Eunisses Hernandez unseated Gil Cedillo. Can she help solve L.A.’s political crisis?
On a Wednesday afternoon, as a group of her campaign staff prepared for an evening press conference at the office of Assembly Member Janice Hahn, a Democratic state lawmaker from Santa Monica, Eunisses joined them to watch as the mayor delivered his final public address on the fate of his budget proposal.
“All I said was ‘thank you,'” she recalled later. “That’s really what you hope they do—thank you. That’s a very big deal.”
Eunisses Hernandez, a 34-year-old immigrant from Mexico, was the city’s first Latin American mayor. She was elected this year following a campaign that made the candidate out to be a strong advocate for immigrant issues, particularly in L.A.’s South L.A. neighborhood. And in just a year, thanks in large part to her success, the City Council is poised to do away with the controversial position of city councilmembers in the City Manager’s Office and make their positions more democratic and responsive.
“Eunisses was very open and very transparent,” said Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who was one of Eunisses’ first contributors and also served as director of her first campaign. “What I saw in the first few days was a very energetic woman and the rest is history.”
What does the City Council really believe about the fate of its budget? We sought to find out.
For the past several years, there has been a growing perception in City Hall that the City Council is not interested in the city’s finances, and that it has been largely disconnected from the rest of the city.
There is little question that the city has had some challenging financial years, and we have seen an erosion of fiscal responsibility in city government. But that is not the city council’s fault.
“A lot of the City Council has been trying to do the best they can to be politically correct” and “go along to get along,”