David Ryu, the Los Angeles City Council’s first Korean American member, was officially sworn in Sunday during a ceremony on the south lawn of City Hall.
Flanked by his parents, Ryu, 39, took the oath of office administered by former Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, who he once worked for as an aide.
“I am proud to lead my community through these doors to take in our rightful place sharing in the leadership of Los Angeles,” said Ryu, a health center executive.
He noted that his victory in last month’s election to choose a successor to Councilman Tom LaBonge came with voter support from across the sprawling 4th Council District, which includes Miracle Mile, Hollywood, Sherman Oaks and a small part of Koreatown.
“I was chosen not because of my ethnic heritage,” he said. “I was chosen because I made the commitment to the people of the 4th to put our neighborhood first.”
Joining Ryu on stage were Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council President Herb Wesson, both of whom supported his opponent, former LaBonge aide Carolyn Ramsay. Also present in the crowd of about 150 people was former L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and a number of other local political leaders.
Ryu's victory came in a district that is just 7.4% Asian American. During the campaign, he promised to address what he said was development that was out of scale with district neighborhoods and crumbling infrastructure.
LaBonge was termed out of office.