250 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
The embarrassment is as simple as a number: one. Only one woman holds an elected city office in Los Angeles (she’s a new City Council member). The answer to the question everyone is asking—why did this happen—has proven complicated. Heads are being scratched. After all, our local electorate has supported women candidates for years—since Rosalind Wyman was elected to City Council in 1953—and has long sent two women to represent California in the U.S. Senate. Some have pointed to term limits, which at first worked to diversify elected leadership in L.A., as the culprit. Others are asking if something has broken down in the mentorship relationships and support networks that produce Southern California politicians. Or could it be possible that more women simply are choosing to avoid a profession that offers impossible hours and inspires public loathing? Former chief of staff to Mayors Villaraigosa and Riordan Robin Kramer, KPCC politics reporter Alice Walton, and former deputy mayor and mayoral candidate Linda Griego visit Zócalo to discuss this sudden dearth of women—and to offer ideas for reversing it.
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.