Santa Claus waves at a little girl at the Van Nuys Civic Center as part of an event to hand out free backpacks, books and school supplies to LAUSD students and their families. (Photo Courtesy of Arianna Miskin/Council District 6)

Called a “Miracle on Sylvan Street,” local LAUSD students and their families drove through the historic Van Nuys Civic Center on Sylvan Street on Sat., Dec. 10, to receive backpacks, school supplies, a science kit and books as holiday gifts. 

The children were excited as they went through a festive light tunnel and were greeted by Victorian carolers who sang favorite holiday songs.

As many as 500 students received backpacks full of gifts and snacks handed out by Council District 6 staff and Santa Claus. Their eyes lit up as Santa Claus approached their cars. 

Each year, selected families are invited to attend. 

Although it’s been a challenging time for those who work in the District 6 office, staff members facilitated this annual holiday event, although Council District 6 — which covers the Northeast San Fernando Valley — has been without a council representative since October. 

After enormous fallout that followed leaked audio of a crude conversation between Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon — Council President Martinez was forced to resign from her district and has since been out of public view. Martinez’s name was immediately removed from public and online signage. 

 A non-voting caretaker was assigned to oversee the operations of the District 6 council office. To fill the seat, the City Council voted to hold a special primary election on April 4, 2023, and a special general election, if a run-off is necessary, on June 27, 2023.

According to the city clerk’s office, the election will cost the city up to $7.65 million dollars.