Jan Perry, a former three-term Los Angeles city councilmember who represented Little Tokyo and most of Downtown from 2001 to 2013, announced on Feb. 8 that she is running to fill the seat in Congress that is being vacated by Rep. Karen Bass, who is running for mayor of Los Angeles.
The newly drawn 37th Congressional District includes a large portion of Perry’s former council district. The 37th District encompasses Downtown, South Los Angeles, Crenshaw, Culver City, View Park, Ladera Heights, Baldwin Hills, Windsor Hills, Miracle Mile, Pico-Robertson, parts of West Los Angeles, and Mar Vista.
“I am running because all we see in Congress is gridlock and inaction on important issues like health care, climate change and voting rights,” said Perry. “I will go to Washington to be a fierce advocate for working families, ensure they receive a fair return on their hard-earned tax dollars, and to swiftly and humanely get unhoused people off of the street and into housing with services.
Perry serves as executive director of the Infrastructure Funding Alliance, a national initiative to meet future infrastructure, economic development, and environmental challenges. From July 2013 to December 2018, she served as the general manager of the City of Los Angeles’ Economic and Workforce Development Department. During her tenure, the department enrolled 91,000 people in its training and placement programs.
She is also executive director of Shelter Partnership, Inc., an organization at the forefront of programs and policy addressing homelessness.
In 2019, Perry ran for L.A.County supervisor in the district that was won by Supervisor Holly Mitchell.
Perry’s tenure on the City Council saw the dramatic reshaping of the Downtown area, including the emergence of L.A. Live. She also shepherded the development of nearly 6,000 units of supportive housing in her district.
She played a key role in making the Terasaki Budokan a reality, working closely with the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), and currently is a board member of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and the LTBA Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of the Little Tokyo community.