The Los Angeles City Council once again has a female member, thanks to today's swearing-in of newly elected Nury Martinez.
The results of the July 23 special run-off election, in which Martinez edged out front-runner Cindy Montanez, were affirmed on a 14-0 vote of the council.
"The fact that I'm the only woman in 18 elected offices is ... embarrassing," Martinez said following her swearing-in ceremony in Van Nuys. The mayor, city attorney and city controller are all men.
Martinez called on fellow elected officials to mentor women to run for office.
"Gentlemen, you have women in your districts that are doing great community work, that are working behind the scenes in your campaigns," she said. "We have to do more and we have to do better by electing more women to elected office in Los Angeles and up and down this state."
Jan Perry, who was termed out of office at the end of June, was previously the only female member of the 15-person City Council. Wendy Greuel, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor, was the previously city controller.
Today's council meeting also happened to be held in Martinez's Sixth District, where the timely delivery of services has been lacking, according to the new councilwoman.
Basic "core services" are "things we all expect, from our city, from being taxpayers in our city," and yet some parts of her district have not seen street repairs in two decades, Martinez said.
Crime and environmental issues are also areas that need more attention in her district, she said.
Martinez, a former member of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, replaced Tony Cardenas, who resigned in January to take the House of Representatives seat he won in November.
Martinez pulled an upset of sorts by defeating former Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez, who finished almost 19 percentage points ahead in the May primary.
Martinez edged out Montanez in the final round, receiving 54.84 percent of the vote. She defeated Montanez, 5,485-4,516. Turnout was 11.36 percent.
—from City News Service