Finally, results from key elections are in. Early this morning, the national news organizations called the U.S. presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden, who is now President-elect. After days of waiting for vote tallies in several states, the networks called Pennsylvania for Biden, giving him a projected total of 273 electoral votes, three more than needed to claim the presidency. And shortly thereafter, the New York Times added Nevada to Biden’s electoral count, now at 279. There are three states left to call.
Locally, late Friday evening, Councilmember David Ryu conceded defeat to challenger Nithya Raman in the Los Angeles City Council District 4 race after more ballot counts were released by the Los Angeles County Registrar Recorders office. At the time, Raman was leading with 52.46% (63,242) to Ryu’s 47.54% (57,315) votes. There are still more ballots to be counted, but they are not likely to change the results in this particular race.
Last night, Ryu released the following statement:
“The voters of District Four have spoken, and I respect the outcome of this election. I am proud of the race we run, and I will always be proud of the diverse coalition behind this campaign – working people, Democratic Party leaders, and hundreds of volunteers and community leaders from across Council District Four. My team and volunteers worked hard, and I am so grateful for the calls they made and conversations they had about the critical issues facing all of us in Los Angeles. I congratulate my opponent on her victory. Having won on a wave of reform five years ago, I know how difficult it is to implement change in City Hall. I wish her success in continuing our shared goal of reform in local government and in serving our City.
In one term, we were able to build hundreds of units of homeless housing where there had previously been very few resources. We passed sweeping anti-corruption reforms into law, introduced many more, and we tripled the matching funds program to support grassroots candidates. I am proud to have entered office in 2015 as an outsider and reformer, to have charted a new course of transparency in City Hall, and to have served the people and communities of District Four these past five years.
Now is the time to come together. No matter your political views, or who you supported in this campaign, we all must work together to overcome the challenges facing our city.
Homelessness, corruption, and an eviction crisis cannot be solved by any one person alone. It will take all of our best efforts and good faith to build the future we need in Los Angeles.
I have worked to build homeless housing resources, anti-poverty programs and clean government for 20 years, and no matter what comes next, I am not stopping now.”
Shortly thereafter, Nithya Raman’s campaign issued the following statement:
“Nithya Raman has won her race to become the next City Councilmember representing Los Angeles Council District 4. With over 63,000 votes as of release, she received the most votes of any City Council candidate in LA’s history, raised an unprecedented amount of small dollar donations (over $172,000 in the general election alone), and built a movement of over 2000 volunteers.”
The campaign also sent out this message from Raman herself:
“To the residents of CD4, our brilliant, kind, and inspiring campaign team, our thousands of tireless volunteers, and everyone who shared their ideas for how we can build the LA we deserve:
It’s now official. Thanks to your support, we’re going to City Hall. This was a campaign built on the work of organizers and movement leaders who have been fighting for a better LA for years, and so many energized people who were just realizing their power to shape the city.
I’m so honored to carry their values with me as a Councilmember. I want to thank Councilmember Ryu for his leadership over the last five years. His focus on homelessness and transparent governance are issues that I take to heart. I hope to build on his efforts in city hall.
We ran a campaign on policy, civic education and constituent engagement. The crises facing Los Angeles are vast but hopefully not insurmountable. We are excited to build off of the policies we campaigned on, and get to work.
To the people of Council District 4, I’m so grateful for the trust you’ve placed in me. I know we’re heading into a challenging moment as a city, but I am ready and excited to navigate it with you.
I have countless people to thank individually. But for now, I just want to celebrate the joy of working with so many of you to fight for our city — and get ready for the work to come.
There will be joy in that work, too. Because we’re all going to City Hall together.”