Nury Martinez will not run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2022

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez announced Thursday that she had ruled out a mayoral candidate, saying the city needs stable political leadership as it emerges from the pandemic and the economic downturn that has accompanied it.

Martinez said in an interview that while she wants to see a woman elected mayor, she has decided to continue chairing the council, focusing on homelessness, economic recovery, job growth, production housing and crime.

“I think LA needs stability. It takes constant leadership, ”said Martinez, who represents part of the San Fernando Valley. “And I don’t care what to expect next. I am more focused on what lies ahead and know that I can better serve the city as chairman of the board.

Martinez, known for her outspoken style and focus on working class issues, would have turned the race upside down if she had gone for it. The competition currently only features two major political figures – Atty of the city. Mike Feuer and City Councilor Joe Buscaino – a situation which pushed some leaders look for alternatives.

Martinez, 48, grew up in Pacoima and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants – one a dishwasher, the other a factory worker. His decision to stay out of the race comes about a month after City Councilor Mark Ridley-Thomas, a seasoned politician who represents parts of South Los Angeles, also refused to pursue a mayoral bid.

Still, the competition to replace Garcetti may soon become more crowded.

City councilor Kevin de León, former president of the state Senate, has been considering a race for several months. US Representative Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) is now considering a campaign. And real estate developer Rick Caruso hired consultants to assess his own chances of success.

Martinez represents a neighborhood that includes Van Nuys, Panorama City, Lake Balboa and Arleta. The most important candidate to emerge from the vote-rich valley so far is the real estate agent Mel Wilson, who spent several years on the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

In recent weeks, Martinez has seemed reluctant to step down as chair of the 15-member board, which has enormous influence over local legislation, public policy and real estate development.

To run for mayor, “I would have to give up the presidency, which is the most powerful office in town,” Martinez told The Times last week.

Martinez, first elected to the board in 2013, spent nearly two years as chairman of the board, a period dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that followed. She was entering her third month as president when much of the city closed.

In the period that followed, Martinez led the committee that distributed hundreds of millions of dollars for rent relief, business assistance, Angelenos homeless assistance programs, and financial assistance to people unable to pay their water and electricity bills.

Ron Herrera, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, said Martinez had been a champion of working families during his presidency, pushing for aid programs, workplace protections work and, more recently, vaccine requirements for city workers.

“I admire him for taking a tough stand,” he said. “A lot of people you hear about it, they’ll be playing in the middle of the road. She has taken a stand to defend the vaccine and that people get vaccinated. “

Critics of Martinez took a more negative view, saying she was too quick to cancel meetings during the pandemic and placed too many restrictions on the public’s ability to speak out at virtual city meetings. . Some homeless advocates have demonstrated outside his Sun Valley home, claiming that his drive to remove settlements from public spaces does criminalize poverty.

Martinez was also acting mayor when Garcetti traveled out of state. Garcetti has been appointed by President Biden to become U.S. Ambassador to India, but is awaiting a confirmation hearing.

Under the city’s charter, Martinez would become acting mayor if Garcetti left earlier than expected. However, council members would also have the power to select another person as acting mayor to complete the unfinished portion of Garcetti’s tenure.

Martinez said she had not ruled out becoming an interim mayor. However, she said she was “also not interested in playing political games” regarding the post.

Times writer Benjamin Oreskes contributed to this report.

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