Indian American urban planner Nithya Raman wins LA City Council seat

Nithya Raman has won re-election to her seat on the Los Angeles City Council

LOS ANGELES (TIP): Indian American urban planner Nithya Raman has won re-election to her seat on the Los Angeles City Council, surpassing 50% in the March 5 election and avoiding the need for a November runoff, according to the latest vote tally.
Raman, who came to the US as a 6-year-old, when her family relocated from India, became the first challenger to unseat an incumbent on the City Council in 17 years, in the Nov 2020 election.
The only immigrant on the City Council was facing a challenge for her seat from two opponents who questioned her ability to tackle the city’s challenges on homelessness and crime, according to local KABC.
Her leading opponent, deputy city attorney Ethan Weaver, issued a concession statement on Mar 14 congratulating Raman on her win. Weaver was seen as a strong contender who was backed by funding from the LAPD union and real-estate groups.
The latest results from the county registrar indicate Raman received more than 32,000 votes, coming in at about 50.6%, just above the threshold to avoid a November runoff election. Weaver in second had more than 24,000 votes, for 38.6% and Levon Baronian had almost 7,000 votes, for 10.7%.
Raman told Eyewitness News the results make her “proud to be an Angeleno” because voters rejected the heavy spending by Weaver and the unions backing him.
She said she understands how voters feel about homelessness. “There is a lot of frustration and anger out there and to be honest, I feel that same frustration,” Raman said.
“But to me, what this vote, what this outcome represents is that Angelenos want to respond to homelessness in the right way. By offering housing, by offering services, by doing work that can really move people indoors and off the streets – not just shuffle them from sidewalk to sidewalk as the city has been doing for so long.”
For example, under Mayor Karen Bass the city launched the Inside Safe program to clear encampments and connect the homeless with services.
The first site cleared, at the 101 Freeway and Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood, was in Raman’s district. It has had to be cleared three times, including last week when 15 people were found housing. A fence now surrounds the site, according to KABC.
“This encampment has repopulated, and we go back and we offer people housing and services and we get them indoors again,” Raman said.
A resident of Silver Lake, Raman got her political start as a community volunteer focused on homelessness, helping to find a nonprofit that delivered food, hygiene kits and other supplies to unhoused residents in her part of Los Angeles. She continued her focus on that issue after taking office, eventually ascending to chair of the council’s homelessness committee, which oversees the city’s response to the crisis, according to the Los Angeles Times, which endorsed her candidacy.
Raman campaigned heavily on her work on homelessness, and on her advocacy for new bus and bicycle lanes, government reforms and the delivery of aid to tenants on the brink of eviction.

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