32-year-old Kenneth Mejia took to his social media accounts to announce his victory.
“WE DID IT! WE WON BY 23 POINTS!
FIRST CPA as City Controller
FIRST Filipino elected official in LA
FIRST AAPI citywide elected official
FIRST POC as City Controller in over 100 years more to come!” he wrote.
Mejia held a 21-point lead over City Councilmember Paul Koretz when Koretz conceded last week.
“Coming from a minority background makes you more empathetic about the people you’re fighting for,” Mejia told NBC.
A former organizer for the L.A. Tenants Union, Mejia ran on a progressive platform centered around decriminalizing homelessness and holding the police and other city departments accountable. He’s pledged to audit the cost of homeless encampment sweeps and make recommendations on alternative responses that prioritize housing and services.
“We want to change the system against which community organizers are fighting and make it better for working-class people,” he said.
Filipino Americans are also celebrating Attorney General Rob Bonta’s election. He won by a wide margin over Republican defense attorney Nathan Hochman.
The Associated Press called the race, though official results will take longer to finalize. Bonta was leading with more than 64% of the votes counted.
Bonta, a former San Francisco Bay Area state lawmaker known for his progressive views on criminal justice, campaigned on the promise to defend California’s robust abortion laws and continue his work to end gun violence and illegal firearm ownership.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Bonta last year after Xavier Becerra resigned to become U.S. Health and Human Services secretary. This was Bonta’s first run for statewide office.
During his tenure, Bonta prioritized ending an “epidemic of hate” against communities of color and other vulnerable groups and has used a new “housing strike force” within the California Department of Justice to pressure local governments into compliance with state laws.