Reader opinion: Rudy Martinez vs. Jose Huizar for L.A. City Council's 14th District
In the race for the L.A. City Council's 14th District, the editorial board endorsed Rudy Martinez over incumbent Jose Huizar. They wrote:
Indeed, what Martinez could bring is something that today's council has too little of: representatives who focus on the communities that elect them. That once was the mainstay of Los Angeles city politics, when council members such as John Ferraro, Richard Alatorre and Ruth Galanter understood that the city's needs were paramount but also understood their districts and labored to improve them. Martinez offers a return to that tradition.
Based on an informal count of lawn signs around the 14th District by a fellow staffer, you'd think that the neighborhood would agree with our endorsement. But a quick trip to Twitter and our comments board* shows some resistance to our stance.
A couple of Huizar supporters in their own words…
"In my lifetime of civic involvement throughout Los Angles and my approaching ten years in the neighborhood council movement, I have never worked with any council person (or any public official - or any council staff) who has been more accessible or more willing to listen to us about our area's problems than Jose Huizar. But he doesn't just stop there. He then takes it one more step - and works - effectively - to fix those problems.
It doesn't matter if it is a burned out street light, a struggling business needing help with the DWP's sometimes unreasonable demands or a non-profit that gets caught between the conflicting demands of two different city agencies - he and his staff have always been there for us.
However, the Times seems to believe that instead of doing his job - that Huizar should instead be spending his time asking people to vote for him by pushing their doorbells instead of doing the work they elected him to do. But, if Huizar was doing that - of course - the Times would then accuse him of ignoring the needs of his district and spending all of his time running for re-election.
Fortunately, though, it will not be the LA Times Editorial Board but the voters of the 14th District who will decide who will represent them in next month's election and that will be Councilman Jose Huizar."bradywestwater (a.k.a. "L.A. Cowboy")
"Are you kidding me???? The LA Times endorses Rudy Martinez, as being in the tradition of "representatives who focus on the communities that elect them. That once was the mainstay of Los Angeles city politics, when council members such as Richard Alatorre understood that the city's needs were paramount but also understood their districts and labored to improve them."
"What??? Has the Times forgotten that Richard Alatorre was caught for political corruption and is a convicted federal felon?? This is what the Times thinks is the type of City Council Member the residents of the 14th Council district deserves?? This is who Rudy Martinez reminds them of???
If this is not the best reason to support Jose Huizar than I don't know what is." --TerryW73209
…vs. Martinez supporters:
"I have lived in the district for over 40 years and follow the local political scene.
What I like about Rudy Martinez is the same things that the LA Times observed: energy and a commitment to get things done for everyone. What this says is that Jose Huizar lacks energy and doesn't get things done.
Rudy Martinez says he will clean up Boyle Heights and El Sereno so that it no longer looks like a third world country. Huizar and his staff have let the Latino bedroom communities look so filthy that it is embarrassing. Downtown may love him but we don't.
I took a look at Martinez's sushi bar, Mia's, and restaurant/bar, Marty's, and they appear to be very clean establishments. Rudy Martinez seems to take pride in presenting a good product.
To those that dwell on the past, especially things from our youth, don't have the capacity to grow or have not realized that we all can grow from our past mistakes. Rudy Martinez's brother was murdered and he inappropriately handled himself during the grieving period, but that was then and today he is not that same person.
The Rudy Martinez of today wants to bring his skill and talent to a local political office. I commend him for getting in the ring and wish him luck in March.
I plan on voting for him!" --CD 14 Watcher"I am delighted to read your endorsement of Rudy Martinez. Or rather, I am pleased that the Times did not endorse my council member, Jose Huizar. In almost two decades of living in CD14, I remember just two years of great service from my council member. And the L.A. Times put a stop to that with, not only its endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa, but with its with its fawning coverage of him - corrected somewhat lately by Jim Newton's recent column - that propelled his protégé, Jose Huizar, into office.
For me, not a neighborhood council leader or any sort of leader in my community, just a small businessman, paying taxes, employing 25 people, I get no response from my council member, Mr. Huizar. I was appalled that he rated constituents on their fealty to him - what else could it have been? It did smack of Nixonion politics. It is very clear in the neighborhood where I live who gets called returned and who doesn't.
I do not believe (I hope not, anyway) the Times would be complaining if Mr. Huizar was "...spending his time asking people to vote for him by pushing their doorbells..." and I am amazed that he doesn't engage directly with ordinary constituents, especially at election time." --eastside maven
(*Spelling corrected for clarity.)
-- Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: Portrait of Rudy Martinez. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times