Seven candidates have spent the past few months promote yourself to voters in the San Fernando Valley as they seek a seat on the LA City Council.
Now, it’s election day. Voter turnout is expected to be low due to voter apathy and distrust of city government.
City Council President Nury Martinez, who previously represented District 6, Resigned in October after leaked audio of a caucus she attended recorded her racist remarks.
Mike Sanchez, a spokesman for the LA County Registrar’s Office, said the vote centers opened a week and a half ago, but only 108 people have used them. Four additional vote centers will open in the county on Tuesday.
Mr. Sanchez said more than 8,000 vote-by-mail ballots had been returned to the county through Monday. In total, more than 118,000 registered voters were sent a ballot.
Candidates include political novices, former and current aides to elected officials, and community volunteers.
Marisa Alcaraz is a top advisor to City Councilor Curren Price; Rose Grigoryan runs a marketing agency; Isaac Kim has a men’s hair and skin care company;, Imelda Padilla worked as a community organizer; Marco Santana works at LA Family Housing; Antoinette Scully is the national organizer at the United Universalist Women’s League; and Douglas Sierra recently worked at the management consulting firm Monitor Deloitte.
The race is nonpartisan, but all candidates, except one, are registered Democrats. (Grigoryan’s voter registration is “nonpartisan.”)
Voters can find a vote center or drop box by visiting website. District 6 occupies all or part of the neighborhoods of Lake Balboa, Van Nuys, Panorama City, Arleta, North Hills, North Hollywood and Sun Valley.
The first batch of results will be announced shortly after the polls close on Tuesday. That tally will include all or most of the ballots returned prior to election day.
Vote-by-mail ballots postmarked prior to election day will be accepted until April 11.
If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in Tuesday’s election, a June contest between the top two finishers is planned.
The winner will face another election for the seat in March 2024, when Martinez’s term is coming to an end.
Homelessness became one of the top issues in the race. Several candidates have differing opinions on 41.18, the law that allows council members to designate no-camping areas for the homeless.
Candidates Kim, Scully and Santana have all said they will vote to repeal the law. Alcaraz and Padilla endorse 41.18, arguing that there should be restrictions around schools, parks and other areas.
The biggest drama in the race revolves around the campaigners. A door hanger sent by Santana’s campaign solicited complaints from LA . County Democrats because the hangman said the candidate was endorsed by the Democratic Party. (County Democrats disapproved in the race.)
Scott Mann, Santana’s communications director, defended the flyer by saying Santana has the support of several Democratic clubs, including the San Fernando Valley Democratic Party.
A parcel sent by a committee affiliated with the United Local 700 Food & Commercial Workers was also criticized after the parcel incorrectly claimed that Alcaraz had been endorsed by the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión. . The newspaper did not confirm anyone, and the union, which is supporting Alcaraz, issued an apology.