The Los Angeles Comptroller is the official responsible for paying the city’s bills and conducting fiscal and performance audits of its various departments and programs. Being elected by voters – rather than hired – gives you the potential to analyze data independently, and be accountable to residents.
In the campaign to replace outgoing comptroller Ron Galperín – the primaries will take place on June 7 and the general elections on November 8 – there are seven candidates, including one well-known and one surprising.
Paul Koretz is a City Councilman and former State Assemblyman and Mayor of West Hollywood. He has served the population, but lacks the necessary accounting and auditing experience.
Kenneth Mejía has, more than a past in elected office, a background as a community activist in progressive positions such as being active in the Los Angeles Tenants Union.
He is a different candidate. He catches the attention of young voters through a massive Tik Tok campaign. Or numerous gigantic billboards.
In one of his short videos he says: “I am an outsider who wants to hold the city accountable for its actions and let you know how your money is being spent.”
He says his campaign has the most individual donors in the city of Los Angeles.
La Opinion supports Kenneth Mejía’s candidacy for Los Angeles comptroller and calls on its readers to vote for him on June 7.
He was born in Sylmar to Catholic Filipino parents; he was raised, along with his three brothers, by his mother. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and an auditor.
Mejía’s campaign, as reflected on his website, is fresh and distinct.
A special example of this is the list of resources and information of the type that could be in the hands of the City Comptroller, which Mejía obtained, and which he makes available to the public for community use, among other documents.
Examples: Where are the most affordable housing units in Los Angeles? Where are the most frequently cited parking spaces? What are the areas of the city where homeless people are prohibited from sitting on the sidewalk, sleeping, or owning personal property?
In this regard, he says in his response to written questions from La Opinion:
“Many Angelenos have no idea how their money is being spent and our campaign is already working by providing financial education, resources and transparency into the city’s finances.”
It especially points out areas of unnecessary spending in the Police Department.
Kenneth Mejía makes important promises to the Latino community, which we will remember: “I will bring up how much money we spend on community outreach for the Latino community, to ensure that they know about the resources of the city.”
And also: “Many Latinos are renters who are taken advantage of by landlords who illegally raise their rents, fail to repair their units, or harass them into leaving rent-controlled units. I will make sure the City enforces laws against harassment from abusive landlords.”
He acknowledges that “Many Latinos live in treeless communities like South Central… or near oil drilling sites in Wilmington. I will audit the city’s progress in ensuring environmental justice for Latinos.”
He has been criticized for displaying poor judgment for a series of 2016 tweets attacking then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, in support of the Green party. He deleted the tweets and declares them a thing of the past.
For his robust program aimed at informing the community, for the professional knowledge he can bring to the position, on June 7, vote for Kenneth Mejía!