Ysabel Jurado Takes the Lead in City Council District 14 Race Over Kevin de León


City Councilman Kevin de León—still grappling with the repercussions of the widely publicized City Hall racism scandal—is now facing a significant challenge in retaining his council seat. Ysabel Jurado has surged to the forefront, surpassing de León, with Miguel Santiago closely trailing in third, needing just 747 votes to close the gap.

Previously, de León held 26% of the votes, but as of March 13, 2024, the percentage has slipped to 23.42%, with Jurado leading at 24.54% and Santiago at 21.28%, and numerous votes still to be tallied.

Jurado, rooted in Highland Park and an advocate for the 14th District, campaigned on preventing tenant evictions, supporting community organizations, and strengthening small businesses. Endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, the affordable housing advocate has challenged the city’s anti-camping laws and promotes diverting funds from the LAPD.

Santiago has represented California’s 54th Assembly District since November 2014, which includes neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights, Downtown Los Angeles, Koreatown, Pico Union and the surrounding areas. Notably, he spearheaded AB 19 and AB 2, making community college free for the first two years and introduced AB 1862, aiming for free bachelor’s degrees. Santiago actively addresses homelessness and advocates for affordable housing, expanding childcare, enacting tough gun safety laws, and advocating for fair treatment of families.

De León seeks redemption post the 2022 scandal where he made insensitive remarks comparing a colleague’s adopted Black son to an accessory, igniting widespread disgust and calls for his resignation by many, including President Biden.

De León—who has refused to resign while publicly apologizing for the statements— is campaigning on his efforts to support the unhoused, combating gentrification, and tackle street encampments in District 14 – a mosaic of Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, Downtown L.A., El Sereno, and Northeast L.A. The scandal, rooted in leaked audio discussing strategies to undermine Black voters’ influence, remains a pivotal point in De León’s appeal for voter trust, as he continues to juxtapose his regret with his accomplishments.

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