San Fernando Valley residents who have gone without a voice on the Los Angeles City Council for six months will choose between a school board member and a former assemblywoman in a special runoff election today.
Nury Martinez and Cindy Montanez are vying to replace Tony Cardenas, the former Sixth District councilman elected to the House of Representatives last November.
Montanez and Martinez were the top two vote-getters in the May 21 primary election, but neither obtained the more than 50 percent needed to win the seat outright, setting the stage for today's contest.
Whichever candidate triumphs will become the sole female member of the 15-person Los Angeles City Council and represent a district that includes Arleta, Van Nuys, Lake Balboa, Panorama City, North Hills East, Sun Valley, and portions of North Hollywood.
Montanez previously served as the San Fernando City Council's youngest member at 25. She was elected to the state Assembly three years later and also served as a planning commissioner for the city of Los Angeles.
She says she supports public transportation projects on Van Nuys and Sepulveda boulevards and will work to increase affordable housing and encourage partnerships with green technology industries.
Martinez is also a past member of the San Fernando City Council. She now serves on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and is executive director of Pacoima Beautiful, an environmental justice and health nonprofit.
She touts her experience serving in public office and leading a nonprofit and said she will cut through politics to bring more city services to San Fernando Valley residents.