José Huizar

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José Huizar
José Huizar and his family during a Chinatown parade.jpg
Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 14th district
Assumed office
Preceded by Antonio Villaraigosa
Personal details
Born (1968-09-10) September 10, 1968 (age 49)
Zacatecas, Mexico
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Richelle Ríos
Residence Los Angeles, California
Alma mater UC Berkeley (B.A.)
UCLA School of Law (J.D.)
Princeton University (M.P.P.)

José Luis Huizar (born September 10, 1968) is an American elected official in California. He is a member of the Los Angeles City Council representing District 14.

His district covers central Downtown Los Angeles, as well as Boyle Heights, El Sereno, Hermon, Monterey Hills, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, and Glassell Park.

Huizar was elected on November 8, 2005 in a special election to fill the seat vacated by the then new Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. He was reelected to a full four-year term in 2007 and again in 2011. In 2015, he was re-elected but to a 5 1/2 years, due to the passage of Charter Amendments 1 and 2. The amendments will change elections in the city of L.A. and the LAUSD to even-number years beginning in the year 2020, thereby extending his new term by 1 1/2 years.

Early life and education[edit]

Huizar was born in a village called Los Morales in the municipality of Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico,[1] son of Simón Huizar, who was a migrant farm worker and later a machinist. His mother Isidra Serrano was a meatpacking plant worker.[2]

He immigrated with his parents to the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles at the age of three, attended Euclid Elementary, Stevenson Junior High School, Hollenbeck Junior High School and Salesian High School before attending University of California, Berkeley as an undergraduate. He received a master's degree in Public Affairs and Urban Planning from Princeton University and a Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law.[3] He became a US Citizen while in college.[4] In 2004, he became the first Latino to serve on the Princeton Board of Trustees.

Los Angeles Unified School Board[edit]

José Huizar won a seat on the Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District on April 10, 2001, as a candidate supported by then Mayor Richard Riordan, defeating Ralph Cole with 75 percent of the vote.[5] He served as member and President of the Board until 2005.

Los Angeles City Council[edit]

In November 2005, Huizar ran against Nick Pacheco for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council vacated by Antonio Villaraigosa and won.[6] He was reelected to a full four-year term in 2007 and again in 2011.[7] On March 3, 2015, he defeated former Supervisor Gloria Molina, along with 3 other candidates, to be re-elected to the Los Angeles City Council for a historic 4th time.[8] José Huizar's victory over Gloria Molina by a 42-point margin is her first defeat in her political career. He is the first Mexican immigrant elected to the L.A. City Council.[9]


  • Planning & Land Use Management (Current Chair)
  • Rules, Elections & Intergovernmental Relations (Current Vice Chair)
  • Energy & Environment (Chair 2012-13)
  • Economic Development[10]

Environmental issues[edit]

Huizar chaired the Los Angeles City Council’s Energy & Environment Committee in 2012 and 2013. Under his leadership, the committee pushed forward the single-use plastic bag ban[11] and worked to expand recycling efforts in commercial and apartment buildings.[12] Huizar also oversaw two of the largest solar projects in the country,[13] advocated for a coal-free Los Angeles by 2025,[14] and ensured that the Council adopted a $120 million annual budget for energy conservation. In 2013, Huizar received the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters Environmental Champion Award [15] and the Sierra Club’s Political Leadership award.[16] He has also worked to preserve open space and improve parks, especially in park-poor areas of the City of Los Angeles.[17]

Complete Streets[edit]

Huizar has advocated for the complete streets model of city planning, where streets are safe for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users. In 2012, Huizar and then-Councilmember Jan Perry wrote a City Council motion that created a parklet program for the City of Los Angeles. According to the motion, parklets would encourage “pedestrian and ground-floor activity [and provide] much-needed open space.”[18] In 2013, the city’s first parklets were installed in the Highland Park, El Sereno, and Downtown Los Angeles.[19] Huizar has also worked to grow bike infrastructure in the City of Los Angeles, including a green bike lane Downtown.[20] The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition recognized Huizar in late 2013 for his complete streets efforts and forging a compromise to ensure Downtown’s Spring Streets bicycle lanes remained in place.[21] In 2010 and 2011, Huizar worked to install the City's first bike corral on York Boulevard in Highland Park.[22]


In 2009, Huizar was appointed to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors.[23] While on the board, he pushed for extended Metro hours,[24] increased funding for pedestrian and bicycle projects,[25] and greater attention to civil rights in transportation planning.[26] He served on the board until 2013.

Bringing Back Broadway[edit]

In 2008, Huizar created the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, a ten-year plan to revitalize the historic Broadway Theater District in Downtown Los Angeles.[27] The plan includes reactivating historic theaters,[28] as well as more than one million square feet of vacant commercial space.[29][30] As part of the plan, Huizar has also led the campaign to bring back the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Streetcar.[31]

Support of the arts[edit]

In August 2013, the Huizar-authored Mural Ordinance was passed by the City Council, ending an 11-year ban on murals on private property.[32] In October 2013, Huizar commissioned nine murals to be painted on utility boxes on First Street in Boyle Heights.[33]

Historical preservation[edit]

In 2011, Huizar authored a motion to help extend the Mills Act, which incentivizes historic preservation by offering lower property taxes to those restoring historic structures.[34] Also in 2010, Huizar also helped expand the Highland Park Historic Preservation Overlay Zone.[35][36] Historic preservation is also a key aspect of the Bringing Back Broadway initiative.[37]


In 2005, Hispanic Business Magazine named him one of the “100 most influential Hispanics” in the United States.[38] Huizar was also named by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the 25 figures in the Los Angeles Area that “stand out for their potential to shape lives.”[39] In 2013, Huizar received the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters Environmental Champion Award[40] and the Sierra Club’s Political Leadership award.[41]

Personal life[edit]

Huizar married Richelle Ríos in 1999 and the couple has four children named Emilia, Isabella, Simón Luís and Aviana Rose.

Sexual harassment lawsuit[edit]

On October 17, 2013, Huizar was sued for sexual harassment, and subsequently confessed that he had been engaged in a "consensual relationship" with former female staffer, Francine Godoy.[42] Huizar reportedly reduced her duties, in response to her refusal to grant him sexual favors. In addition, during her campaign for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College District Board, Huizar promised to support her campaign in exchange that she give in to his advances.[43]

A City of Los Angeles investigation overseen by an independent panel of retired judges and other law experts found no evidence supporting Godoy’s harassment claims.[44]

The lawsuit was dropped against Huizar and the City of Los Angeles in September 2014.[45] With the lawsuit being dropped, the City of Los Angeles will pay no money to Godoy.[46]


  1. ^ Arellano, Gustavo (18 March 2010). "With so many Zacatecans in L.A., why is the best cooking still found at home?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Hyman, Steve (7 May 2006). "Sons Live Out a Dream". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "José Huízar". La Jornada. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Lopez, Jill Painter (30 August 2015). "New York TImes". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Johnston, Robert C. (18 April 2001). "Candidates for Los Angeles Mayor Talk Up Better Schools". Education Week. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Times Staff Reports (30 November 2005). "Huizar, Wesson Sworn In as Councilmember". L.A. Times. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Zahniser, David and Maeve Reston (9 March 2011). "Incumbents hold edge in L.A. council races". L.A. Times. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Roderick,Kevin (3 March 2015). "Councilman Huizar reelected without a fight". L.A. Observed. Retrieved 3 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Template:Newspaper=Huffington Post
  10. ^ "Los Angeles City Council Committee Assignments" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-15. 
  11. ^ Wave Wire Services (24 May 2012). "L.A. City Council vote to ban plastic shopping bags". Los Angeles Wave. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  12. ^ MacVean, Mary (13 August 2011). "Los Angeles' trash and recycling policies for apartments debated". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  13. ^ Ramallo, Joseph (4 October 2012). "Los Angeles Takes Major Step Toward Clean Energy Future as LADWP Board Approves New Solar Power Agreements". LADWP News. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  14. ^ Linthicum, Katie (23 April 2013). "L.A. City Council votes to move away from coal-fired energy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters (11 May 2013). "2013 Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Awards". Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  16. ^ Sierra Club Angelus Chapter. "Salute environmental champions at Chapter's 2013 Political Leadership Awards". Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "City sells a chunk of El Sereno's Elephant Hill for open space". The Eastsider LA. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  18. ^ The Associated Press (15 September 2011). "Jan Perry, Jose Huizar push for 'parklets'". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "LA Parklets Coming To Downtown, Highland Park And El Sereno". Huff Post Los Angeles. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  20. ^ "New Downtown Bike Lanes Coming June 2012". LA BIKAS. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  21. ^ Hall, Carla (24 May 2013). "Toning down the green of the Spring Street bike lane". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  22. ^ Linton, Joe and Ramon Martinez (29 March 2010). "Bike Corrals for the City of Los Angeles". Streetsblog. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  23. ^ Heibel, Suzanne (17 April 2009). "Villaraigosa Appoints Councilman Huizar to L.A. County Metro Board". Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  24. ^ Richardson, Eric (26 March 2009). "Mayor Appoints Downtown Councilman to Metro Board". Southern California Public Radio Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  25. ^ MTA Planning and Programming Committee (20 February 2013). "Motion by Directors Wilson, Huizar, DuBois, and Fasana: Enhancing Active Transportation Planning & Implementation". Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  26. ^ Bloomekatz, Ari (16 December 2011). "Metro board members lecture agency over civil rights violations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "Bringing Back Broadway Vision". City of Los Angeles. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "LAFHTF Achievements". Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  29. ^ Kim, Eddie (13 December 2013). "Huizar Plan Could Help Activate Broadway Vacancies". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  30. ^ Kudler, Adrian Glick (11 December 2013). "City Making It Easier To Convert Broadway's Historic Buildings Into Office Space". Curbed Los Angeles. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  31. ^ Bachrach, Eve (6 March 2013). "The Downtown Los Angeles Streetcar Loop is Officially a Go". Curbed Los Angeles. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  32. ^ Fuentes, Ed (5 September 2013). "Mural Ordinance Passes. Now What?". KCET. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  33. ^ "Colorful New Murals Coming to Boyle Heights Utility Boxes". Curbed Los Angeles. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  34. ^ Vaillancourt, Ryan (18 November 2011). "Mills Act Funds Running Out for Historic Properties". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  35. ^ "Garvanza Historic Preservation Overlay Zone". Preserve LA. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  36. ^ Smith, Dakota (11 October 2010). "Highland Park-Garvanza HPOZ In Effect, Neighborhood Still on Watch". Curbed Los Angeles. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  37. ^ Vaillancourt, Ryan (18 November 2011). "Mills Act Funds Running Out for Historic Properties". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  38. ^ "100 Most Influential Hispanics" (PDF). Hispanic Business Magazine. October 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  39. ^ "Hon. Jose Huizar, Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District". LAUSD. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  40. ^ Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters (11 May 2013). "2013 Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Awards". Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  41. ^ Sierra Club Angelus Chapter. "Salute environmental champions at Chapter's 2013 Political Leadership Awards". Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  42. ^ Zahniser, Dave C. "Councilman Jose Huizar says he had 'consensual relationship' with aide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  43. ^ Zahniser, Dave C. "L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar is sued by former aide for harassment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  44. ^ David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes. "Panel finds no support for sex harassment claim against Huizar". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  45. ^ Mae Ryan. "LA taxpayers to finance councilman's defense against sexual harassment lawsuit". KPCC. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  46. ^ Benjamin Brayfield. "Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar sex harassment suit settled". KPCC. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Antonio Villaraigosa
Los Angeles City Councilmember,
14th district

Succeeded by