MONICA Rodriguez brings many qualifications that make her a good fit for the Los Angeles City Council, A housing advocate who has worked in both the private and public sectors, but perhaps what makes her the best choice to represent the council’s 7th District isn’t who she is, but what she isn’t – a career politician. The same can’t be said for Rodriquez’s opponent in this race to represent the northeast San Fernando Valley. Richard Alarcón is the former councilman, former state senator and current (for now) assemblyman, who hopes to leave his newly elected office for a return gig in City Hall. Throughout his career, Alarcón has been a decent leader who has represented his constituents ably. But with Alarcón, like too many of his colleagues in Sacramento and City Hall, one gets the sense that his career comes before his constituents – public service is the price of playing politics, and not the other way around. And for that, there’s no better choice than Monica Rodriguez. brings the sort of real-world awareness too often lacking among career politicians. Rodriguez She’s also worked for two of Los Angeles’ most respected reformers, former Mayor Richard Riordan and former school board president Caprice Young, and brings experience in dealing with one of the city’s most urgent problems, gang violence. For a fresh face and a refreshing outlook in City Hall, vote for Monica Rodriguez. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! That much became all too clear in the cynical way Alarcón has gone about seeking this office. Last year, the City Council rushed to put Measure R – a deceptive proposition that increased the amount of time members can stay in office from eight years to 12 – onto the November ballot. Meanwhile, Alarcón, who was termed out of his state Senate seat, launched a campaign for the Assembly, running unopposed. In the end, both Measure R and Alarcón won easily. And within days after the election, Alarcón announced that he wanted to return to his old seat on the council. It was a logical, albeit seemingly self-serving move: council members make $60,000 a year more than Assembly members, they get a city pension and they have no commute to Sacramento. But the move was also a slap in the face to the constituents who had just entrusted him with a term in the Assembly. Given that Measure R was disingenuous and arguably unconstitutional – it’s currently under legal challenge – we’re loath to see any politician benefit from it. That’s doubly true for Alarcón, who seemingly ran for the Assembly as nothing more than a backup plan for his real ambitions to return to the council. If there’s one thing the L.A. City Council has too much of, it’s politicians looking out for Number One. It doesn’t need another. What it does need, however, is concerned local residents eager to work hard to improve their community.