Councilwoman Nury Martinez was on Tuesday unanimously elected the first Latina president in the 110-year history of the Los Angeles City Council.
Martinez, who represents the 6th District in the northeast San Fernando Valley, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and grew up in Pacoima. She’s the second woman ever elected to head the City Council, according to her office.
She will replace Councilman Herb Wesson, who’s set to step down from presidential duties on Jan. 4.
Martinez said she hopes her historic election will be an example to women and girls around the region, including her young daughter who at one point appeared at her side as she spoke before reporters.
“I’d like my daughter — not only my daughter but other little girls just like her — to know that women in this city can grow up to be anything they want to be,” Martinez said.
Wesson endorsed Martinez last week when he announced his plans to resign as council president and focus on his campaign for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He also made history with his tenure as the council’s first African American president.
During his leadership, Los Angeles raised its minimum wage and passed a $1.2 billion measure to tackle the city’s growing crisis of homelessness that has drawn attention and criticism on a national level.
In a statement, Wesson wrote he’s proud of the council’s work over the past eight years and expects “good governance that has helped to make LA the greatest city in the world will carry on under our next president.”