Marisa Alcaraz (File photo)

Her Longtime Work as a Champion for Communities of Color is What Separates Her From the Others 

The April 4 Special Election to fill the vacant seat for Los Angeles City Council District 6 is heating up with mail-in ballots sent out to registered voters earlier this month. The Council District encompasses Arleta, Lake Balboa, Panorama City, Sun Valley, Van Nuys, and sections of North Hills and North Hollywood.

This is a crucial race that is going to have a ripple effect throughout the City of L.A. in the wake of the leaked racist audio recordings that brought shame to City Hall last October, prompting former Council President Nury Martinez to resign. As the city attempts to heal from the betrayal, it is imperative that voters elect a candidate who is a unifier who can restore public trust, and has the experience and courage to stand up for what’s right and get the job done.

In a field of seven candidates, Marisa Alcaraz stands far above the rest. As the Environmental Policy Director and Deputy Chief of Staff to Councilmember Curren Price, Alcaraz has been the architect behind the scenes creating some of the most historic ordinances that L.A. has seen in recent years.

A graduate of Birmingham High School, Alcaraz is a working single mom, born and raised in Council District 6 and has lived in the San Fernando Valley for over 30 years. Her father is a retired union carpenter and her mother was a NICU nurse.
As a public servant for over 15 years, her extensive list of accomplishments include the Hotel Living Wage, which set the stage for the $15 minimum wage and expansion of paid sick leave. She also helped pass Hero Pay for grocery store workers at the height of the pandemic and helped carry Fair Work Week across the finish line, requiring employers to provide two weeks advance notice of schedules, predictability pay and mandatory rest periods between shifts.

Alcaraz also led the fight to Ban the Box, which makes it illegal for employers to inquire into an individual’s criminal history before making a conditional offer of employment. And she orchestrated the development of the largest Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) pilot program in the country. All of her policies have directly benefited marginalized communities, people of color, workers, families, and young people.

If elected, Alcaraz has indicated that her top priority would be addressing the urgent homelessness and affordable housing crises. She said she would prioritize property acquisition and building more housing – in particular, affordable and workforce housing – among her efforts, combined with an expansion of outreach teams, mental health workers and programs to prevent homelessness. In fact, she’s the force behind more than 3,700 affordable and homeless housing units currently being built in the city of Los Angeles.

She has pledged to continue advancing equity and addressing social, economic and environmental justice. This includes a firm commitment to creating policies that promote clean air and water, renewable energy, green spaces, healthy food options, opening up pipelines to good-paying jobs for young people, along with maintaining clean and safe streets and neighborhoods.

There is no question that Alcaraz will lead with integrity, honesty, and transparency and will do the hard work of rebuilding our local government and fighting for systemic change. Because of her long and successful track record of direct involvement in pushing for real solutions for vulnerable communities, the Sentinel strongly lends itself to support this champion of change.