Endorsement: Reelect Monica Rodriguez for City Council District 7
Since being elected in 2017, Monica Rodriguez has provided much-needed attention and stability to City Council District 7, which spans much of the northeast San Fernando Valley.
For years, this district, which includes Pacoima, Sylmar, Lake View Terrace, Sunland and Tujunga, shuffled through council members who left early, and that turnover only fueled long-standing frustrations among residents over getting basic needs met.
Rodriguez has delivered consistent and attentive leadership and shown an ability to balance competing priorities on issues from housing, homelessness and transportation to the environment, poverty and youth development. She is the first council member to seek reelection in the district in more than a decade, and voters should give her another term.
She is an effective public servant who is well versed in the needs and challenges of her district and committed to making life better for residents, including its many working-class families struggling with food and housing insecurity and communities that lack infrastructure like sidewalks, streetlights and shade trees. Early in her term, she launched a targeted neighborhood cleanup program to more quickly provide services like graffiti removal, street sweeping, garbage pickup and power washing of sidewalks along neglected business corridors.
Rodriguez had already put in years of service in local government before joining the City Council, having worked for former Mayor Richard Riordan, two former council members and a Los Angeles Unified School District Board member and as an appointee to the city’s Board of Public Works. That experience has proved valuable on the council, where she has sought not only to improve the city’s response to homelessness, the housing crisis and crime, but also to attack the root causes. She spearheaded the establishment of a new city Youth Development Department to centralize services for young people who are living in poverty and need assistance with school and job opportunities.
She came into office with the backing of powerful labor unions, but has bucked them when necessary, pointing to her work as a member of the budget and finance committee to ensure that pandemic-induced cuts in 2020 were distributed fairly among city departments and her support for alternatives to policing as chair of the public safety committee.
Rodriguez has advocated for the closure of county-owned Whiteman Airport in Pacoima over concerns about a series of crashes and the ongoing effects of air pollution on surrounding communities. It’s an example of her willingness to stand up for safety, environmental justice and better quality of life in a corner of Los Angeles that copes with more than its fair share of pollution, extreme heat, wildfires and other hazards and needs a persistent advocate.
Elisa Avalos, a community organizer and volunteer who has served as president of the Pacoima Neighborhood Council, is the only other candidate in the race. The Times favors Rodriguez because of her proven leadership and diligent commitment to improving the lives of her constituents.
Read more endorsements at: latimes.com/endorsements.
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