L.A. voters go to the polls — again. Here’s what’s at stake.

Just over two months after Los Angeles residents went to the polls, it’s election day once again.

Voters will choose two new school board members, two new L.A. City Council members and weigh in on a police discipline ballot measure.

Winners of the school board and council races will serve a 5½-year term, rather than the usual four-year term, because of a onetime change in election cycles.

About 13% of the vote-by-mail ballots sent out by the city have been returned, said Cecilia Reyes, a spokeswoman for the City Clerk.

Polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Voters can find their polling place at

Charter Amendment C

Charter Amendment C would change the rules for police officers who face disciplinary hearings.

The amendment would give officers the option of having their cases heard by three-person boards composed entirely of civilians. Currently, those panels are made up of two high-ranking officers and one civilian.

Backers, who include the police union and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, argue the option of all-civilian disciplinary panels will help assure officers that they’ll get a fair hearing.

Opponents, who include the ACLU of Southern California and Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, cite a report that concluded civilians favor less-severe punishments than their sworn counterparts when weighing LAPD disciplinary cases.

Opponents also portray the ballot measure as the product of a backroom deal between Garcetti and the union.

Nick Melvoin
Nick Melvoin (Michael Owen Baker/For The Times)
Steve Zimmer
Steve Zimmer (Stuart Palley/Los Angeles Times)

Board of Education District 4

Two-term incumbent and school board President Steve Zimmer, 47, is running against Nick Melvoin, 31, an attorney who has worked for pro-charter school groups in the race for this Westside-to-west San Fernando Valley district.

If Melvoin and Kelly Gonez, another charter-backed candidate prevail, L.A. Unified will have, for the first time, a board majority backed by pro-charter forces.

Pro-charter school groups have spent at least $5.59 million on behalf of Melvoin. Donors include Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan and heirs of the family that started Walmart.

Labor groups — primarily local, state and national teachers unions — have spent at least $2.35 million on behalf of Zimmer.

Imelda Padilla
Imelda Padilla (Tyrone D. Washington/Wave Tech Media)
LAUSD candidate Kelly Gonez
LAUSD candidate Kelly Gonez (Tyrone D. Washington/Wave Tech Media)

Board of Education District 6

Incumbent Monica Ratliff did not seek reelection this year, leaving the runoff race to Gonez, 28, a charter school teacher, and Imelda Padilla, 29, a community activist and labor organizer.

Charter advocates are backing Gonez and have spent about $3.24 million on her behalf. Unions have spent about $2.39 million to support Padilla.

Both candidates have campaigned on similar messages about bringing together the factions warring over education reform.

Joe Bray-Ali
Joe Bray-Ali (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
Gil Cedillo
Gil Cedillo (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

City Council District 1

Bike advocate Joe Bray-Ali, 38, is challenging incumbent Gil Cedillo, 63, for this Pico-Union-to-Highland Park seat in an election that has taken several dramatic turns.

First, Cedillo was forced into a runoff. Then, Bray-Ali’s online comments on the provocative website Voat cost him endorsements from The Times, City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell and others.

Election issues include responsiveness to constituent concerns, gentrification, affordable housing and illegal dumping.

Outside groups have spent more than $500,000 in the runoff, with the vast majority of that money supporting Cedillo’s campaign. Unions, business groups and billboard companies are all helping the incumbent’s reelection bid.

Monica Rodriguez
Monica Rodriguez (Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times)
Karo Torossian
Karo Torossian (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

City Council District 7

The bullet train route and economic development are major concerns for voters in this San Fernando Valley district, which was vacated last year by then-Councilman Felipe Fuentes.

Candidates Monica Rodriguez, 43, a former Board of Public Works commissioner, and Karo Torossian, 33, a planning and environmental deputy to Councilman Paul Krekorian, both have City Hall experience.

The candidates agree on many issues: Both want more police officers, faster fire response times and to cut red tape for incoming businesses.

Rodriguez is supported by Garcetti, while California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has endorsed Torossian.

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