SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA — After a long drawn out special election and campaign, Van Nuys and the surrounding area finally have a representative at City Hall. Nury Martinez defeated Cindy Montanez last Tuesday in the special election to fill Congressman Tony Cardenas’s LA City Council seat.
Who is Nury Martinez? Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Nury Martinez has dedicated her life to her community, working to create good-paying local jobs, keeping our communities safe and advocating for our children and students. A neighborhood watch captain, homeowner and a mother, Nury will work to break the gridlock of business-as-usual politics at City Hall to get back to the basics and deliver resources to Valley residents.
Throughout her career, Nury has delivered real results for the community. As a School Board Member, she successfully fought to keep the aviation mechanics school at the Van Nuys Airport open, despite planned budget cuts, by putting pressure on government agencies to keep the school open and to keep jobs in our community. As an executive director of a local non-profit, Nury was able to help clean up a former toxic waste site and turn it into the Pacoima Plaza shopping center that only hires local workers from the community. Nury has also helped obtain millions of dollars to expand community health clinics and has opened up more opportunities for seniors to participate in recreational programs while serving as the Mayor of the San Fernando.
The daughter of immigrants, Nury’s parents worked to instill the importance of community involvement in her from a young age. Her father was a dishwasher who took the bus everyday from Pacoima to Sherman Oaks while her mother worked on an assembly line at the Price Pfister factory in Pacoima. Her community involvement began early when Price Pfister announced plans to relocate local jobs to Mexico, ending hundreds of stable, union jobs that had provided, for the first time ever, healthcare coverage for Nury’s entire family. Nury organized to protest the loss of these local jobs that supported working families.
Since that time, Nury has been constantly at work improving the life of her community. Nury was elected Mayor of San Fernando, where she worked to help small businesses prosper, drove down crime while creating good jobs for local workers by implementing a living wage ordinance and expanding access to affordable housing for seniors.
The product of public schools and the first in her family to graduate from college, Nury is proud to currently serve the community as the Northeast and Central Valley’s elected member on the L.A. Unified School Board. As a leader on the School Board, Nury has worked to expand access to quality education for all communities, raise standards for college and career readiness and ensure safe and secure schools for all students. Earlier this year, Nury authored and passed a historic policy change that restored funding for art programs that were cut during the financial downturn.
Nury is also the leader of the grass-roots community organization, Pacoima Beautiful, dedicated to creating sustainable, healthy and beautiful communities in the Valley. At Pacoima Beautiful, Nury has worked to bring parties to the table to create economic opportunity with an eye towards environmental sustainability. Nury worked on the Plaza Pacoima project mentioned above, which brought hundreds of good paying jobs to the Valley in LEED certified facility. Nury has fought to keep our families safe by protecting the rights of workers who deal with toxic chemicals on the job and to reduce community exposure to lead poisoning.
Nury’s family history and community organizing background inspire her goals on the Los Angeles City Council. Nury will fight to attract and retain businesses that create solid middle class jobs by revitalizing the Van Nuys Corridor with a smart economic development plan. She also plans to incentivize new businesses to inhabit the old Montgomery Ward site in the heart of Panorama City. With her experience in the non-profit sector fighting for grant funds, Nury will work to finish the 40-acre Cesar Chavez park project and turn some of the existing landfills in Sun Valley into more open space for the residents of CD 6. She will also fight to fully fund public safety so that all our City’s residents can count on faster emergency response times and well-trained first responders. Nury is the only candidate in the race with the vision, experience and know-how to be the effective representative the Valley deserves.
Nury is a graduate of San Fernando High School and California State University at Northridge. She has served on the boards of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and the Horizon Institute.
She and her husband Gerry live in Sun Valley with their young daughter, Isabelle.