Los Angeles City Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez sat down for an interview last week with Asbarez Editor Ara Khachatourian.
Soto-Martinez, who represents the 13th Council District, was elected in November.
During the short time that he has served on the City Council, Soto-Martinez has joined Council President Paul Krekorian in advancing a motion to condemn Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh and call on Baku to immediately open the Lachin Corridor.
Reflecting on the situation in Artsakh, Soto-Martinez said that his life-long advocacy for human rights prompted him to advance the measure and believes that preserving human rights and the Armenians right to self-determination in Artsakh must be advanced on local, state and federal levels.
Engaging and empowering the Armenian constituents in CD 13 is part of his broader agenda of ensuring participation by all residents in the political process, Soto-Martinez told Khachatourian.
To that end, his priorities have been to address the homelessness situation, which Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass declared a state of emergency upon assuming office. Soto-Martinez said that he and his office are working closely with the mayor to ensure that her plan of action is applied to CD 13. These include providing mental health care as well drug counseling to the unhoused.
Soto-Martinez said that he is also tackling the issue of affordable housing in the district and explained the steps he has taken to ensure that the district has a say in future city development plans and projects.