In 2005, Councilmember Huizar was elected to the Los Angeles City Council’s 14th District and overwhelmingly re-elected in 2007, 2011 and, in for what will be his final term, 2015--where he won with a historical 40 percentage point difference from his nearest opponent.
He has been fearless in creating policies that are moving the City of Los Angeles forward. He championed successful efforts to address homelessness and the affordable housing crisis, protect the environment, increase park space, advance innovative transportation policies, and revitalize Downtown Los Angeles. He has also fought to bring new resources to the communities he represents, including Boyle Heights, El Sereno, Northeast Los Angeles and Downtown Los Angeles.
In his zest to assist those in need, Councilmember Huizar helped establish the City’s first-ever committee on Homelessness and as chair of the committee co-authored and adopted the City’s first ever Comprehensive Strategic Plan to Combat Homelessness. In implementing the Plan, Councilmember Huizar was one of the architects and leaders in the campaign to adopt the voter-approved Measure HHH, which will provide $1.2 billion over 10 years to build 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing.
Continuing with his efforts to assist low income residents of the City, he helped create a new development fee, which will generate approximately $100 million a year for the preservation and construction of affordable housing. With Councilmember Huizar’s assistance, his Council District has constructed the highest number of affordable housing units in all of Los Angeles.
In a resounding victory to dramatically increase green space throughout the City, Councilmember Huizar sponsored legislation that will add approximately $30 million annually for new park space and maintenance funds through a recalibration of park fees that had not been examined since the 1970s. He has also brought hundreds of acres of open space, new parks and park upgrades to park-poor areas of his district. On the environmental front, he led efforts to ban plastic bags, dramatically increase the Department Water and Power’s energy efficiency program, significantly increase solar power operations, and commit the City to getting off of coal energy use by 2025. He has also ushered in groundbreaking pedestrian and bike-friendly policies as the City’s leading “Complete Streets” proponents.
As a strong proponent for economic development and creating cultural destination points, Councilmember Huizar has steadfastly helped revitalize Downtown Los Angeles by increasing and reimagining its public spaces and promoting its economic and residential growth. Through his 10-year Bringing Back Broadway initiative, he assisted in the historical preservation of the beautiful corridor, reinvigorated 6 of its 12 historic theaters, and has created a framework to bring the beloved Streetcar back to Downtown Los Angeles.
Prior to his service on the Los Angeles City Council, Councilmember Huizar served as a member and President of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education (2001-2005). As Board President, he oversaw the planning and implementation of the largest school construction program in U.S. history, resulting in the construction of over 130 new schools. He authored various educational justice initiatives, including more access to college course requirements throughout the District. He helped reform the business side of the District and assisted small businesses by implementing a 25 percent small business goal for all contracts, while ensuring more transparency and accountability at the District by establishing the District’s ethics office and lobbyist registration system.
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 has been honored for his environmental protection leadership by the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club. He is also a two-time Streetsblog LA “Elected Official of the Year” winner for his work on multi-modal street improvements and for his efforts to combat homelessness.
Councilmember 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 Latino immigrant elected to the Los Angeles City Council. In 2004, he became the first Latino to serve on the Princeton University Board of Trustees.
Councilmember Huizar resides in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles – the neighborhood where he grew up, with his wife, Richelle Huizar, and their four children.