Though already officially serving as the elected representative for the 13th Council District in the City of Los Angeles, Hugo Soto-Martinez was sworn into office in again on Saturday at a ceremony at the Echo Park United Methodist Church, a sanctuary church at the forefront of workers and immigration rights. Soto-Martinez told the Buzz he wanted to be sworn in at the church with all of his family members in attendance, along with friends and the supporters who worked so hard for his election.
Elected officials Mayor Karen Bass, City Councilmembers Nithya Raman, Tim McOsker, Eunisses Hernandez, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and State Senators Ben Allen and Maria Elena Durazo were among those in attendance as well as union and city leaders and hundreds of supporters.
Soto-Martinez was sworn by long time mentor, Martha Santamaria, Executive Vice President of UNITE HERE Local 11, the union of more than 32,000 workers in hotels, restaurants, airports, sports arenas & convention centers in So. California and Arizona who helped Soto-Martinez’s campaign.
“This office will be built on the rich history of the civil rights movement, the rich history of the immigrant rights movement, the rich history of farm worker movements, and the often forgotten history of socialism here in Los Angeles,” said Soto-Martinez in remarks shared on social media. “I know that when all those movements come together, we are going to be unstoppable because no one should die living in the streets; no one should have to spend 50-60% of their income on rent; we should not have think twice about making decisions to save our planet and doing the right things for the environment and of course, public safety, we should not have police officers responding to non-violent calls, we should have mental health professional teams addressing those.”
“You could feel the excitement in the room,” explained Gary Gilbert, Windsor Square resident and neighborhood association board, who also serves as a board member of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. “Hugo is the first elected city councilmember from this community of organizers for workers and immigrant rights.”
“It was exciting to see how invigorated these citizens were now that they finally feel like they have a voice in the city,” added Judy Kirshner, Windsor Square resident.
About Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.
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