Hugo Soto-Martinez

Key Facts

Party N/A; nonpartisan election
Status Challenger


Hugo Soto-Martinez was born in South Central Los Angeles. As a teenager, Soto-Martinez had to quit school to work in a hotel. Years later, he resumed high school and went on to study at the University of California Irvine to study law, whilst continuing to work at the hotel [2].
After graduating in 2006 [3], Soto-Martinez began working as an organizer with UNITE HERE Local 11 [2]. He started organizing with UNITE HERE Local 11, an organization he had been a member of for the past 15 years [1].

Key Issues


Soto-Martinez wants to start closing and cleaning the district’s 500+ urban oil wells. Soto-Martinez wants to generate 10,000 climate jobs across a variety of industries by 2026, from construction, technical support, and engineering, to accounting, by reprioritizing the municipal budget and utilizing federal and state funds. Finally, he aims to invest in solutions to building a water capture system in the district, such as distributing rain barrels and rock gardens, cleaning up aquifers, and restoring natural groundwater [1].


Soto-Martinez wants to implement traffic and sidewalk upgrades, particularly near schools, such as additional protected bike and bus lanes, speed bumps, sidewalk restorations, and signalized crosswalks. He supports Metro fare elimination without sacrificing transportation employment, as well as cleaner, more comfortable buses, more frequent routes, full electrification, weather shelters, and real-time updates [1].


Soto-Martinez supports increasing funding for the Los Angeles Justice Fund (LAJF). LAJF, under California Community Foundation, assists residents of Los Angeles who are facing deportation or removal proceedings in obtaining legal counsel. Furthermore, he supports expanding the fund to cover citizenship, emergency relief, and other types of services. Soto-Martinez wants to lift the effective ban on street vending. He supports implementing universal suffrage and granting undocumented immigrants rights to vote in city and school board elections [1].


Soto-Martinez wants to provide affordable homes for employees by accelerating housing initiatives, building on city-owned sites, prioritizing affordable constructions, and streamlining the permits process. In addition, he wants to appoint a housing deputy who will be responsible for resolving the mounting tenant issue and preventing people from falling into homelessness [1]. Soto-Martinez aims for tenant protections by moratorium on no-cause evictions, moratorium on evictions if the tenant is affected by COVID-19, and no fees or interest on late rent if the tenant is affected by COVID-19 [4].

Public Safety

For non-violent incidents, Soto-Martinez wants to replace law enforcement with mental health crisis teams, trained community mediators, and other unarmed civilian staff. Soto-Martinez wants to end discriminatory traffic stops by creating an unarmed traffic enforcement section to pursue all fix-it penalties and low-level driving offenses without pulling individuals over [1]. He also advocates for police accountability by implementing disciplinary measures for officers who break policy and terminating and prosecuting any officer who breaks the law [5]. Finally, Soto-Martinez wants to enhance communities and public safety by investing in comprehensive social initiatives [1].


UNITE HERE Local 11; Dolores Huerta, Labor Leader and Civil Rights Activist; Nithya Raman, Los Angeles City Council Member; María Elena Durazo, California State Senate; Jackie Goldberg, Former Los Angeles City Council Member; Democratic Socialists of America; James Lawson, Pastor, Activist, and University Professor; Mike Bonin, Los Angeles City Council Member; Ground Game LA; Cleve Jones, AIDS and LGBT rights activist; United Teachers Los Angeles; Sunrise Movement; United Auto Workers; University Council-AFT; California Working Families Party; UAW Local 2865; National Union of Healthcare Workers; United Steelworkers; International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; Los Angeles College Faculty Guild; Engineers & Architects Association; Committee of Interns and Residents; Heart of LA Democratic Club; Miracle Mile Democratic Club; Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles; Transport Workers Union of America; UPTE-CWA 9119; Run for Something; Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters; LA Voice; LA Forward Action; People’s Action; Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund; LA Defensa; Youth Climate Strike Los Angeles; Our Revolution-Feel the Bern, Los Angeles County; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance; PowerCA Action; Huelga L.A. Activist; LA County Public Defenders Union


1 Hugo 2022

2 Jacobin

3 Ballotpedia

4 Twitter

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7 Knock-LA