POLITICS LA - There are 1.9 million women in Los Angeles. The two senators from California are women, as is the state’s attorney general.
But this city, a bastion of progressive politics, has a curious distinction these days. Only one woman holds elective office in the entire government of Los Angeles, a member of the 15-person City Council from the San Fernando Valley who was sworn in only on Friday.
The mayor is a man, Eric M. Garcetti, who defeated a woman, Wendy Greuel, for the job in May. The city attorney is a man. The city controller? You guessed it.
Los Angeles County, with a population of 9.9 million that includes Los Angeles, has just one woman on its five-member Board of Supervisors. And the race to fill the City Council seat for Hollywood, which Mr. Garcetti vacated when he was elected mayor, gave voters a choice of 12 candidates — all men.
The overwhelmingly male lineup in local elected offices has caught many people here by surprise, overlooked in the general lack of interest in this year’s campaigns. And it has become a subject of considerable chagrin, civic embarrassment and impassioned discussions about exactly what happened.
“When I was in elementary school, there were like five women on the City Council,” said Nury Martinez, the city’s lone woman in elected office, speaking in her empty Council office at City Hall.
“It’s a shame and embarrassing that in a city of four million people we are down to one woman.”
Vol 11 Issue 63
Pub: Aug 6, 2013