Kenneth Mejia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kenneth Mejia
Kenneth Mejia, 2022.jpg
Mejia in 2022
20th City Controller of Los Angeles
Assumed office
December 12, 2022
MayorKaren Bass
Preceded byRon Galperin
Personal details
Born (1990-11-07) November 7, 1990 (age 32)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
Political partyDemocratic (before 2017; 2021–present)[2]
Other political
Green (2017–2021)
Alma materWoodbury University (B.S.)
OccupationCertified Public Accountant

Kenneth Mejia (born November 7, 1990)[3] is an American activist, accountant, and politician, serving as the City Controller of Los Angeles since 2022. A member of the Democratic Party and a former Green Party member, Mejia was a three-time candidate for the United States House of Representatives in California's 34th congressional district, prior to his candidacy and subsequent election as City Controller in 2022.[4][5][6][2]

Elected to succeed Ron Galperin, Mejia is the first Filipino American elected official in the city of Los Angeles, the first Asian American elected to a citywide office, the youngest, and the first person of color to hold the position of City Controller in over a century.

Early life and career[edit]

Mejia is Filipino American and was born and grew up in Los Angeles.[7][8] Mejia graduated from Woodbury University in two and a half years, finishing in 2010 with a B.S. in accounting.[9]

Mejia has held his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation since around 2013, although the status of his CPA license was "expired" or "inactive" from November 2018 until January 2022.[10][3] He worked at Ernst & Young but left in 2014. He then worked for a hedge fund according to his Twitter account, which he left May 6, 2016, to focus on his campaign.[9][10] In 2016, he co-founded We Can Make a Difference, a community volunteer organization that provided food and hygiene items to low-income and homeless people in Los Angeles.[11] He then worked at EVgo but left in late 2021 to focus on campaigning.[3][12][13] Mejia is a member of the LA Tenants' Union.[14]

Early political campaigns[edit]

Mejia while campaigning for Congress in 2017.

California's 34th congressional district[edit]

Mejia was inspired by the 2016 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders to engage more in politics, leading him to become a candidate to the California delegation to the Democratic National Convention.[9][15] Mejia was a write-in Democratic Party candidate in California's 34th congressional district in 2016.[16]

Having grown disenchanted with the Democratic Party, Mejia ran as a US Green Party candidate in the same district in 2017 and 2018.[17][18][6][19][20] His 2017 bid was noted for its reliance on small-dollar donations.[21] Mejia's 2018 bid advanced to the general election and yielded more than 40,000 votes, setting the record for the highest vote percentage cast for any Green candidate against a Democrat for Congress.[22][23][24] Mejia continued to work as an accountant while campaigning in 2018.[25]

Los Angeles City Controller (2022—present)[edit]


Mejia announced his candidacy for City Controller, a nonpartisan office, in the 2022 Los Angeles elections.[26] It has been historically uncommon for the city controller to have extensive accounting experience; Mejia claims the office has never been held by a CPA.[11] He was the only city candidate in 2022 position to have received ballot access through signatures alone.[5] During his candidacy, Mejia drew attention to LA fire department employees receiving more than half a million dollars a year, the use of about half of the city's funds from the American Rescue Plan on the LA police department, and the amount of police funding in the budget proposed in 2022 by Mayor Eric Garcetti.[27][28][29][26][30] Mejia published interactive online maps of affordable housing, LAPD traffic stops, parking tickets, and where LA municipal employees live.[31][32] He's also published a database of the Los Angeles City Payroll using numbers from the outgoing City Controller's website.

Mejia's past tweets criticizing Joe Biden generated controversy during the race.[2]

On June 7, 2022, Mejia took first place in the primary for LA City Controller, with over 230,163 votes. He obtained 42.75% of the vote, while opponents Paul Koretz and Stephanie Clements obtained 23.83% and 16.01%.[33] On November 8, 2022, Mejia won the general election with 62% of the vote, defeating Koretz.[4]


Mejia appointed Rick Cole to serve as his Chief Deputy Controller and Sergio Perez to serve as Chief of Accountability and Oversight. Cole is an Urban Studies Professor and was the former mayor of Pasadena and deputy mayor for Los Angeles. Sergio Perez left his position as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Inspector General to serve.[34]

Electoral history[edit]

2016 California's 34th congressional district election[edit]

California's 34th congressional district election, 2016[35][36]
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Xavier Becerra (incumbent) 71,982 77.6
Democratic Adrienne Nicole Edwards 19,624 21.2
Democratic Kenneth Mejia (write-in) 1,177 1.3
Total votes 92,783 100.0
General election
Democratic Xavier Becerra (incumbent) 122,842 77.2
Democratic Adrienne Nicole Edwards 36,314 22.8
Total votes 159,156 100.0
Democratic hold

2017 California's 34th congressional district special election[edit]

California's 34th congressional district special election, 2017[37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jimmy Gomez 10,728 25.5
Democratic Robert Lee Ahn 9,415 22.2
Democratic Maria Cabildo 4,259 10.1
Democratic Sara Hernandez 2,358 5.6
Democratic Arturo Carmona 2,205 5.2
Democratic Wendy Carrillo 2,195 5.2
Green Kenneth Mejia 1,964 4.6
Democratic Yolie Flores 1,368 3.2
Republican William Morrison 1,360 3.2
Democratic Tracy Van Houten 1,042 2.5
Democratic Alejandra Campoverdi 1,001 2.4
Democratic Vanessa Aramayo 853 2.0
Democratic Sandra Mendoza 674 1.6
Democratic Steven Mac 663 1.6
Democratic Raymond Meza 509 1.2
No party preference Mark Edward Padilla 427 1.0
Democratic Ricardo De La Fuente 331 0.8
Libertarian Angela McArdle 319 0.7
Democratic Adrienne Nicole Edwards 182 0.4
Democratic Richard Joseph Sullivan 155 0.4
Democratic Armando Sotomayor 118 0.3
Democratic Tenaya Wallace 103 0.2
Democratic Melissa "Sharkie" Garza 79 0.2
Democratic Michelle Walker (write-in) 0 0.0
Total votes 42,308 100.0

2018 California's 34th congressional district election[edit]

California's 34th congressional district election, 2018[38][39]
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jimmy Gomez (incumbent) 54,661 78.7
Green Kenneth Mejia 8,987 12.9
Libertarian Angela Elise McArdle 5,804 8.4
Total votes 69,452 100.0
General election
Democratic Jimmy Gomez (incumbent) 110,195 72.5
Green Kenneth Mejia 41,711 27.5
Total votes 151,906 100.0
Democratic hold

2022 Los Angeles City Controller election[edit]

2022 Los Angeles City Controller election
Primary election
Candidate Votes %
Kenneth Mejia 240,374 43.12
Paul Koretz 131,921 23.67
Stephanie Clements 88,678 15.91
David T. Vahedi 39,240 7.04
James O'Gabhann III 21,984 3.94
Reid Lidow 21,769 3.90
Rob Wilcox 13,460 2.41
Total votes 557,426 100.00
General election
Kenneth Mejia 509,757 63.32%
Paul Koretz 295,338 36.68%
Total votes 805,095 100.00


  1. ^ "Meet Kenneth". April 15, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "He called Biden a rapist. Now his deleted tweets are shaking up the city controller's race". Los Angeles Times. April 22, 2022. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c simonchinivizyan (June 3, 2022). "Kenneth Mejia, City Controller Race Frontrunner, Claimed Bogus CPA Status For Years". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved June 17, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Election Results". Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Regardie, Jon (March 14, 2022). "Election L.A. 2022: Angelenos Will Have a Lot of Choices on June 7". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Stack, Liam (August 1, 2018). "Green Party, Eyeing the 2020 Presidential Race, Prepares for the Midterms". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  7. ^ "LA-based Filipino American candidates sound off on political, police accountability —". Asian Journal News. June 20, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  8. ^ Radio, Southern California Public (March 29, 2017). "34th District: Meet the candidates vying to replace Xavier Becerra". Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c "Alumni Mejia Write In Campaign". Woodbury University. May 25, 2016. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Congressional candidate Kenneth Mejia on going Green and growing up Fil-Am —". Asian Journal News. September 8, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  11. ^ a b "Kenneth Mejia Wants You to Know How LA is Spending Your Tax Dollars". Knock LA. April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  12. ^ "Kenneth Mejia Contributions" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Mejia, Kenneth. "Meet Kenneth".
  14. ^ "What Does a Progressive City Controller Look Like? Kenneth Mejia Will Tell You". RIFT Magazine. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  15. ^ "Essential Politics: State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra to open Washington office, cap-and-trade auction revenue results are revealed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  16. ^ "Essential Politics: Archived stories from December 2016". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  17. ^ Cook, Rhodes (November 12, 2019). America Votes 33: 2017-2018, Election Returns by State. SAGE Publications. ISBN 978-1-5443-5446-0.
  18. ^ Mai-Duc, Christine (March 15, 2017). "The latest test of the Bernie Sanders movement may be in this L.A. race for Congress". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  19. ^ "California Needs Kenneth Mejia in Congress. An Interview with the Green Party's Rising Star". HuffPost. April 2, 2017. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  20. ^ "Inside the Campaign of Green Party Congressional Candidate Kenneth Mejia". Truthdig: Expert Reporting, Current News, Provocative Columnists. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  21. ^ "California politics updates: Gov. Brown takes his transportation plan on the road, 'sanctuary state' bill amended". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  22. ^ Medenilla, Klarize (June 8, 2018). "Some Fil-Am congressional candidates advance to Calif. general election". USA. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  23. ^[bare URL PDF]
  24. ^ "Green Party of the United States", Wikipedia, April 14, 2022, retrieved April 15, 2022
  25. ^ It's not easy to run, he says, but it's worth it - CNN Video, retrieved April 12, 2022
  26. ^ a b Romero, Joaquin (August 27, 2021). "These Progressive Candidates Want to Transform LA in 2022". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  27. ^ "Column: To anti-vax firefighters, bye-bye. Now let's build back better at the LAFD". Los Angeles Times. December 4, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  28. ^ "Update: At The Peak of The Defund Era, L.A. Received $600 million in COVID Relief, Half Went to LAPD". L.A. TACO. March 22, 2022. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  29. ^ "California cities spent huge share of federal Covid relief funds on police". the Guardian. April 7, 2022. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  30. ^ "Revealed: LAPD used 'strategic communications' firm to track 'defund the police' online". the Guardian. December 15, 2021. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  31. ^ "Endorsement: Kenneth Mejia for L.A. city controller". Los Angeles Times. April 20, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  32. ^ "Resources - Mejia for Controller".
  33. ^ "Election Results". Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  34. ^ "DWP's first inspector general leaves after seven months". Los Angeles Times. December 2, 2022. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  35. ^ "Primary Election - Statement of Vote, June 7, 2016" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  36. ^ "General Election - Statement of Vote, November 8, 2016" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  37. ^ "Final Official Election Results - Congressional District 34 Special Primary Election, April 4, 2017". California Secretary of State. April 4, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  38. ^ "2018 California primary election results" (PDF). Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  39. ^ "2018 California general election results" (PDF). Retrieved June 10, 2019.