CM Paul Krekorian and CM Curren Price Jr. were voted in and subsequently sworn in as Council President and President Pro Tempore.
Los Angeles City Council Meeting in Los Angeles City Hall, John Ferraro Council Chamber.


District 10 residents call for Heather Hutt to fill the vacant council seat 


Council President Paul Krekorian and Council Pro Tempore Curren Price Jr., have called for a vote on April 11 to restore voting power to the constituents of Council District 10.

Like in 2022, the issue of a CD 10 representative looms before the Los Angeles City Council.

Last September, the City Council appointed Heather Hutt to temporary fill the position, but that assignment ended when former Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas was convicted in the federal corruption trial on March 30, thus rendering the position vacant.

Former California State Director Heather Hutt (Courtesy Image)

Later that day, Council President Paul Krekorian named Hutt as the CD 10 Caretaker, however the position does not give her the voting privileges enjoyed by a councilmember – a complaint that CD 10 constituents loudly aired last year before Hutt’s position was upgraded from Caretaker to Councilmember.

Fortunately, Krekorian also announced his intention to ask the City Council to appoint Hutt to complete the term of Ridley-Thomas, which ends in December 2024.  In March 2024, the primary election takes place to elect a new representative for CD 10 and other even-numbered districts in Los Angeles.

Still, the spot is currently vacant once again and Krekorian, Council Pro Tempore Curren Price Jr., and the 12 other members of the City Council must decide the fate of a CD 10 representative. The choices are to appoint Hutt or hold a special election, which some experts have estimated to cost $8 million or more.

Taking a decisive stand, Krekorian and Price conducted an exclusive interview with the L.A. Sentinel where they firmly stated their support of Hutt as the permanent representative. Also, the councilmembers shared the factors that influence their approach to ensuring that CD 10 has a voting member on the City Council.

Women in CD 10 united to show support Heather Hutt during a press conference on April 4 in Leimert Park. (Courtesy photo)

Detailing his viewpoint, Krekorian emphasized, “The proposal I put forth is to appoint Heather Hutt as the temporary caretaker and appoint her as the permanent representative as soon as Council comes back from its recess.  That way, it won’t be a single meeting in which that the 10th District does not have a voting representative.  Any other process would mean effectively the disenfranchisement – again – of the people of that district.”

Offering similar comments, Price said, “We want to demonstrate the need for representation. Heather had been acting in the capacity, I think, very well in the past several months and with the result of MRT’s (Mark Ridley-Thomas) trial, actions to fill that vacancy are very important. I totally support her appointment and I’m going to support her election next year.”

The council leaders also addressed the request by some community members to hold a special election for CD 10 as was done on April 4 to fill the CD 6 vacancy, which occurred when former Council President Nury Martinez resigned last October.

“Considering the timing and cost of a special election, it’s a situation that we have to consider all of the factors on,” Price said.

“A special election in the 10th would be multiple of millions of dollars, which is money that obviously could be much better spent on the urgent needs of the people of Los Angeles, rather than a special election,” said Krekorian, adding that October 2023 is the earliest that a special election could be held and the runoff, if necessary, in December and the regular election in March 2024.

“It’s a very different situation in the 6th than it is in the 10th. Right now, until that conviction, the 10th had a voting member that will serve continuously through under the proposal I’ve put forward. In the 6th District, the people had no representative and would have no representation for a little over two years if we had not set a special election,” Krekorian explained.

Making his recommendation clear, Price stressed, “I think appointing Heather Hutt is the best way to proceed. She’s a longtime resident of the community, she has a history of engagement and has demonstrated during her short time on the council that she has a passion for the issues of families and businesses in the district. I think she deserves an opportunity to be elected in the upcoming election in March.

“Leadership is important and history has thrust the situation on Heather. She has the background, training and confidence of her colleagues and community that she can perform in this capacity.”

Noting that he didn’t know Hutt prior to her appointment last year, Krekorian said, “I’ve seen her perform the job as councilmember and I appointed her to chair the Transportation Committee and take on some very important responsibilities for this council.  That combined with positive feedback that I’ve gotten from people that I know and trust in the 10th District gives me great confidence that she will continue to do a great job representing the people in the 10th District.

“And when the election comes up next March, if the people feel differently, they’ll have the opportunity to voice their opinion,” he said.

“So, we still preserve the democratic process while also having a very strong voice for the people of the 10th district voting in the City Council in the meantime.”

Apparently, community members approve of Hutt’s leadership because she continues to enjoy overwhelming support from residents and business owners in L.A.’s Council District 10 and has made significant progress during her appointment as the councilmember.

As the representative on the L.A. City Council for the past eight months, Hutt hit the ground running and promptly responded to the needs of the region’s multicultural population. Her positive actions, legislative knowledge and easy approachability endeared her to constituents throughout the district.

Indicating support for Krekorian and Price’s plan, several high-powered women stakeholders gathered in Leimert Park on April 4, to urge the City Council to adopt the council president’s proposal regarding Hutt. Also, the women denied the need for a special election to decide the representative.

“I live in this community, and I agree that we should not spend money for a special election. I have worked side-by-side with Councilwoman Heather Hutt, and I feel that she is doing a great job,” declared Cisca Mendoza, who also represents the Foundation for Human Rights in Southern California.

Lori Condinus insisted, “It is critical as a Black woman to keep her in this seat. We are underrepresented in government. We need her voice, we need her hard work, she’s done extraordinary things in six months’ time. Do not waste any money on a special election.  We want Heather Hutt to remain in this seat.

Expressing equally emphatic words, Kellie Todd Griffin said, “We are here as Black women leaders who provide services in this community. We stand in solidarity to call on City Council to make Heather Hutt a permanent member so that the 10th District is no longer disenfranchised.”  Todd Griffin is founder and convener of California Black Women’s Collective and a member of Black Women Organized for Political Action in Southern California.

In response to people calling for a special election, Jasmyne Cannick, CD 10 resident and former staffer to former Council President Herb Wesson, flatly stated, “We already have an election scheduled on March 5, 2024. Why would we remove her from the position when she’s already doing the job? This is not political. This is common sense. Why waste money and time?

“The people will have an opportunity to say who they want to be their representative in less than a year. In the time being, Heather is a very capable woman and very capable person to lead our district,” Cannick said.

Other participants vowing to support Hutt included Tracey Mitchell, president of Mothers In Action which is headquartered in CD 10; Joy Atkinson, executive director of L.A. African American Women’s Public Policy Institute, longtime CD 10 homeowner and L.A. City Commissioner; and Kandee Lewis, CEO of Positive Results Center, a nonprofit that serves youth in CD 10.