Archived: Huizar for LA City Council


There has been no race as hotly debated this election cycle as the one taking place in Los Angeles’ 14th Council District.

The incumbent Jose Huizar and his challenger businessman Rudy Martinez have spent much of their time flinging mud rather than focusing on issues like city services, budget problems, or public safety.

That’s too bad for voters because both candidates have a lot to offer.

CD-14 may be one district, but it is made up of very diverse communities with their own personalities, issues, challenges and strengths. The district goes from Eagle Rock, Mt. Washington and Highland Park to El Sereno, Boyle Heights and includes a sliver of downtown’s commercial corridor.

While Huizar has had some notable missteps during his 5 years on the council, we believe he has the best grasp of the diverse needs of the district. EGP endorses Huizar.

That’s not to say we don’t like Martinez, we do. We are impressed with his energy and ability to draw people in with his enthusiasm and that he’s willing to voice concerns often only spoken in hushed voices around the district, or on today’s City Council.

Martinez talks about providing equal service to every resident in the district, and working to make the city more business friendly and creating more job opportunities in the 14th District. He thinks if businesses prosper, so will the community.

Martinez says that Huizar has failed to listen to the people in the district or accomplish anything of major importance for the residents of CD-14.

While there’s nothing wrong with pointing out your opponent’s shortcomings, you also have to be able to articulate what you will do for voters in the district.

And that’s where Martinez falls short in our view.

When asked, Martinez was hard pressed to come up with clear examples of projects he would undertake in the district, preferring to talk in broad terms about tackling “quality of life” issues such as policing unlicensed food vendors and people using their driveways as auto repair shops, cutting trees, filling potholes, helping businesses succeed, and getting police out from behind their desks and into patrol cars. How he would pay for it is unclear.

He says that if people want the libraries or parks to stay open longer, they should volunteer their time and that volunteers should be used to take police reports.

We were disappointed that after nearly a year on the campaign trail Martinez had not become better versed on a number of complex issues facing the district and the city, not the least of which is the budget deficit and how he would tackle it.

Well the message that people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps and stop depending on city government to do everything for them has a nice ring, it seems to us that Martinez does not fully grasp that not all people or communities are equal in their ability to achieve this lofty goal. While residents in Mt. Washington and Eagle Rock may be in a better position to raise money to support their local libraries and schools, or find alternatives to publicly financed after-school programs at local parks, the same is not necessarily true for residents of Glassell Park or Boyle Heights.

Huizar, on the other hand, does get it, but perhaps too well. At times his understanding that there are many sides to an issue has caused him to bend to easily on tough issues. He needs to stand firmer.

During the campaign Huizar has been strongly criticized for how he has used Central Los Angeles Recycling and Transfer Community Amenities (CLARTS) funds and for his failure to release to the public details about how the funds have been spent. He should have released the information sooner; he owed that to his constituents,

Members of his staff have at times attended neighborhood council meetings unprepared to answer questions on an issue they knew would be asked, such as the CLART funds. That should change.

However, Huizar’s use of CLARTS funds may demonstrate one of the biggest differences between him and Martinez, who thinks the money should be spent on big ticket items like street improvements and keeping fire stations fully staffed.

Huizar has used the funds for those types of things as well as for police overtime. Some might consider some of the expenditures frivolous, given the city’s financial straits. But if you ask the young people who have attended after-school programs, or cheerleaders who have attended competitions they were unable to pay for themselves, or students learning new skills at the Boyle Heights Technology Center that were paid for in part with CLARTS funds, we think they would disagree.

Many in the district have told us they believe these types of expenditures address quality of life issues in the district.  So do we.

Council District 14 has not had a two-term representative since Richard Alatorre. Several improvement projects started by Alatorre and former Councilman Nick Pacheco who followed him for one term, languished under then-councilman Antonio Villaraigosa. Huizar has been able to bring many of them to completion. That is an important accomplishment. While residents in much of the district might feel disconnected from the Bringing Back Broadway initiative or the proposals for a downtown street trolley, they are nonetheless improvements to the district as well as the city.

With the city facing a deficit in the hundreds of millions, employee layoffs and program and service cuts, we believe it is important to have a councilmember in place who is already familiar with the diverse needs of the district and how the process to get local funds works. For that reason, we endorse the reelection of Jose Huizar.

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  1. Unfortunately for CD 14 this is a choice between bad and worse. Neither candidate had concrete answers. Both candidates were phoning in their answers at the forums. Councilman Huizar and his staff are derelict at best and unethical upon any modicum of inspection. Martinez has no experience. Neither candidate has the acumen to fully address this district that has such disparate needs. Huizar is lazy and detached, while Martinez has no overarching strategy. Residents in the district of all stripes are disconnected from the Bringing Back Broadway project because they see if at face value — a legacy project. It is a misappropriation of funds in an era when streets are not being cleaned consistently due to furloughs and cutbacks. Over 5 years Councilman Huizar’s improvements have been pitiful. These were the culminations of someone else’s vision. He cannot attend meetings to do the people’s business. He is atrocious. Should he win, CD14 will get more of the same…an opaque excuse for representation. Conversely, Martinez offers nothing as an antidote. Woe is CD 14 in this election cycle.

  2. Theresa is forever complaining, she wants Boyle Heights to look like SImi Valley or West LA, that’s not who we are.

    If Rudy gets in she’ll soon be complaining about him.

    Jose has done a lot for the district, maybe not what you want but there’s lots of people who like what he”s been doing since taking office.

  3. A backward endorsemnt– Huizar’s not perfect but at least he knows that not everything is about whether more hispster businesses are good for the area.
    Martinez can’t offer to many specigics about anything that’s not about businesses.

  4. Teresa Marquez on

    EGP YOU ARE SO SAD TO REPRESENT THE NEWS, PLEASE DO A LITTLE further in investigating what you print. First of all, Huizar has not disclose the used of the CLARTS FUND, THE LIST ON hUIZAR’S WEB SIDE IS A JOKE AND A INSULT TO anyone that understants their checking account satement and balance it. . Yes, there is $1,000 for Roosevelt HS Cheerleaders, WOUUU also $10,000 to a school in Sherman Oaks, what about that? The list that he has provided does not clarifiy what thousands of dollars have been used for and how did our district benefited, and not just Huizar. Last find out why he paid $27,200 in late 2010 to a so call consultant to oversee give away of free turkeys for the holidays, why was this not done by his office emplyees, how difficult could have been, but pay $27,200 for a fews days of work is a crime, what does it say about Huizars way of budgets. His spending of our tax money and CLARTS fund is criminal in times like this. EGP should be more prudent in their reporting, specially that Boyle Heights and El Sereno community that have been more informed about many things Huizar has done,that have hurt this community. You of all people know that whatHuizar is getting credit are not his to take. He only joing the groups after they have asure win, not before, and only to go take a oicture with the group so he can take credit for it. When does he give credit to the people of Boyle heights that are the back bone and support for the goog things in
    boyle Heights, How much money has Huizar transferred to City Council from CLARTS fund and for what? also, if you notice on the sorry list he posted as an acdounting record on the web only Heights
    stakeholders Association, The BHNC 2006 ton 2007 members or the
    voice News paper editor, they have written accurates reports on the CLARTS FUNDS USE.



  5. Teresa Marquez on

    EGP YOU ARE SO SAD TO REPRESENT THE NEWS, PLEASE DO A LITTLE further in investigating what you print. First of all, Huizar has not disclose the used of the CLARTS FUND.


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