Councilmember Herb Wesson, 10th District, was elected as the new president of the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, becoming the first African American representative to hold the leadership position. Councilmember Ed Reyes, 1st District, was also elected as the council’s president pro tempore.
“I am humbled and honored to be elected,” said Wesson, who will be installed as city council president on Jan. 2. “We have to focus on correcting the city’s financial structure, yet still must continue to deliver services to the constituents, and we have to do everything we can to create jobs, so those are the things I will be working on.”
Wesson will replace Council President Eric Garcetti, 13th District, who has led the 15-member governing body since 2005. Reyes will replace acting President Pro Tempore Dennis Zine 3rd District, who took the position after Councilmember Jan Perry, 9th District, abruptly resigned as the council’s second in charge in early November.
Garcetti, who authored the motion nominating Wesson and Reyes, is stepping down as president — but not from the council — to allow more time for his 2013 mayoral campaign.
“Councilmembers Wesson and Reyes are strong and accomplished public officials who have given our city and our state decades of dedicated service. Their election to leadership positions would be an asset to our city,” Garcetti said. “Councilmember Wesson is a proven leader who has the experience and skills to guide the council through the economic challenges and tough decisions we face. Councilmember Reyes is a compassionate public servant who has revitalized his district and has deep expertise in some of the most complex issues the Council handles.”
Wesson, 60, became the representative of the 10th District after a special election in 2005, and was reelected in 2007 and 2011. The area includes the neighborhoods south of Olympic Boulevard, as well as Koreatown, the Mid-City area and portions of South Los Angeles below the Santa Monica (10) Freeway. He currently chairs the council’s Rules and Elections Committee, which oversees the city’s Ethics Commission and the Election Division of the City Clerk’s Office. Wesson also serves as vice chair of the council’s Arts, Parks and Neighborhoods committee, and is a member of the Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee, and the Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
Prior to being elected to the city council, Wesson represented the 47th District in the State Assembly. He was elected to the legislature in 1998, and forced out because of term limits in 2004. During his time in the Assembly, Wesson was elected by his fellow members as Speaker, becoming the second African American to hold the position. During his tenure in state government, Wesson authored legislation protecting healthcare, education funding and the environment. He also previously served as the chief of staff to Former City Councilmember Nate Holden, and former Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke.
Reyes was elected to the city council in 2001, representing the 1st Council District, which includes the Pico-Union District, MacArthur Park and the Adams-Normandie District, as well as portions of northeast Los Angeles including Lincoln Heights and Cypress Park. Reyes is chair of the council’s Planning and Land Use Committee, and vice chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee. Some of the more high profile initiatives spearheaded by Reyes include the effort to revitalize the Los Angeles River, and to enact the city’s medical marijuana ordinance. He has also been heavily involved in creating more affordable housing in the city, and creating more park space.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.