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LA City Council
Everything you need to know about who is running in the June 7 primary.

What does L.A.'s City Council do?

Those who follow city government closely say Los Angeles’ City Council is the most powerful city council in the U.S. At just 15 members, each person elected to serve represents about 260,000 residents within a specific geographic area.

Everything you need as you prep for the June 7 Primary Election — study our interactive voter guides, ask questions, print your ballot and more.

How does that stack up against other big cities? Well, the two other biggest cities in the nation — New York and Chicago — have 51 and 50 city council members, respectively.

Back in 1925, when the city made the switch from at-large representation to districts, each council member represented fewer than 39,000 people. Some observers of L.A. politics, including the Los Angeles Times editorial board, argue it’s time to expand the council. But for right now, we’re talking about 15 council seats, of which eight are currently up for election.

[Note: these districts just went through an extensive review and reshaping based on the results of the 2020 Census. You might not be voting in the same city council district as you did in 2020.]

With so much power in relatively few hands, the relationship the mayor has with the council is particularly important. The mayor needs the council's support to enact policy. Think of the council as L.A.'s legislature. While the mayor can make proposals and rally public support, it’s the council that writes and passes the laws.

So what exactly do members of the City Council do?

  • Create local laws, known as ordinances (the mayor then approves or vetoes those ordinances)
  • Order elections
  • Impose and regulate city taxes
  • Authorize public improvements
  • Approve city contracts
  • Adopt traffic regulations 

Councilmembers also vote on the mayor's proposed annual budget, which allocates funds for city departments. In all, the city employs about 50,000 people — second only to New York City — in more than 40 departments. It’s a lot of money to hold the purse strings for: The city’s proposed FY 2022-23 budget totals just under $12 billion.

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Here are some of the things they don’t do

  • Oversee the Los Angeles Unified School District (the school board does that) 
  • Oversee social services such as mental health (this is handled at the county level) 
  • Make decisions regarding people who live in unincorporated areas of the county (places that aren’t part of the city of Los Angeles or any other city) or people who live in other incorporated cities, such as West Hollywood or Inglewood

In the last few years, the City Council has made headlines for a string of corruption scandals. Three sitting or former councilmembers have been charged with corruption since 2020 (although allegations against Mark Ridley-Thomas date to his tenure on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors).

How do they work?

The council is governed by a set of rules covering everything from when and how often it meets to who runs the meetings (the president, who is selected by fellow council members) and how the public can participate (“each speaker shall be limited to one minute of general public comment each regular meeting”).

In addition to regular meetings of the full council, there are numerous committee meetings focused on areas such as transportation, public health, budget and finance, immigrant affairs, public safety, and information and technology. Some cover a range of topics, like the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and River Committee, and the Personnel, Audits, and Animal Welfare Committee.

See a full list of council committees and their meeting schedule.

A City Council term is four years; a councilmember can serve a maximum of three terms. The current annual salary for a councilmember is about $224,000.

You might recognize their work from… 

The City Council works as a collective to pass laws that affect the entire city, but your councilmember can have a big impact on your community. That’s because councilmembers have a lot of power to direct funds within their districts.

For example, councilmembers typically have discretion over money earmarked for transportation safety improvements in their district. LAist previously reported on how this played out in two different districts where pedestrians were killed at intersections — in District 5, traffic safety upgrades came less than two months after the pedestrian died, while the other community, which sits in District 10, has been waiting for more than two years for similar improvements.

Councilmembers also have a lot of discretion over how strongly to enforce city ordinances such as the anti-camping ban, which forbids people who are unhoused from camping on public property close to locations such as schools, parks, libraries, and underpasses. That means a person living outside in a tent might have a significantly different experience depending on which district they live in.

Mitch O’Farrell, who represents District 13 and is up for re-election, became the face of the decision to clear a big encampment at Echo Park last year. Camping sites have been targeted under the ordinance in other areas of the city, with the notable exception of District 4, represented by Nithya Raman, and District 11, represented by Mike Bonin. Both Raman and Bonin voted against the ordinance and enforcement resolutions. Neither have enforced the anti-camping law in their district.

What’s on the agenda for next term?

  • Funding for law enforcement will continue to be a contentious issue. Some residents continue to call for cutting the LAPD budget, some call for defunding the police altogether, and others want more police hired to combat the rising crime rate
  • The homelessness crisis continues to play a major role in city politics, sparking sharp divisions over how best to get people off the streets and into permanent housing
  • The city is falling far short of promises to end traffic deaths by 2025, with the death toll instead rising sharply. The City Council recently called for an audit of Vision Zero, the program created to meet that ambitious goal

What seats are up for election?

How Local Primaries Work
  • If any one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the June primary, they will win the office outright. Otherwise, the two candidates who receive the most votes will advance to the November runoff.

The following districts are on the June 7 primary election ballot: District 1, District 3, District 5, District 7, District 9, District 11, District 13, and District 15.

If you’re not sure which district you will be voting in, you can look it up using our interactive voting tool, Voter's Edge. Just enter your address to see all the races on your ballot.

District 1

Map shows the outline of the district which has the 110 running through it. Neighborhoods include all or part of Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Solano Canyon, Elysian Park, Echo Park, Angelino Heights, Temple Beaudry, Chinatown, Downtown, Westlake, Rampart Village, Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights, Pico Union, University Park, Victor Heights, Koreatown
District 1 boundaries
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 1 includes all or part of the following neighborhoods: Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Solano Canyon, Elysian Park, Echo Park, Angelino Heights, Temple Beaudry, Chinatown, Downtown, Westlake, Rampart Village, Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights, Pico Union, University Park, Victor Heights, Koreatown.


The Candidates

Gil Cedillo

Incumbent

What he’s known for

Gil Cedillo is a veteran politician who has held the seat for two terms since being elected in 2013. He has deep union roots, serving as general manager from 1990-1996 of L.A. County’s largest union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 660. Cedillo ran for council after serving 14 years in the California legislature in both the State Assembly and State Senate.

Cedillo is best known for his immigrant advocacy. He introduced AB 60 (2002), which allows people who entered the U.S. without legal permission to receive a driver’s license, and AB 130 and AB 131. The two-bill package, known as “The California Dream Act,” was signed into law in 2011 and allows California college students without immigration documents to apply for financial aid.

What he’s running on

  • Housing: As chair of the Council Housing Committee, Cedillo says he is committed to building 100,000 housing units over the next 10 years.
  • Immigrant rights: Cedillo chairs the newly created Committee on Immigrant Affairs, Civil Rights and Equity. He says in that role he has helped provide resources for immigrants and worked to strengthen Special Order 40, which limits the city’s relationship with federal ICE enforcement.
  • COVID-19 recovery:  Cedillo cites resources he helped provide to constituents during the first three months of the pandemic and his work as a member of the Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment.

Eunisses Hernandez

Community Activist

What she’s known for

Community and policy advocate Eunisses Herrnandez argues she’s the right person to untangle decades of bad policy and leadership at City Hall, which she blames for the housing crisis, overpopulated jails and underfunded social services.

She co-founded La Defensa, a criminal justice reform group focused on alternatives to incarceration and reduction of the L.A. County jail population. In 2020, she campaigned for the successful passage of Measure J, which requires no less than 10% of L.A. County’s unrestricted general funds go to community programs and incarceration alternatives to reduce the impact of racial and economic injustice.

What she’s running on

  • Public safety: Hernandez says her focus will be on “investing in policies and programs that address the root causes of poverty and violence, and not just the symptoms.” She would not vote to hire more police, and would instead advocate for more mental health clinicians and other non-law enforcement approaches.
  • Affordable housing and homelessness: Hernandez says the focus must be on long-term housing solutions and criticizes Cedillo for what she calls a lack of urgency “to stop the displacement of low-income people, migrants, families, and our elders.” She also criticizes the clearing of encampments as “cruel.”

District 3

Map shows boundaries of District 3, which has the 101 running across it. Neighborhoods include all or part of the West San Fernando Valley communities of Canoga Park, Tarzana, Reseda, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.
District 3
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 3 includes all or part of the West San Fernando Valley communities of Canoga Park, Tarzana, Reseda, Winnetka, and Woodland Hills.


The Candidates

Bob Blumenfield

Incumbent

Two-term incumbent Bob Blumenfield is a 30-year veteran of national and local politics. Before getting into electoral politics, he worked for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Blumenfield served five years in the California State Assembly before being elected to the City Council in 2013.

Blumenfield spotlights his work to improve quality-of-life issues in his district, including homelessness, job growth, city services and environmental infrastructure. He chairs the Council’s Public Works Committee and is a member of the Budget Committee.

What he’s running on

  • Housing: Blumenfield says he’s focused on a balanced approach for new affordable housing for renters and buyers.  He wants to provide financial support to landlords hit by unpaid back rent during the pandemic, while protecting renters from eviction.  
  • Safe neighborhoods: Blumenfield says he has a track record of creating policies that protect city streets, parks and public transportation lines. He highlights $100,000 he earmarked for additional LAPD enforcement of speeding and street racing in his district.  
  • Environment: Blumenfield says he added five new parks to the district and introduced the “Cool Pavements” program, an asphalt treatment to lower neighborhood temperatures.  

Scott Silverstein

Businessman 

Entrepreneur and businessman Scott Silverstein says his “no excuse” attitude is lacking at L.A. City Hall. He says his business sense combined with his public service record can deliver results to District 3. Silverstein served 14 years on the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council, five years as president. He was also chairman and board member of the Child Development Institute.

What he’s running on

  • Homelessness: Silverstein proposes a services-first program to address homelessness he calls M.O.R.E.  It would reverse spending plans, putting money toward mental health services first. 
  • Public safety:  Silverstein says he’ll tackle public safety issues frustrating District 3 residents, like break-ins, aggressive panhandling and organized street racing.  
  • City services: Silverstein vows to turn around what he describes as neglect of the district infrastructure.  He pledges to clean streets and address sidewalk and road repairs by ensuring tax dollars go to basic needs. 

More resources


District 5

Map shows boundaries of District 5 which includes some or all of the following neighborhoods: Bel Air-Beverly Crest, Greater Wilshire, Mid City West, Palms, Pico, South Robertson, Westside, and Westwood.
District 5
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 5 includes some or all of the following neighborhoods: Bel Air-Beverly Crest, Greater Wilshire, Mid City West, Palms, Pico, South Robertson, Westside, and Westwood.

The termed out councilmember, Paul Koretz, is running for L.A. City Controller.


The Candidates

Jimmy Biblarz

Law professor

Jimmy Biblarz is a faculty member at UCLA Law. He argues that he can find long-term solutions to homelessness in the city by addressing poverty, evictions and the lack of resources for mental health and substance abuse care.

What he’s running on:

  • Housing: Biblarz says his family was evicted from their apartment when he was 12 years old. He says he wants to implement a housing-first model and provide financial assistance to low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness.
  • Policing: Biblarz says the police need to focus on violent crime. He proposes creating an Office of Neighborhood Safety that would coordinate non-police safety tools — such as unarmed crisis responders and community safety officers — who would work with the police. 
  • Climate change: Biblarz wants the city to invest in traffic safety infrastructure that would disincentivize people from driving cars. He also wants to increase funding to L.A.’s water conservation and water reuse efforts.
Website: jimmybiblarz.com
Campaign finance: Campaign contributions via L.A. Ethics Commission
Endorsements: none listed

More resources


Scott Epstein

Public Policy Analyst

What he’s known for:

Epstein is the founder of Midtown LA Homeless Coalition, a nonprofit that connects people experiencing homelessness with services and housing. He’s served on the Mid City West Neighborhood Council for nine years, seven of which he was the chairman.

What he’s running on:

  • Housing: Epstein says he plans to enact more renter protections, build social housing, and promote more transit-oriented housing. He suggests a range of temporary housing options for unhoused people, including safe parking, safe camping and tiny homes, as well as an expansion of permanent supportive housing.
  • Climate change: Epstein backs a fare-free public transit system and wants to redesign the city’s streets to promote biking and walking. He supports the local Green New Deal and says he will assist efforts to transition workers out of the oil and gas industry as the city moves toward a zero-carbon economy.
  • Public safety: Epstein criticizes the city’s police budget and says he will vote for re-allocating funds from policing to investments in housing, infrastructure and anti-poverty programs. 

More resources


Sam Yebri

Non-Profit Director/Business Owner

What he’s known for:

Yebri is a co-founder of 30 Years After, a nonprofit that promotes civic participation and leadership among the Iranian-American Jewish community. He has also served on the L.A. Civil Service Commission, the City Attorney’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and on L.A. County Assessor Jeff Prang’s Transition Team.

What he’s running on:

  • Environment and climate: Yebri says he will focus on reducing carbon emissions and fossil fuels
  • Homelessness: Yebri says the city should utilize Ordinance 41.18 to transition unhoused people into shelter. He says the focus needs to be on investing in rental assistance and building affordable housing. 
  • Public safety: Yebri says he plans to expand crisis intervention teams to respond to non-violent incidents as well as increase the number of police officers patrolling neighborhoods.

More resources


Katy Young Yaroslavsky

Environmental lawyer 

What she’s known for:

Yaroslavsky served for six years as L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s senior policy director for the Environment and the Arts. She developed Measure W: The Safe, Clean Water Program, which provides money for local water supplies.

What she’s running on:

  • Climate change: Yaroslavsky says she wants to create climate resilient communities that have more green space and shade. She also says she plans to prioritize infrastructure to improve biking, public transportation and electric charging.
  • Public safety: Yaroslavsky says she supports a well-funded police department and hiring more officers. She says officers should focus on solving and preventing crimes instead of responding to homelessness and mental health calls.
  • Housing: Yaroslavsky says the city must focus on slowing the rate at which people are falling into homelessness by prioritizing rental assistance. She says she will focus on better collaboration between the county and the city.

More resources


District 7

Map shows boundaries of District 7, which has the 210 Freeway running through it. Neighborhoods include all or part of the northeastern San Fernando Valley communities of North Hills, Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.
District 7
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 7 includes all or part of the northeastern San Fernando Valley communities of North Hills, Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.


The Candidates

Elisa Avalos

Community organizer and volunteer

Elisa Avalos says her work with nonprofits and civic groups makes her the best choice and advocate for her district. Avalos is the president of the Pacoima Neighborhood Council, representing renters in the area. She spent 10 years as a parent volunteer with First 5 LA, an independent public agency supporting the development of young children. She designed a mentorship program at Pacoima Charter focused on volunteerism.

What she’s running on

  • Regular neighborhood meetings: Avalos aims to hold monthly meetings with all neighborhood councils to discuss local issues and concerns.  
  • Funding oversight: Avalos wants funding for police and fire to include community oversight and community policing. She wants police response to be supplemented by mental health incident units. And, she pledges to create fiscal transparency at City Hall.  
  • Unhoused: Avalos plans to address homelessness with fiscal responsibility and create policies mindful of the needs of the unhoused, businesses and residents. She says she’ll also work on mental health services.

Monica Rodriguez

Incumbent

Monica Rodriguez is running for a second-term. She is the third Latina to serve on L.A. City Council. She says her first generation and working family roots fuel her work ethic. Among accomplishments she highlights are the “Good Neighbor Policy” which helped create safer homeless shelters and the first safe parking site for RV’s.

What she’s running on

  • Neighborhood priorities: Rodriguez says she’ll prioritize getting unhoused families off the streets, strengthen community policing, repair sidewalks, address neighborhood blight, and protect green space.
  • Accountability and transparency: Rodriguez says she’ll create greater transparency in the city budget process, city spending and city departments.  She’ll push for reinvestment of Valley tax dollars into her district. 
  • Small businesses: Rodriguez says she’ll focus on revitalizing business corridors in her district, cut red tape for small businesses at City Hall and attract new jobs to the Valley.

District 9

Map shows boundaries of District 9 which includes all or part of the South Los Angeles communities of Vermont Square, the Central-Alameda Corridor, and Green Meadows.  It stretches north to western Downtown L.A. and includes the U.S.C campus, Exposition Park, the L.A. Live complex and the L.A. Convention Center.
District 9
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

     

District 9 includes all or part of the South Los Angeles communities of Vermont Square, the Central-Alameda Corridor, and Green Meadows. It stretches north to western Downtown L.A. and includes the U.S.C campus, Exposition Park, the L.A. Live complex and the L.A. Convention Center.


The Candidates

Curren Price Jr.

Incumbent

Curren Price Jr. is a public servant of nearly 30 years, elected to both state and local offices. He is running for a third term to represent District 9. Price spotlights his efforts to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles, improve job growth, secure legal aid for undocumented immigrants and increase green space. He is the chair of the city’s Economic Development Committee and sits on several other committees, including Immigrant Affairs and COVID-19 Recovery.

What he’s running on: 

  • Working families: Price says his work to raise the minimum wage isn’t over.  Now he has an eye on raising it again to a living wage.  Price also pledges to bring in new, better paying jobs for working families feeling the financial pinch of living in L.A.
  • Housing: Price says he’ll work to accelerate home construction and hold the city accountable for keeping up with housing demands.  He stands on his record of protecting renters from unfair rent increases and harassment. 
  • Justice reforms and safety: Price says he’s committed to a justice system that works for all, not just the rich or connected. He vows to fight for investments in mental health, addiction treatment and other services.

Dulce Vasquez

Education advocate 

Education advocate Dulce Vasquez is a mayoral appointee to the El Pueblo/Olvera Street Board of Commissioners. She previously ran a nonprofit. If elected, Vasquez wants to reimagine public safety, close the gap on education, and create greater transparency for decisions made at City Hall. Vasquez says her life as an immigrant and family financial struggles shaped her view of the world and her desire to help others.

What she’s running on

  • Housing: Vasquez says she will focus on resources to protect tenants from eviction, provide rent subsidies for those impacted by the pandemic, and support those on the cusp of homelessness with emergency services and housing.
  • Transit: Vasquez wants to create a transit plan focused on buses, rail, expanded bike paths and walkable communities.  She says it is critical to reduce reliance on vehicles.
  • Small business support: Vasquez plans to push for an economic recovery plan focused on small businesses. Support would include ongoing direct assistance from the city. She claims that was missing during COVID-19 and the subsequent economic crisis.

More resources


District 11

Map shows boundaries of District 11 which include all or part of the following Westside neighborhoods:s, Venice, Mar Vista, Westchester, Playa del Rey, Brentwood, Del Rey, Playa Vista, Ladera, Sawtelle,and the Pacific Palisades.
District 11
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 11 encompasses all or part of the following Westside neighborhoods:s, Venice, Mar Vista, Westchester, Playa del Rey, Brentwood, Del Rey, Playa Vista, Ladera, Sawtelle,and the Pacific Palisades.

It’s the wealthiest of all 15 Council districts. Eight candidates are competing for an open seat to succeed current councilmember Mike Bonin, who announced he would not be running for reelection due to health and wellness issues.

Homelessness is the central issue of this race. Bonin, known for being one of the more progressive members of City Council, supported a “housing first” approach to homelessness, which prioritizes providing housing for those experiencing homelessness without requiring them to accept services like mental health support or drug treatment, and was one of two councilmembers to oppose L.A.’s anti-camping ordinance. Several of this year’s candidates, including Allison Holdorff Polhill, Traci Park, Jim Murez and Mike Newhouse, have openly criticized these approaches.

Here are some forums the candidates participated in, which you can watch in full:


The Candidates

Erin Darling

Civil Rights attorney

What he’s known for

Darling, a Venice resident, has been a public interest attorney for over a decade, working for nonprofit organizations like the Eviction Defense Network and Public Counsel. He also spent time as a federal public defender. He’s been operating his own legal practice in civil rights law since 2017. Darling also serves as a commissioner for the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors.

What he’s running on

  • Progressivism: Darling says he’s running because of the lack of a “real progressive” in the race. 
  • Housing: He says L.A. has too often prioritized market-rate development over the preservation or building of affordable housing. He supports the “housing first” approach to homelessness and advocates for increasing renter protections, investing in rapid rehousing, and speeding up the creation of permanent supportive housing. 
  • Homelessness: With regards to L.A.’s anti-camping ordinance, he’s said that “we can’t enforce our way into solving this crisis.” 
  • Climate and environment: Darling also says he would work to shut down gas extraction and storage on the Westside, including closing down the SoCal Gas Playa del Rey methane storage facility.  

More resources:


Greg Good

Attorney

What he’s known for

Good is the president of L.A. city’s Board of Public Works, which oversees the building of public projects like bridges, wastewater treatment plans, parks, and libraries and the maintenance of things like roads and sidewalks. Early in his career, he worked as a teacher in the Inglewood Unified School District and served in leadership for Teach for America. He was also briefly an actor. After becoming a lawyer he worked for the L.A. Alliance for a New Economy, focusing on economic and environmental justice campaigns. He then worked for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s administration as executive officer for the Office of City Services and also served as Garcetti’s chief of legislative and external affairs.

What he’s running on

  • Homelessness: Good says he would hire a Chief of Homelessness for District 11 to focus exclusively on unhoused communities and institute quarterly homeless counts. He would enforce L.A.’s anti-camping ordinance in areas around schools, shelters and the Ballona Wetlands.
  • Public safety: He has proposed using council discretionary funding to pay L.A. Police Department officers overtime for disrupting drug dealing and trafficking. 
  • Housing: He also says he would expand protections against evictions.
  • Mental health: Good also says he would “reset” the relationship between L.A. city and the county so the city can get more mental health and addiction services. (The county oversees mental health services for all of L.A. County, including incorporated cities.)

More resources:


Allison Holdorff Polhill

Educator, environmental attorney

What she’s known for

Holdorff Polhill, a resident of the Pacific Palisades, has worked for more than 30 years in the public school system, most recently serving as chief advisor to L.A. Unified School District board member Nick Melvoin. She advocates for immediately declaring a state of emergency over homelessness in order to shore up funding and bypass red tape to make housing and shelter available on an expedited basis. She compares this approach to what she had to do while working for LAUSD during the pandemic — navigating a large bureaucracy to distribute meals and laptops to millions of children in an emergency situation.

What she’s running on

  • Homelessness: Holdhoff Polhill supported the effort to recall Mike Bonin, which fell short of gathering enough signatures to qualify for the ballot earlier this year. She called Bonin’s opposition to L.A.’s anti-camping law “extraordinarily frustrating,” and said she would immediately enforce it around schools and parks in District 11. 
  • Housing: She has also said that there’s “no need to build” in areas zoned for single-family homes, saying that new housing can be built around main arteries and transit hubs instead.
  • Climate and environment: She supports L.A.’s goal to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035, and says she would work to “aggressively deploy” solar energy projects to power homes and businesses across the city.

More resources:


Midsanon “Soni” Lloyd

Public school teacher

What he’s known for

Lloyd has been a teacher for the past 19 years and currently teaches government at Venice High School. He’s been active in the L.A. teachers’ union, United Teachers Los Angeles, and made an unsuccessful run for union president in 2017.

What he’s running on

  • Point of view: Lloyd calls himself an “anti-imperialist activist.”
  • Housing: He supports expanding the development of public housing.
  • Reparations: Lloyd supports exploring reparations for Black people in L.A. (with a tax on L.A.’s billionaires to pay for both reparations and public housing).
  • City salaries: He wants to amend the City Charter to tie elected officials’ pay to the city’s median income level. 
  • Public health: Lloyd also opposes vaccine mandates, calling them “unethical” on his campaign website.
Website: lloyd4lacitycouncil.com
Campaign finance: No contributions filed as of May 9
Endorsements: none listed

More resources:


Jim Murez

Neighborhood council president

Murez is a longtime Venice resident and president of the Venice Neighborhood Council. He served on the Neighborhood Council’s Land Use and Planning committee for the past 12 years. Early in his career, Murez issued the first patent for a portable computer, which he began manufacturing and selling to large corporations and the U.S. government. He also took over the Venice Farmer’s Market in 1989 and has been running it ever since.

What he’s running on:

  • Homelessness: Murez wants to create what he calls “Transitional Service Centers” with access to restrooms, showers, and electricity where, according to his website, “homeless people can camp legally, away from residential neighborhoods and retail commercial corridors.
  • Public safety: Murez wants to increase the size of the LAPD enough to reduce response times to seven minutes or less. He supports the “broken windows” theory of policing, which emphasizes enforcing minor infractions.
  • Transportation: Murez supports proposals to improve mass transit options to help get drivers out of their cars.
Website: murezforcitycouncil.com
Campaign finance: Contributions via L.A. Ethics Commission
Endorsements: none listed

Mike Newhouse

Businessowner, planning attorney

Newhouse, a Venice resident for the past 26 years, runs his own law firm representing local businesses. He served as president of the Venice Neighborhood Council for two terms (fellow District 11 candidate Jim Murez became president last June) and founded the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils, an association of 14 neighborhood council presidents. He’s also president of the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission. Newhouse says he’s running because District 11 needs a “strong, moderate voice” on the City Council to “turn down the volume” of what’s going on in Los Angeles and bring coalitions together.

What he’s running on:

  • Homelessness: He says if elected, he would issue notices to everyone living in an encampment in the district to clear out within 30 days. Social workers, mental health professionals and drug counselors would perform the outreach and get people into shelters or designated “safe camping sites” with services provided. He would then invoke L.A.’s anti-camping ordinance to clear out remaining encampments.
  • Mental health: Newhouse wants L.A. to establish its own health department so the city doesn’t have to depend on the county health department for mental health services. 
  • Transportation: He supports improving walkability on the Westside, extending bike lanes, and expanding the use of shuttle services between neighborhoods and subway lines.
  • Law enforcement:  Newhouse wants to increase the number of LAPD officers by 1,500. 

More resources:


Traci Park

Municipal law attorney

Park, who’s lived in Venice since 2015, is a partner at Burke, Williams & Sorensen, which specializes in public and municipal law. Park says she was spurred to run for the city council seat after learning of plans to convert a hotel near her home into transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness without the input of nearby residents.

What she’s running on:

  • Homelessness: Park has criticized the “housing first” strategy of combating homeless, and wants to instead increase investment in recovery housing and shared housing that focus on a culture of treatment and sobriety. She also says she would enforce L.A.’s anti-camping law, saying encampments near schools are “non-negotiable.”
  • Housing: Park has said that Venice is “too dense” for additional affordable housing developments or housing for unhoused communities.
  • Law enforcement: She supports more funding and resources for local law enforcement, including the LAPD. She also supported the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s intervention in clearing out Venice encampments in June 2021, calling it a “very effective partnership” between law enforcement and local service providers.

More resources:


Mat Smith

Medical delivery business owner

Smith, who grew up in Westchester, is an Army veteran who now runs his own business as a medical courier. He’s running on a platform of “conservative values,” saying “liberal politicians and their feel-good policies” have brought about the proliferation of homeless encampments in District 11.

What he’s running on:

  • Homelessness: If elected, he says he would begin enforcing anti-camping laws as soon as possible. Smith also opposes permanent supportive housing, saying it would “prioritize the needs of homeless over those of renters, homeowners, and business owners in the district.”
  • Law enforcement: Smith supports increasing funding and support for the LAPD, saying he would also work to “improve morale that has been callously stripped by our mainstream media and a small group of misinformed citizens.”
Website: matsmithcitycouncil.com
Campaign finance: Contributions via L.A. Ethics Commission
Endorsements: none listed

More resources:


District 13

Map shows boundaries of District 13 which includes all or some of the following communities of Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, Historic Filipinotown, Hollywood, Larchmont Village, Little Armenia, Melrose Hill, Rampart Village, Ridgewood-Wilton, Silver Lake, Spaulding Square, St. Andrews Square, Sunset Square, Thai Town, Verdugo Village, Virgil Village, Western-Wilton, Westlake, Wilshire Center and Windsor Square.
District 13
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 13 includes all or some of the following communities: Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, Historic Filipinotown, Hollywood, Larchmont Village, Little Armenia, Melrose Hill, Rampart Village, Ridgewood-Wilton, Silver Lake, Spaulding Square, St. Andrews Square, Sunset Square, Thai Town, Verdugo Village, Virgil Village, Western-Wilton, Westlake, Wilshire Center and Windsor Square.


The Candidates

Albert Corado

Community organizer 

What he’s known for:

Albert Corado is a community organizer focused on issues such as homelessness and tenants rights. His advocacy work follows the death of his sister, a store employee at a Trader Joe’s. She was shot by police and killed during a gunfight between LAPD officers and an armed man who fled into the store in 2018.

What he’s running on:

  • Defund the police: Corado would drastically reduce the role and the budget for police.  Instead, he would redirect those funds toward community services like mental health, transportation and expanded green spaces.  He would increase police oversight and transparency.
  • Housing: Corado calls for safe and dignified housing for unhoused people that leaves no properties or units sitting empty. He wants expand tenants' rights and protections against evictions, and he pledges to stop poverty-based discrimination.
  • Transit: Corado wants to reimagine the public transportation system so it is free, reliable and environmentally responsible. He calls for the removal of armed patrols on transit lines.  Instead, he sees a future with trained emergency and mental health professionals to de-escalate conflict.

Steve Johnson

Sergeant, Los Angeles County Sheriff Dept.

What he’s known for:

Steve Johnson is a 13-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He also works as an advocate for family violence prevention and the unhoused. He previously served as the head of a neighborhood council homelessness committee. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

What he’s running on:

  • Homelessness: Johnson is calling for dedicated governance, compassionate solutions and social service innovations to effectively address homelessness.
  • Public safety: Johnson's “SAFE Street Initiative” plan calls for safer neighborhoods through community policing, friendship alliances to build bridges among L.A.’s diverse ethnic and LGTBQ+ communities, and ethical leadership to build trust and eliminate corruption at L.A. City Hall. 
  • Affordable housing: Johnson wants to address the lack of affordable housing by providing tax breaks and rent control.  And, he would direct developers to invest in the social structure of communities where they build.
Website: stevejohnsoncd13.com
Campaign finance: Contributions via L.A. Ethics Commission
Endorsements: none listed

Mitch O'Farrell

Incumbent

What he’s known for:

Mitch O’Farrell is seeking his third term to represent District 13. He is known for his work on housing, including creation of the rent relief program during the pandemic, “hero pay” for grocery workers, and $1 million in grants for small businesses and theaters in his district. He has also prioritized green energy and a climate action plan. O’Farrell, who is a member of the Wyandotte Nation, is the first Native American councilmember to hold office in L.A. He spearheaded city efforts to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day.

What he’s running on:

  • Affordable housing and reducing homelessness: O’Farrell points to his record of creating 2,000 affordable housing units, which he says was the second most of any council district. He also spotlights the opening of the city’s first “Safe Sleep” site in his district which provides meals, case management, and hygiene, among other services.
  • Protecting renters: O’Farrell says he’s been a leader in protecting renters from evictions during the pandemic, and helped identify $300 million to help them stay in their homes.
  • Climate change: O’Farrell wants to continue his work to address the climate crisis facing L.A.  His green plan advocates for a zero-emission city auto fleet, robust solar infrastructure, greater water and power conservation and long-term revitalization of the L.A. River.  He is Chair of the Council’s committee on Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice.  

Kate Pynoos

Homelessness policy advisor

What she’s known for:

Kate Pynoos had a background in immigration policy before shifting her focus to local progressive issues. As a member of Mike Bonin's staff, she's worked on a full ban on evictions during the pandemic, creating innovative housing solutions, and a ban on campaign contributions from developers with business before the city. She's also served on the Hollywood Neighborhood Council.

What she’s running on:

  • Homelessness: Pynoos pledges to provide a robust pipeline to permanent housing.  She wants to implement a comprehensive street engagement strategy with trauma-informed services that build trust with those living in encampments. To slow the number of people falling into homelessness, Pynoos would treat housing as a human need instead of a commodity and flood those at risk with services.
  • Housing: Pynoos says she would protect renters and guard against displacement. She would also work to make it easier to build more affordable housing, preserve existing housing and provide more aggressive revenue lines, like a vacancy tax.
  • Environment: Pynoos is committed to holding the city accountable to its 100% clean energy plan by 2035. She wants to ensure green energy jobs with a living wage are created and necessary job training is provided.
Website: kateforcouncil.la
Campaign finance: Contributions via L.A. Ethics Commission
Endorsements: none listed

More resources:


Hugo Soto-Martinez  

Union organizer 

What he’s known for:

Hugo Soto-Martinez is a union leader with UNITE HERE Local 11. His 15 years of union leadership began while he attended UC Irvine. He worked as a server at a non-union hotel where he successfully led a union organizing drive.

What he’s running on:

  • Homelessness and housing: Soto-Martinez pledges to end unhoused sweeps. He wants to build networks of round-the-clock drop-in centers that provide physical and mental healthcare, addiction and caseworker services for the unhoused. He pledges in his first term to create housing essential workers can afford and hire a housing deputy to address the district’s tenant crisis.
  • Climate crisis: Soto-Martinez wants to take action to cap and clean urban oil wells in the district. He says he would create 10,000 climate union jobs by 2026 by prioritizing city, state and federal funds.
  • Public safety: Soto-Martinez wants to replace armed officers on non-violent calls with mental health crisis teams. He says he would advocate for an unarmed traffic enforcement division to pursue low level moving violations, among other things, and invest in social programs to reduce the crime rate. 
Website: hugo2022.com
Campaign finance: Contributions via L.A. Ethics Commission
Endorsements: List of endorsements (available on homepage)

More resources:


District 15

Map shows boundaries of District 15 which includes all or part of the following neighborhoods: Watts, San Pedro, Harbor Gateway, Harbor City, Wilmington.
District 15
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 15 encompasses all or part of the following neighborhoods: Watts, San Pedro, Harbor Gateway, Harbor City, Wilmington.

Four candidates are running for the open seat to succeed Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who is running for mayor of Los Angeles. Buscaino has pushed for anti-camping measures to address homelessness in the district, but housing remains a key issue in the race.

The Port of Los Angeles is in the district and its environmental effects are also one of the district’s key issues. The candidates have all expressed concerns over the port’s effect on pollution and water quality.


The Candidates

Tim McOsker

Businessman

What he’s known for:

McOsker is the CEO of AltaSea, a non-profit that focuses on ocean sustainability. He has also served as Chief of Staff for former L.A. Mayor James K. Hahn and as a lobbyist for the LAPD union.

What he’s running on:

  • Housing: McOsker says the city needs to focus on creating immediate shelter and calls for embracing “creative housing solutions” like container construction, tiny homes, and adaptive reuse.
  • Public safety: McOsker says the city needs to crackdown on illegal guns and better regulate gun shows. He also says he wants to promote trust between residents and the LAPD.
  • Economy: McOsker says the city needs to create more union jobs that provide a pathway to the middle-class.
  • Climate change: McOsker says he wants to prioritize the communities hardest hit by climate change and ensure clean water and air for all Angelenos. He also says the district needs to advance green technology while also retraining workers.

Bryant Odega

Educator

What he’s known for:

Odega was a member of the Harbor Gateway South Neighborhood Council. He is also a climate activist with the L.A. Chapter of the Sunrise Movement.

What he’s running on:

  • Climate change: Odega says he wants to increase the number of residents who live near a park, a bus-only lane and a protected bike lane. He also says he work to create more tree canopy and green space.
  • Housing: Odega says he supports building social housing and creating more tenant protections.
  • Public safety: Odega says the city needs to invest in community programs including social work and mental health services. He also says police officers involved in using excessive force should not be rehired and supports withholding their pensions.
  • Economy: Odega says he supports a public banking system for L.A. and a guaranteed income program. He also calls for creating green jobs and retraining affected workers in fossil fuel industries.

Danielle Sandoval

Entrepreneur

What she’s known for:

Sandoval is the former president of the Harbor City Neighborhood Council. She’s been active in union work, previously serving as treasurer and president for the ILWU Federated Auxiliary 8.

What she’s running on:

  • Environment: Sandoval says the city should invest in clean vehicle technology and expanding green spaces. She also calls for educating the community about the effects of fracking, drilling and diesel pollution.
  • Housing: Sandoval says she wants to create a program to help renters with security deposits, first month’s rent and application fees. She also calls for the city to expand on mental health and crisis support teams to help people experiencing homelessness.
  • Public safety: Sandoval says the city needs to address possible underlying causes for crime, including unemployment. She calls for training law enforcement in de-escalation tactics.
  • Economy: Sandoval says there needs to be an increase in the availability and accessibility of workforce development programs. She says she also wants to create more incentives and reduce red tape for film and television production in the city.

More resources:


Anthony D. Santich

Businessman

What he’s known for:

Santich worked for the Port of Los Angeles for more than 20 years and as a Marine Terminal executive for 13 years. He says the next councilmember needs to hold the port accountable to the communities.

What he’s running on:

  • Economy: Santich says he wants to create an incentive program for port-related businesses to hire the district’s residents. He also wants to protect union jobs from future automation.
  • Public safety: Santich says he wants to bring back community-based policing and increase funding to train police officers and outreach workers.
  • Environment: Santich says he will create a Port Impacts Fund to mitigate the port’s negative effects, including on air and water quality and community health.
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Updated May 12, 2022 at 7:20 PM PDT
The bio for Kate Pynoos has been updated with additional information.
Updated May 11, 2022 at 9:11 AM PDT