Taking the lead with a 21-point advantage, Kenneth Mejia, is now Los Angeles’ newly-elected City Controller assuming city-wide office after cutting the edge against City Councilmember Paul Koretz.
The 32-year-old is the first Filipino American to take the position. As a CPA and community militant, Mejia is pleased to embody the distinct community of L.A.
“We have a very diverse population in L.A. and I feel very proud and honored to represent that community and coming from a minority background makes you more empathetic about the people you’re fighting for,” Mejia said as quoted in NBC News.
He achieved a double-sweeping win after attaining more votes than any mayoral candidates and concluding the election with over 100,000 votes higher than Koretz, a radical and experienced public officer, which accordingly is a sign of many Angelenos’ renouncement of the status quo.
Mejia was also once an organizer of the L.A. Tenants Union who initiated the legalization of homelessness and made the concerned authorities liable for it.
The newly-elected City Controller mentioned that he eyes transforming the system and making it worker-friendly. He likewise shared that a controller is “the city’s accountant and paymaster,” which is different from high-profile City Council positions since he cannot promulgate a legislation or amend the city budget. These restrictions fit him wonderfully as a CPA and organizer, making his work more intriguing.
“You don’t really have to push an agenda when you’re running to present data and show numbers,” Mejia continues, “They have a story in themselves,” he added.
After the City Council decided to ban homeless encampments 500 feet from schools and daycare centers, Mejia calculated how many camps will be affected and created a digital map of 1,900 schools and daycare centers in the city, showing that 20% of the walkways would no longer be available as a campsite. Mejia’s staff employed computer technology to be more transparent to the public, especially regarding finances.