Traci Park elected in Westside district, putting a record 6 women on L.A. City Council
Traci M. Parks, the first Black woman to serve as a member of the Los Angeles City Council, was elected by her party-swapped district in the city’s Westside to replace her council colleague, Vincent Brown. She announced her victory Saturday, winning more than 75 percent of the vote to take the position from Brown by 11 percentage points.
The Westside district, which includes parts of Westwood, Highland Park, Hawthorne, Glassell Park and Lynwood, has been traditionally more reliably Democratic than other parts of the city. This district is home to about one-third of the city’s Black residents.
“This is a very symbolic victory, but it sends a very clear signal to the larger community that it is possible to live up here and become part of our community, and that we have a say in how our city functions,” Parks told L.A. Now at the victory press conference in Westwood.
Parks added that she would continue to work with City Councilmembers to advance progressive causes in the community.
“I will continue to work with all of our members in the Westside District, both the incumbent and the new member, to fight for inclusion and diversity in our city,” Parks said.
Parks’ win, especially in her first elective office, is a testament to her and her community’s resilience in the face of a years-long resistance by Brown and other prominent politicians. The loss was devastating.
“I never saw myself on City Council as a woman or a Black woman. I am that woman. I have a mother who was born in New York City — I have a father who was born in Arkansas — and I have a brother who was born in the Bronx. And when I was born, my father gave me a picture of Malcolm X,” Parks told L.A. Now.
She went on to say that she would continue to serve as an advocate for people of all backgrounds and to help them feel included in the city’s history and future.
Parks, who served in the Los Angeles Housing Authority and United Bank in New York City, was elected to the city council in 2010 as an ally of Public Safety Committee Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa. There, she worked to champion housing code reform,