José Huizar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
José Huizar
José Huizar.jpg
Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 14th district
In office
December 1, 2005 – October 15, 2020
Preceded byAntonio Villaraigosa
Succeeded byKevin De León
Personal details
Born (1968-09-10) September 10, 1968 (age 52)
Zacatecas, Mexico
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Richelle Ríos
Children4
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley (BA)
University of California, Los Angeles (JD)
Princeton University (MPP)
Websitecd14.lacity.org

José Luis Huizar (born September 10, 1968) is a Mexican-American politician and a former member of the Los Angeles City Council. Huizar was arrested and indicted on June 23, 2020, on federal corruption charges.[1]

Huizar was elected on November 8, 2005, in a special election to fill the seat vacated by the then-mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. He was re-elected to a full four-year term in 2007 and again in 2011. In 2015, he was re-elected but to a term of 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 LAUSD to even-number years beginning in 2020, thereby extending his new term by one and a half years.

Early life and education[edit]

Huizar was born in a village called Los Morales in the municipality of Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico,[2] the son of Simón Huizar, a migrant farm worker and later machinist. His mother, Isidra Serrano, was a meatpacking plant worker.[3]

He immigrated with his parents to the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles at the age of 3, and attended 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 Doctor from the UCLA School of Law.[4] In 2004, he became the first Latino to serve on the Princeton Board of Trustees.

Career[edit]

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 Mayor Richard Riordan, defeating Ralph Cole with 75% 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 three other candidates, to be re-elected to the Los Angeles City Council for a fourth time.[8] He is the first Mexican immigrant elected to the L.A. City Council.[9]

On November 7, 2018, the FBI served search warrants on Huizar's City Hall office and his residence. They removed computers and boxes of files, but did not disclose the purpose of the search.[10]

On November 15, 2018, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson gave notice and removed Huizar from all of his committee assignments, with no explanation as to why he was being removed or addressing speculation on a forthcoming resignation. Wesson's notice read, “We're optimistic Angelenos will be best served by these changes as the Los Angeles City Council continues the people’s work without interruption,” said Wesson spokeswoman Vanessa Rodriguez.[11]

On May 28, 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council President Nury Martinez called on Huizar to resign.[12]

Committees[edit]

  • Planning & Land Use Management (previous)
  • Rules, Elections & Intergovernmental Relations (previous vice chair)
  • Energy & Environment (chair 2012–13)
  • Economic Development (previous)[13][14]

Positions[edit]

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,[15] and worked to expand recycling efforts in commercial and apartment buildings.[16] Huizar also oversaw two of the largest solar projects in the country,[17] advocated for a coal-free Los Angeles by 2025,[18] 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 [19] and the Sierra Club's Political Leadership award.[20] He has also worked to preserve open space and improve parks, especially in park-poor areas of the City of Los Angeles.[21]

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."[22] In 2013, the city's first parklets were installed in the Highland Park, El Sereno, and Downtown Los Angeles.[23] Huizar has also worked to grow bike infrastructure in the City of Los Angeles, including a green bike lane Downtown.[24] 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.[25] In 2010 and 2011, Huizar worked to install the city's first bike corral on York Boulevard in Highland Park.[26]

Transportation[edit]

In 2009, Huizar was appointed to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors.[27] While on the board, he pushed for extended Metro hours,[28] increased funding for pedestrian and bicycle projects,[29] and greater attention to civil rights in transportation planning.[30] 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.[31] The plan includes reactivating historic theaters,[32] as well as more than one million square feet of vacant commercial space.[33][34] As part of the plan, Huizar has also led the campaign to bring back the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Streetcar.[35]

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.[36] In October 2013, Huizar commissioned nine murals to be painted on utility boxes on First Street in Boyle Heights.[37]

Historic 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.[38] Also in 2010, Huizar also helped expand the Highland Park Historic Preservation Overlay Zone.[39][40] Historic preservation is also a key aspect of the Bringing Back Broadway initiative.[41] Huizar has been criticized for land-use decisions that resulted in the loss of such historic landmarks as the Ambassador Hotel, Parker Center, Sixth Street Bridge and Lytton Savings.

Bribery allegations and indictment[edit]

The FBI opened up a case at City Hall after reports of retaliation by a council member. Fundraiser and former city planning commissioner Justin Jangwoo Kim has pleaded guilty to federal charges of coordinating large cash bribes to a LA City Council member.[42][43] One of these was former council member Mitch Englander, who has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from Kim.[44] In a separate case, the US Attorney's office has filed charges against a real estate developer described in public legal papers only as Developer C, accusing the developer to giving $500,000 to an unnamed person. According to an analysis by the L.A. Times, details in the suit make it clear that C is Kim and that the alleged recipient of the bribe was Huizar.[45]

Huizar's former aide, George Esparza plead guilty in the investigation. He facilitated bribes from Chinese real estate developers to a council member, known to be Huizar. Specifically Developer C, now known to be Shenzhen New World Group, totaling over one million dollars.[46] On June 23, 2020, Huizar was arrested and taken into federal custody at his Boyle Heights home on racketeering charges. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. [47]

Controversies[edit]

Misconduct allegations[edit]

Former staffers Mayra Álvarez, Pauline Medina, and Jesse Leon have sued Huizar, claiming that he retaliated against them when they spoke up about conduct by Huizar that they considered unethical or illegal. Álvarez's suit says she was fired for "voicing discomfort with some of his and the office’s practices which she believed violated local, state, and federal law."[48] Medina claims that she was forced to resign because "she complained about using city funds to pay for Huízar’s personal expenses, and accused him of giving preferential treatment to another staffer with whom he was having an extramarital affair."[49] Leon's suit says he was fired after he went to the FBI with information about pay-to-play schemes involving cannabis business licenses, but Huizar says that Leon himself had a conflict of interest involving his own attempts to get such a license.[50]

Sexual harassment lawsuit[edit]

On October 17, 2013, Huizar was sued for sexual harassment, and he subsequently confessed that he had engaged in a "consensual relationship" with a former female staffer, Francine Godoy.[51] 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.[52]

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.[53] The lawsuit was dropped against Huizar and the City of Los Angeles in September 2014.[54] With the lawsuit being dropped, the City of Los Angeles paid no money to Godoy.[55]

Awards[edit]

In 2005, Hispanic Business Magazine named him one of the "100 most influential Hispanics" in the United States.[56] 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."[57] In 2013, Huizar received the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters Environmental Champion Award[58] and the Sierra Club's Political Leadership award.[59]

Personal life[edit]

Huizar married Richelle Ríos in 1999, and the couple has four children: Emilia, Isabella, Simón Luís, and Aviana Rose. Huizar became a U.S. citizen while in college.[60]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DAZIO, STEFANIE; ANTCZAK, JOHN (June 23, 2020). "Los Angeles councilman arrested in federal corruption probe". ASSOCIATED PRESS. Retrieved July 1, 2020 – via The News & Observer.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Hyman, Steve (7 May 2006). "Sons Live Out a Dream". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  4. ^ "José Huízar". La Jornada. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  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. ^ Huffington Post https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jose-huizar. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "FBI raids home and offices of L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar - Los Angeles Times". latimes.com. November 7, 2018.
  11. ^ "After FBI raid, L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar is stripped of his committee assignments - L.A. Times". latimes.com. November 15, 2018.
  12. ^ "L.A. Mayor Garcetti, Council President Martinez call for resignation of Councilman Huizar amid corruption probe". KTLA. 2020-05-29. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  13. ^ "Los Angeles City Council Committee Assignments" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-15.
  14. ^ Reyes, David Zahniser, Emily Alpert (2018-11-15). "After FBI raid, L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar is stripped of his committee assignments". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  15. ^ Wave Wire Services (24 May 2012). "L.A. City Council vote to ban plastic shopping bags". Los Angeles Wave. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  16. ^ MacVean, Mary (13 August 2011). "Los Angeles' trash and recycling policies for apartments debated". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  17. ^ Ramallo, Joseph (4 October 2012). "Los Angeles Takes Major Step Toward Clean Energy Future as LADWP Board Approves New Solar Power Agreements". LADWP News. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  18. ^ Linthicum, Katie (23 April 2013). "L.A. City Council votes to move away from coal-fired energy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  19. ^ Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters (11 May 2013). "2013 Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Awards". Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  20. ^ Sierra Club Angelus Chapter. "Salute environmental champions at Chapter's 2013 Political Leadership Awards". Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  21. ^ "City sells a chunk of El Sereno's Elephant Hill for open space". The Eastsider LA. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  22. ^ The Associated Press (15 September 2011). "Jan Perry, Jose Huizar push for 'parklets'". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  23. ^ "LA Parklets Coming To Downtown, Highland Park And El Sereno". Huff Post Los Angeles. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  24. ^ "New Downtown Bike Lanes Coming June 2012". LA BIKAS. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  25. ^ Hall, Carla (24 May 2013). "Toning down the green of the Spring Street bike lane". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  26. ^ Linton, Joe and Ramon Martinez (29 March 2010). "Bike Corrals for the City of Los Angeles". Streetsblog. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  27. ^ Heibel, Suzanne (17 April 2009). "Villaraigosa Appoints Councilman Huizar to L.A. County Metro Board". HispanicBusiness.com. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  28. ^ Richardson, Eric (26 March 2009). "Mayor Appoints Downtown Councilman to Metro Board". Southern California Public Radio blogdowntown.com. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  29. ^ MTA Planning and Programming Committee (20 February 2013). "Motion by Directors Wilson, Huizar, DuBois, and Fasana: Enhancing Active Transportation Planning & Implementation" (PDF). Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  30. ^ Bloomekatz, Ari (16 December 2011). "Metro board members lecture agency over civil rights violations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  31. ^ "Bringing Back Broadway Vision". City of Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  32. ^ "LAFHTF Achievements". Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  33. ^ Kim, Eddie (13 December 2013). "Huizar Plan Could Help Activate Broadway Vacancies". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ Bachrach, Eve (6 March 2013). "The Downtown Los Angeles Streetcar Loop is Officially a Go". Curbed Los Angeles. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  36. ^ Fuentes, Ed (5 September 2013). "Mural Ordinance Passes. Now What?". KCET. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  37. ^ "Colorful New Murals Coming to Boyle Heights Utility Boxes". Curbed Los Angeles. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  38. ^ Vaillancourt, Ryan (18 November 2011). "Mills Act Funds Running Out for Historic Properties". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  39. ^ "Garvanza Historic Preservation Overlay Zone". Preserve LA. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  40. ^ Smith, Dakota (11 October 2010). "Highland Park-Garvanza HPOZ In Effect, Neighborhood Still on Watch". Curbed Los Angeles. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  41. ^ Vaillancourt, Ryan (18 November 2011). "Mills Act Funds Running Out for Historic Properties". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  42. ^ Jr, Martin Macias (2020-03-27). "LA City Councilman to Plead Guilty to Obstructing Corruption Probe". Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  43. ^ "Fundraiser Pleading Guilty To Facilitating $500K Bribe To LA City Councilmember". 2020-03-19. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  44. ^ Jr, Martin Macias (2020-03-27). "LA City Councilman to Plead Guilty to Obstructing Corruption Probe". Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  45. ^ "Federal investigation into L.A. City Hall corruption involves downtown project". Los Angeles Times. 2020-04-15. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  46. ^ "Cash, casinos and a sexual harassment payout: Former Huizar aide agrees to plead guilty". Los Angeles Times. 2020-05-27. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  47. ^ "L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar charged in federal corruption probe". Los Angeles Times. 2020-06-23. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  48. ^ Kruzman, Diana (2018-10-25). "Former staffer sues José Huízar, alleging harassment and retaliation". Boyle Heights Beat. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  49. ^ Kruzman, Diana (2018-11-01). "Second lawsuit accuses Huízar of harassment, retaliation". Boyle Heights Beat. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  50. ^ Denkmann, -Libby. "Former Huizar Staffer Sues, Alleges Councilman Wanted Cannabis Kickbacks". LAist. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  51. ^ Zahniser, Dave C. "Councilman Jose Huizar says he had 'consensual relationship' with aide". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  52. ^ Zahniser, Dave C. "L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar is sued by former aide for harassment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  53. ^ David Zahniser and Emily Alpert Reyes. "Panel finds no support for sex harassment claim against Huizar". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  54. ^ Mae Ryan. "LA taxpayers to finance councilman's defense against sexual harassment lawsuit". KPCC. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
  55. ^ Benjamin Brayfield. "Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar sex harassment suit settled". KPCC. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  56. ^ "100 Most Influential Hispanics" (PDF). Hispanic Business Magazine. October 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  57. ^ "Hon. Jose Huizar, Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District". LAUSD. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  58. ^ Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters (11 May 2013). "2013 Smith-Weiss Environmental Champion Awards". Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  59. ^ Sierra Club Angelus Chapter. "Salute environmental champions at Chapter's 2013 Political Leadership Awards". Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  60. ^ Lopez, Jill Painter (30 August 2015). "New York TImes".

Libro de su Bibliografía. [1]El sueño de Huizar: una historia de cómo apropiarse del american dream, Victor Ronquillo, Universidad de Guadalajara Los Angeles, California.

External links[edit]

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

2005–2020
Succeeded by
  1. ^ Ronquillo, Victor (2010). El sueño de Huizar: una historia de cómo apropiarse del american dream (2010 ed.). Uniersidad de Guadalajara Los Angeles, California. p. 78.