José Huizar was elected to the Los Angeles City Council’s 14th District in 2005 and overwhelmingly re-elected in 2007, 2011 and in what will be his final term, 2015.
Through his years of public service, Councilmember Huizar has proven himself a staunch advocate for educational reform, public safety and sustainable economic development, while also taking a leadership role on the City Council in championing efforts to address homelessness and the affordable housing crisis, protect the environment, increase park space and pushing for more complete streets policies. Through his 10-year initiative, Bringing Back Broadway, as well as other efforts, Huizar has helped create thousands of jobs in Downtown Los Angeles, an important economic hub for the entire Southern California region. Huizar has also promoted historical preservation in Downtown and throughout CD14, and he has created a framework to bring the beloved Streetcar back to Downtown Los Angeles.
He is one of the City of Los Angeles’ most proactive elected officials in pursuing creative solutions to address homelessness. An intensive homeless outreach program, called C3, that was created by Councilmember Huizar in Skid Row, with the assistance of Los Angeles County Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, has been expanded as the model for the entire Los Angeles County, including 87 other cities besides L.A.; Huizar also teamed with Council President Herb Wesson to create the nation’s first permanent large-city committee to address homelessness; and he co-authored the $1.2 billion homeless housing bond, which received more than 76% voter approval, the largest City bond in history.
Councilmember Huizar led an effort on the Los Angeles City Council, with the support of Mayor Garcetti, to create a Linkage Fee program, which will generate hundreds of millions of dollars to provide for new affordable housing and protect existing affordable housing throughout the City.
Councilmember Huizar sponsored legislation that will increase park space Citywide through tens of millions of dollars more annually that will be available through an increase in development fees raise fees (Quimby fees). Huizar has also helped bring hundreds of acres of open space, new parks and park upgrades to park-poor areas of his district and is one of the City’s leading “Complete Streets” proponents, ushering in groundbreaking pedestrian and bike-friendly policies that are seen as the model for the entire City. And on the environmental front, Huizar has led efforts to ban plastic bags in the City, increased solar power and helped commit the City to being off coal energy use by 2025.
Prior to his Council election, José served as a member and President of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education. As Board President, José oversaw the planning and implementation of the largest school construction program in U.S. history.
José Huizar was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master’s degree in Public Affairs and Urban Planning from Princeton University and a Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law. He is the first Mexican immigrant elected to the City Council in Los Angeles’ history and in 2004, he became the first Latino to serve on the Princeton Board of Trustees.
Councilmember Huizar has been awarded numerous awards and distinctions, including profiles 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” and by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the “100 most influential Hispanics” in the United States. He resides in Boyle Heights with his wife Richelle Rios, their son Simón and three daughters, Emilia, Isabella and Aviana.