Courtesy Wendy Carrillo

Before Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo got into politics, she was a journalist. She holds a masters degree in the field, and produced and hosted a public affairs radio show on Power 106 FM. 

As a child, Carrillo fled the civil war in El Salvador with her mother in the 1980s. Her family found a home in Boyle Heights. Her father was a sanitation worker and her mother was kindergarten assistant and member of the SEIU Local 99 and later the SEIU 2015 unions. 

The El Sereno resident recently told Boyle Heights Beat about her memories growing up on the Eastside, referencing the times she watched La Sirenita at the movie theater and read Archie comics in Spanish.

Last June, Carrillo was dubbed the alternative to Kevin de León by a Los Angeles Times columnist. De León was facing strong calls for his resignation, after he was caught on a leaked tape making homophobic and racist remarks, including about a colleague’s son. 

But Carrillo’s reputation was tarnished after she was arrested for driving under the influence. Last November, Carrillo crashed her vehicle into two parked cars. Her blood alcohol content was reportedly twice the legal limit, and she pled no-contest to the charges in January. 

Carrillo also employed George Esparza as her chief of staff well after Esparza was charged by federal prosecutors for his involvement in José Huizar’s CD14 developer pay-to-play racketeering scheme.

As a state assemblymember, Carrillo was reprimanded for inappropriate workplace conduct.

You can also find a video statement (transcript) de León made on the City Clerk’s website.

Fundraising: Who’s handing out the cash?

Carrillo has raised a competitive amount of funds relative to other candidates in CD14. As of Feb. 20, her campaign had raised around $227,300, though incoming funds dried up in January. She raised only $1,765 during the 20 days of that filing period, and it was less than some candidates who have fewer established resources and less name recognition than a state assemblymember. Since the DUI, she has raised $24,103. She also qualified for $155,058 in matching funds.

Fundraising picked up in February, and she has received contributions from campaign consultant Mike Trujillo, former LA city Public Works city commissioner Patricia Alarcon, 9th District council-aide and former CD6 special election candidate Marisa Alcaraz, hedge fund manager Aaron Sosnick, real estate developer Izek Shomof, attorney and Lancaster mayor R. Rex Parris, and the Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association. 

$24,300 came from the campaign committees fellow state legislators and other elected officials.

Spending inside the campaign:

Of the almost $300,000 total spent, more than $87,000 has gone to campaign literature or mailers, making it one of the bigger campaign expenses. She also spent $54,000 on consultants, including Tracy Austin, Inc. and Alexandra Ramos O’Cassey. There was $50,000 spent on media production, and more than $26,700 spent on campaign worker salaries in the past two months.

Her campaign also spent $10,000 on communications services from Bryson Gillette, and $10,400 for polling and survey research with Change Research last fall.

Gifts and income:

Carrillo’s income and gifts disclosure includes real estate valued at more than $100,000, and income of more than $100,000 from serving as a state assemblymember.

Endorsements, and what’s being said about them:

Carrillo was endorsed by Streets for All, a transportation advocacy organization. Her answers to their questionnaire can be found here.

Elizabeth has been on the local government beat since 2006, and likes making her friends take public transportation for her birthday.