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The scene at a raucous L.A. City Council meeting, the first since a scandal broke about a taped conversation.
LA City Council In 2023: Your Guide To Who's Who (And What They Do)
The council has been through scandals and elections, all within the last six months. New faces are coming in, and longstanding members are headed out. We help you understand who's who and what's next.
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This election, some L.A. voters had the chance to change out their City Council members. Next month, those new faces will join the council while career politicians will leave.

Among those changes is a small cohort of progressives who will take office on Dec. 12. Their districts' support signals that Angelenos may be looking to change course. The council's current makeup enacted nearly citywide anti-camping laws and saw systemic racism fester behind closed doors.

You've probably heard about this: Three elected officials were caught on tape engaging in a racist conversation about redistricting last year. Nury Martinez stepped down and Gill Cedillo was voted out in June. The last member — Kevin de León — has refused to stepped down. These problems played a hand in galvanizing voters, but where we'll go next is up to the new City Council roster. Let's dig into who's who in the next council term.

Who Represents Each L.A. District?

First, let's start with which seats were up for election this year. The following districts were on the June 7 primary election ballot:

  • District 1
  • District 3
  • District 5
  • District 7
  • District 9
  • District 11
  • District 13
  • District 15

All but districts 5, 11, 13 and 15 were decided outright — the winning candidate got more than 50% of the vote in the June primary. Voters in 5, 11, 13 and 15 chose between the top two candidates in the Nov. 8 runoff.
The other seats will be up for election in 2024 — District 6 and District 14 (Kevin de León's).

Each district represents roughly 260,000 residents, far more than other big cities. A motion is in the works to create a ballot measure supporting an expansion of the City Council, which would dramatically shift power dynamics at City Hall. If it's approved, voters would decide that in 2024. But for now, our councilmembers hold a lot of power.


D1: Eunisses Hernandez (incoming)

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.

In office: Gil Cedillo, until Dec. 12

Status: He was defeated in the primary by community organizer Eunisses Hernandez. She'll take office on Dec. 12.

District population: 248,124

Turnout in recent elections: 29,808

Here's the vote in the June 7 primary:


D2: Paul Krekorian (2024)

Map shows boundaries of District 2, which has the 170 and 5 freeways running across it. Neighborhoods include all or part of the East San Fernando Valley communities.
District 2
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 2 includes all or part of the following neighborhoods: North Hollywood, Studio City, Sun Valley, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys and Toluca Lake.

In office: Paul Krekorian

Status: Elected to serve from 2020 to 2024.

District population: 250,535

Turnout in recent elections: 46,258


D3: Bob Blumenfield (reelected)

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.

In office: Bob Blumenfield

Status: Reelected

District population: 257,098

Turnout in recent elections: 37,128

Here's the vote in the June 7 primary:


D4: Nithya Raman (2024)

Map shows boundaries of District 4, which has the 405 and 101 running across it. Neighborhoods include all or part of Encino, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz and Silver Lake, Reseda, Sherman Oaks, Studio City and Cahuenga Pass.
District 4
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 4 includes all or part of the following neighborhoods: Encino, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz and Silver Lake, Reseda, Sherman Oaks, Studio City and Cahuenga Pass.

In office: Nithya Raman

Status: Elected to serve from 2020 to 2024.

District population: 269,290

Turnout in recent elections: 132,999


D5: Katy Young Yaroslavsky (incoming)

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.

In office: Paul Koretz, until Dec. 12

Status: He's termed out and lost the race for City Controller. Katy Young Yaroslavsky, who was a senior policy director for L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, will take the District 5 seat on Dec. 12.

District population: 269,182

Turnout in recent elections: 57,259

Here's the vote in the Nov. 8 general election:


D6: Vacant (has a non-voting caretaker)

Map shows boundaries of District 6, which has the 405, 5 and 170 running across it. Neighborhoods include all or part of Arleta, Van Nuys, Sun Valley, North Hollywood, Lake Balboa, North Hills and Panorama City.
District 6
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 6 includes some or all of the following neighborhoods: Arleta, Van Nuys, Sun Valley, North Hollywood, Lake Balboa, North Hills and Panorama City.

In office: Vacant. Former Councilmember Nury Martinez led this district, but she resigned on Oct. 12 under heavy pressure. Since stepping down, the City Council appointed a non-voting caretaker to oversee District 6. The city’s office of the chief legislative analyst, which is led by Sharon Tso, may stay in place as the caretaker until the special election.

Status: The special election will be held on April 4, 2023.

District population: 261,114

Turnout in recent elections: 29,404


D7: Monica Rodriguez (reelected)

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.

In office: Monica Rodriguez

Status: Reelected

District population: 266,276

Turnout in recent elections: 29,844

Here's the vote in the June 7 primary:


D8: Marqueece Harris-Dawson (2024)

Map shows boundaries of District 8, which has the 110 and 105 running across it. Neighborhoods include all or part of South Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills, Watts, Vermont Knolls, King Estates, Canterbury Knolls, Park Mesa Heights, Hyde Park, Chesterfield Square, Vermont Vista, Green Meadows, View Heights and West Park Terrace.
District 8
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 9 includes all or part of the following neighborhoods: South Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills, Watts, Vermont Knolls, King Estates, Canterbury Knolls, Park Mesa Heights, Hyde Park, Chesterfield Square, Vermont Vista, Green Meadows, View Heights and West Park Terrace.

In office: Marqueece Harris-Dawson

Status: Elected to serve from 2020 to 2024.

District population: 257,597

Turnout in recent elections: 32,415


D9: Curren Price Jr. (reelected)

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.

In office: Curren Price Jr.

Status: Reelected

District population: 255,988

Turnout in recent elections: 12,528

Here's the vote in the June 7 primary:

 


D10: Heather Hutt (appointed)

Map shows boundaries of District 10, which has the 10 running across it. Neighborhoods include all or part of Arlington Heights, Koreatown, Mid-City, Olympic Park, Palms, South Robertson, West Adams, West Pico and Wilshire Center.
District 10
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 10 includes all or parts of the following neighborhoods: Arlington Heights, Koreatown, Mid-City, Olympic Park, Palms, South Robertson, West Adams, West Pico and Wilshire Center.

In office: Heather Hutt

Status: Appointed as an interim replacement for Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was elected to serve from 2020 to 2024.

District population: 270,703

Turnout in recent elections: 92,604


D11: Traci Park (incoming)

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.

In office: Mike Bonin, until Dec. 12

Status: Bonin did not seek reelection. Traci Park, a municipal law attorney, won the November election and will take the District 11 seat on Dec. 12.

District population: 270,691

Turnout in recent elections: 66,171

Here's the vote in the Nov. 8 general election:


D12: John Lee (2024)

Map shows boundaries of District 12, which has the 118 and 405 running across it. Neighborhoods include all or part of Northridge, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, West Hills, Porter Ranch, Sherwood Forest, and portions of North Hills and Reseda.
District 12
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 12 includes all or parts of the following neighborhoods: Northridge, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, West Hills, Porter Ranch, Sherwood Forest, and portions of North Hills and Reseda.

In office: John Lee

Status: Elected to serve from 2020 to 2024.

District population: 259,564

Turnout in recent elections: 65,213


D13: Hugo Soto-Martínez (incoming)

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.

In office: Mitch O'Farrell, until Dec. 12

Status: O'Farrell lost his reelection bid. Voters chose his opponent in the November runoff, union organizer Hugo Soto-Martínez, to lead District 13. He takes office on Dec. 12.

District population: 252,909

Turnout in recent elections: 47,248

Here's the vote in the Nov. 8 general election:


D14: Kevin de León (2024)

Map shows boundaries of District 14, which has the 10 and 101 running across it. Neighborhoods include all or part of Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, Downtown L.A., El Sereno and Northeast L.A.
District 14
(Courtesy City of L.A.)

District 14 includes all or part of the following neighborhoods: Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, Downtown L.A., El Sereno, Northeast L.A.

In office: Kevin de León

Status: Elected to serve from 2020 to 2024.

District population: 264,741

Turnout in recent elections: 47,677


D15: Tim McOsker (incoming)

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.

In office: Joe Buscaino, until Dec. 12

Status: Buscaino did not seek reelection. He ran for Mayor but withdrew. Tim McOsker won the November election to lead District 15, he'll take office on Dec. 12.

District population: 258,310

Turnout in recent elections: 26,244

Here's the vote in the Nov. 8 general election:

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.

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.

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.

What Issues Are The Council Facing?

  • 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 questions do you have about how L.A. works?
Caitlin Hernández explains what makes L.A. tick so that you can navigate our complicated city. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why is this like this and not like that? How does that work? Does it actually work?” then they want to hear from you. Share your question below.

Updated October 12, 2022 at 3:21 PM PDT
This story updated with Nury Martinez's resignation from office and California Attorney General Rob Bonta's investigation into L.A.'s redistricting process.