces collected through our #WhoMailedIt effort.

In LA supervisor race, a battle between change and experience

Two supervisors candidates, a longtime board insider and a newcomer to county politics, seek to represent District 5, which stretches from Santa Clarita to Covina.

LA County sheriff's sergeant shot, killed; suspect arrested

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Steve Owen was shot and killed on Wednesday, a department spokesperson said at a press conference.

FAQ: What's 'dark money' and other murky campaign finance terms

As the November general election comes ever closer, you're hearing more and more about donor limits, "dark money," and super PACs. So, what do all these terms mean?

Expensive Inland Empire race pits oil against labor

The Inland Empire's 47th Assembly District contest is seeing more outside spending than any other state race, and it's revealing new legislative political fault lines.

#WhoMailedIt: Share your campaign mail with KPCC

Vote-by-mail ballots for the November election also bring pitches from the candidates. KPCC wants campaign mailers for a project we're calling "Who Mailed It."

LA County law enforcement shot at cars 28 times over 5 years

Only four agencies had multiple vehicle shootings, including Glendale, which has a policy allowing police to shoot at cars they perceive are being used as weapons.

Wonder what kinds of data local governments collect on you?

Most California cities are complying with a new law that requires they disclose the types of data they collect, but some Southern California governments are lagging.

California students post gains on state tests, but big gaps remain

It's the second year that the public has seen results from the new exam, giving the first opportunity to chart progress over time.