Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez

Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez was elected Monday, Jan. 14. as president pro tempore, making her the first Latina to serve in the leadership position on the council.

Martinez has come up through the ranks involved in local politics in the northeast San Fernando Valley.  She was first a council member for the City of San Fernando. Over the years, Martinez has worked closely with other northeast valley politicians including Rep. Tony Cardenas.

“With this new power comes the opportunity to further shape the future of our great city,” Martinez said after her council colleagues unanimously elected her to the position.

“As one of only two women on the City Council, and the first Latina in council leadership, I am thrilled to represent the interests of my district as well as the over 50 percent of Los Angeles who identify as women.”

Martinez, who represents the northeast area of the San Fernando Valley, replaces former Councilmember Mitchell Englander as the president pro tempore, who acts as the presiding officer of City Council meetings in the absence of the president of the council.

Englander stepped down at the beginning of the year to take a

job in the private sector.

Martinez had been serving as the assistant president pro tempore, who is appointed by the council president.

Following Martinez’s election, Council President Herb Wesson named Councilmember Joe Buscaino as the assistant president pro tempore.

“I am honored to continue to serve the city with this new responsibility,” Buscaino said. “I want this council to continue setting precedents and making news by enacting policies that help improve the lives of our most vulnerable residents, while remaining focused on the core roles and responsibilities of local government: ensuring public safety, building and maintaining infrastructure and managing development and land use.”

Buscaino, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer, represents San Pedro, Watts and other South Bay neighborhoods.