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Nury Martinez Makes History As LA's First Latina City Council President

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez made history today in Los Angeles after being chosen to become the next council president, making her the first Latina to be selected for the post.

"It is with pride that I rise to support Nury Martinez," outgoing Council President Herb Wesson said as he cast the final vote.

Martinez will replace Wesson, who decided to relinquish his title to focus on his campaign for Los Angeles County Supervisor in District 2. He will remain on the council until his term is up in November.

"I want to thank Council President Wesson and my City Council colleagues for their overwhelming support and partnership," Martinez said. "As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, it is not lost on me that in one of the most diverse cities in the world and the second-largest city in the nation, I will soon become the first Latina city council president in Los Angeles' storied history."

Martinez gave a passionate speech about her upbringing, crediting her parents and her family's humble beginnings for her success.

"The reason our family was able to move forward was because my mother felt so strongly about ensuring that her children got a good education, that her children got the love of the community and the love of this country," Martinez said. "My dad would be so proud today."

Martinez served as assistant council president pro tempore and president pro tempore in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Martinez is the second woman ever elected to serve as city council president. Until Martinez, Councilwoman Pat Russell was the first and only woman elected by her peers in 1983. Councilwoman Ruth Galanter assumed the title of Council President as part of her duties as president pro tempore in 2001.

Martinez said she would detail her plans for the City Council on Jan. 14.

The council also voted to appoint Councilman Joe Buscaino as its next president pro tempore.

"We are certain that you are up to the task," Wesson said to both Martinez and Buscaino before resuming the meeting.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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