Los Angeles City Councilmember Imelda Padilla won the special general election in Council District 6 on June 27, 2023, replacing disgraced former City Councilmember Nury Martinez. Back then Padilla faced six challengers. This time around there are only two.
District 6 includes Arleta, Lake Balboa, North Hollywood, North Hills, Panorama City, Van Nuys and Sun Valley. The 2020 U.S. Census put the district’s median household income at $46,767, with 22% of the district’s population living in poverty. The district is 67% Latino, 18.4% White non-Latino, 10% Asian and 3.2% Black.
It’s possible that Padilla, born in 1987, will skate through the March 5 primary election because of her months in the office. Among her efforts thus far, she has fought to address the unintended consequences of municipal code 85.02, which pushed RVs into industrial corridors causing a lack of parking for business owners, customers and workers.
Secondly, she promises if reelected she will work with local LAPD stations and ensure the resources are there to increase public safety emergency response times and identify innovative community-centric models of policy.
Imelda Padilla, candidate for the L.A. City Council District 6. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Economic development has also been a top priority for her. Creating more business opportunities is a key goal.
For the month of January, 2024 she collected $6,323.02 in contributions, according to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission website.
In last June’s election, Padilla was endorsed by Councilmember Monica Rodriguez as well as former councilmembers Joy Picus and Tony Cardenas.
But that’s not going to stop challenger Ely De La Cruz Ayao, a 72-year-old real estate broker and Panorama City resident, from nipping at her heels. Ayao is the only Republican candidate in this race and has emphasized the need for help for businesses.
Ely De La Cruz Ayao, candidate for the L.A. City Council District 6. (Courtesy Photo))
In 2022 Ayao ran for state Senate District 20, located in the San Fernando Valley and Burbank, and was up against Caroline Menjivar and Daniel Hertzberg. He came in a fairly close third, with Menjivar winning.
Write-in candidate Carmenlina Minasova, 52, a resident of Panorama City and a respiratory care practitioner for 30-plus years, has not reported any campaign contributions. In an unusual move, she is also running for election to the state Assembly to represent District 43, an open seat that has set off a free-for-all among six candidates.
Carmelina Minasova, candidate for the L.A. City Council District 6. (Courtesy Photo)
Minasova says she is a passionate advocate for the homeless, rescue animals and neighborhood safety, and stands firm against discrimination and advocates for the rights of all individuals regardless of their background.
A candidate must get 50% of the vote to declare victory, otherwise the top two will head for a runoff in November.
Some of Padilla’s top priorities include sheltering the unhoused, public safety and economic development.
Ayao’s issues somewhat mirror hers: crime, homelessness, clean and safe neighborhoods, educational environments and small businesses.
Being a real estate broker, Ayao also wants the city to tackle low-income housing by using federal tax income to fund construction.
He says he has no criticism of Padilla, but has better solutions to reduce crime through a Los Angeles Police Department special unit dedicated to cleaning up the streets and homeless encampments that threaten the average resident.
Ayao has never been elected to a government position, has raised less than $4,000 and is endorsed by the Los Angeles Hispanic Republican Club.
2024 presidential primary election
Election Day: March 5, 2024. Polls close at 8 p.m.
Early voting: You can vote at the Los Angeles County registrar’s office beginning Tuesday, Feb. 6. The registrar’s headquarters are at 12400 Imperial Highway, Room 3002, in Norwalk. That office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Vote-by-mail: Ballots begin/began going out on Monday, Feb. 5. You can submit VBMs in three ways: By mailing them to the registrar’s office (VBMs include return envelopes with the correct address and postage already included); by placing them in an official drop box; or by dropping them off at any county Vote Center.
VBM deadline: VBMs sent via mail must arrive no later than 10 days after the election, but they must be postmarked by March 5. The deadline to place VBMs in a drop box or deliver them to a Vote Center is 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Vote Centers: Vote Centers open 10 days before Election Day. This year, that’s Saturday, Feb. 4. You can vote at any Vote Center in Los Angeles County. Prior to Election Day, the Vote Centers will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Election Day, they will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
About the ballots: In California, the order races are listed on ballots goes from local to federal, meaning the nominees for president will be listed at the bottom. Except for presidential races, California’s primaries for “partisan” offices – now known as “voter-nominated offices” have a top-two system. That means the top two vote getters in a given race advance to the general election, regardless of political party.
To find a drop box or Vote Center and for more information: lavote.gov.
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