Councilman Curren Price will serve as the next president pro tempore of the Los Angeles City Council, after his colleagues voted 11-0 Tuesday to appoint him to the post.
The president pro tempore is second in command of the City Council. Price was interested in seeking the council presidency after Nury Martinez resigned two weeks ago for her involvement in the City Hall racism scandal, but the council voted 10-0 for Paul Krekorian last week. Krekorian and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, the former president pro tempore, subsequently introduced a motion nominating Price.
Price delivered his opening remarks as president pro tempore over chants of “shame on you” from protesters at Tuesday’s council meeting. They shouted and slapped benches for the entire meeting, calling for Councilmen Kevin de LeÃ³n and Gil Cedillo to resign for their roles in the scandal, unhappy that the council was meeting at all without those resignations.
“At a time of rising violence, great animosity and hateful rhetoric, we must come together and claim who we are as a city,” Price said.
The 71-year-old Price has been on the council since 2013 and is in his third term representing the 9th District. He chairs the Economic Development and Jobs Committee. He said the council will need a collaborative leadership.
“As a 71-year-old Black man, I’ve had my fair share of experience fighting against adversities,” Price said. “From living through a time of segregation, to the social justice revolutions today. We’ve got some difficult days ahead, but I have infinite hope that working together works.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement that Price has been an “indispensable partner in the fight for racial and economic justice.”
“His leadership can help lead our city out of a painful moment and into the healing, reflection and action that can restore broken trust and unify Angelenos around the values of compassion, respect and cooperation that will always define our people,” Garcetti said.
Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who was absent from the meeting, released a statement congratulating Price.
“His leadership is one of a coalition builder, and he has exemplified that ability in his own district to bridge the divides,” Rodriguez said. “I look forward to working with him to emerge from this moment as a stronger, more unified Los Angeles.”
O’Farrell, who had served as president pro tempore since last fall and briefly served as acting council president following Martinez’s resignation, will relinquish his leadership post on the council.
“Whether any of us sit in this chair or around the horseshoe, we are all public servants,” O’Farrell said while chairing last Friday’s virtual council meeting from the chamber. “Both Paul and Curren are dedicated and very capable leaders. Since Paul was the council’s unanimous choice for president, I feel it’s important that Curren have the opportunity to serve as pro tem. He’ll do a terrific job.”
Price has served in both the California Assembly and Senate, with stints chairing the Assembly’s Committee on Elections and Redistricting and Committee on Governmental Organization, and the Senate’s Business and Professions Committee. He was also chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus in 2010.
Prior to beginning his political career on the Inglewood City Council in 1993, Price was a small-business owner and a consultant with the Small Business Administration.
In his opening remarks after being elected council president last Tuesday, Krekorian stressed collaboration in a likely attempt to contrast with Martinez’s efforts on the leaked tape to work behind the scenes to consolidate power during redistricting, as well as comments she made insulting her colleagues.
“The presidency will be a collective enterprise,” Krekorian said.