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Polls open for Valley voters to pick lone woman for L.A. Council

Los Angeles City Council District 6 candidates Nury Martinez, left, and Cindy Montanez, right, during a forum, mediated by executive board member Judy Daniels, center, at a Valley Alliance Neighborhood Council meeting at Sherman Oaks Hospita.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

The only woman member of the Los Angeles City Council will be chosen starting at 7 a.m. when polls open for voters in the Eastern San Fernando Valley’s 6th District. Balloting continues until 8 p.m.

The special election — to fill the seat of former Councilman Tony Cardenas, now in Congress — pits Nury Martinez, 40, a former Los Angeles school board member, against Cindy Montañez, 39, a Department of Water and Power executive and former state legislator.

Martinez and Montañez have both promised to clean up and revitalize a district that they say too often falls prey to graffiti, vandalism and crime. Martinez has promised to redevelop polluted properties and cut down on prostitution and drug sales near San Fernando Road.

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There are 89,118 registered voters in the district, which includes Van Nuys, Arleta, Pacoima and Sun Valley.

Turnout could be low because the unusual, stand-alone city contest comes just two months after city voters chose a new mayor, city attorney, controller and six new council members, and eight months after they voters re-elected a president.

Voters in the district can find their polling place on the city’s website, lacity.org, or by calling (888) 873-1000 or (213) 978-0444.

The 14 other Council members are men, as are the citywide-elected mayor, city attorney and city controller.

Five women held seats on the Council in 1997. But since then their numbers have dwindled. Former Councilwoman Jan Perry and former City Controller Wendy Greuel were the last remaining female officeholders at City Hall before leaving their positions July 1.

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Twitter: @csaillant2

catherine.saillant@latimes.com


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