Your guide to the L.A. City Council District 14 race: Kevin de León vs. 7 challengers

A onetime labor organizer, De León was elected to the state Assembly in 2006 to represent an L.A.-based district. Four years later, he won a seat in the state Senate, serving for a time as that chamber’s president pro tempore and eventually mounting an unsuccessful challenge to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. While serving on the City Council, he has been a steadfast ally of organized labor, while also pushing for new laws to prevent the displacement of low-income families in his district, particularly in downtown L.A. and Boyle Heights. At the same time, he has drawn furious protests from some homeless advocates, who oppose his efforts to clear sidewalk encampments.

A resident of El Sereno, Carrillo has spent more than six years in the Assembly, representing a district that takes in parts of the Eastside. She has picked up endorsements from state Treasurer Fiona Ma, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. During the campaign, she has touted her success in securing $50 million in state funds for the conversion of Los Angeles County General Hospital into a “restorative care village” offering housing and social services. Her detractors have focused on her recent arrest on drunk-driving charges, following a late-night collision in which she struck two parked cars. She pleaded no contest in January.

Elected to the Assembly in 2014, Santiago represents a district that takes all in or part of downtown, Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights, as well as a number of communities outside the 14th Council District. He is promising to deliver “real change” to the district, saying the only way to move past “the controversies of the past” is to elect a new representative at City Hall. Santiago, 50, has been endorsed by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and a wide array of labor groups, including seven locals of the Service Employees International Union and several construction trade unions. A former community college board member, Santiago has been touting his work in Sacramento increasing the state’s minimum wage and ensuring that students’ first two years of community college tuition is free.

A first-time candidate, Jurado is looking to push the council further left by expanding its progressive voting bloc. In a race where three of the eight candidates have served in the state Legislature, she says: “We don’t need another career politician calling the shots.” Jurado, 34, has been working as a tenant rights attorney, helping renters stave off evictions. She has the backing of the L.A. chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, which has been door-knocking on her behalf. She also has endorsements from a range of DSA-backed politicians, including Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez and L.A. school board member Jackie Goldberg. If elected, she would be the first Filipino American to serve on the City Council, according to her campaign.

  • Eduardo “Lalo” Vargas

Like Jurado, Vargas is a first-time candidate running with a socialist message. Vargas, 28, has called for an end to “luxury” real estate developments in the district and across the city, a citywide ban on tenant evictions, the removal of police officers from public transit and greater investment in unarmed “violence interruption” programs. He touts endorsements from the Peace and Freedom Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation, as well as from Elizabeth Blaney, a founding member of the tenant advocacy group Unión de Vecinos. A resident of Lincoln Heights, he teaches biology and environmental science at Franklin High School in Highland Park.

A resident of downtown Los Angeles, Hillery has spent the last 20 years as a lawyer, working much of that time for Fidelity National Financial, which provides services to the real estate industry. She retired from the company last year to devote more of her time to public service, joining the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s government liaison committee. She is a trustee with the Los Angeles County Bar Assn., where she advocates for diversity and equitable practices in the legal profession. A self-described housing justice advocate, Hillery, 56, has promised to push for increased mental health services and diverse models of housing for the district’s unhoused residents. She is waging her first run for political office.

Diaz, 61, is making her second run at the council seat. She waged a long-shot campaign in 2015 to unseat then-Councilmember Jose Huizar, who was running for his third term and was recently sentenced to prison in a sweeping corruption case. (She came in a distant third, behind former Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina.) A third-generation resident of Boyle Heights, Diaz is now a geriatric social worker with USC’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. She also spent slightly more than a year on the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, stepping down in August.

A resident of El Sereno, Guerrero has a business that helps people form nonprofit groups. She worked for about a year for Huizar and has served on the Community Police Advisory Board of the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division, which patrols portions of the 14th District. She has also volunteered with the El Sereno Bicentennial Committee, which has organized food giveaways and staged El Sereno’s Independence Day parade. As a candidate, she has called for strengthening the social safety net to keep renters from slipping into homelessness.

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