Traci Park elected in Westside district, putting a record 6 women on L.A. City Council.
With seven women in the council, Traci P. Vela appears poised to become the city’s first openly LGBT council member.
The first woman to represent District 8, Traci P. Vela, was elected for the first time at Tuesday night’s special citywide election, representing a district which includes downtown and Westwood neighborhoods as well as the Santa Monica Boulevard-North Hollywood border.
Vela, 36, was sworn in as an L.A. City Council member at a Monday night ceremony, marking the first time in history that two openly gay women were elected to the council.
“For me, it’s an incredibly special moment,” Vela told NBC after her election. “It’s something I never thought was a possibility.”
Vela also shared how her journey as someone who is gay, bisexual and transgender as well as a lesbian in the United States had prepared her for her new job.
“There are two communities I came in from and I think about them every day,” she said. “The first being the LGBTQ community. The second is a population that has been ignored for too long.”
Vela and her partner, Karen Stavisky, who also ran for election to City Council, will serve together on the council as one of the first lesbian couples ever elected to represent a region where women have dominated the city’s councils for more than 30 years.
Born on Dec. 26, 1977, Traci P. Vela is the daughter of Marlene Vela and William T. Vela, and is the grandson of William Vela and Mary R. Kester. She is also the great-granddaughter of William T. Vela and Mary R. Kester, founders of K