Upton Sinclair Award

Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez

Eunisses' exemplary dedication as a community organizer, a staunch advocate for social justice, and a visionary leader for the City of Los Angeles embodies the spirit of Upton Sinclair’s legacy. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants and a lifelong resident of District 1, her journey is not just inspiring, but a beacon of hope and change.

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Eunisses Hernandez is a community organizer, a daughter of Mexican immigrants, and a lifelong District 1 resident. She has led major policy wins, such as Measure J and Care First, Jails Last, which have begun to drive hundreds of millions of dollars into expanding and creating access to community based services, housing, and support for young people in LA County.

Eunisses witnessed firsthand the suffering wrought by decades of bad policy and negligent leadership in her own neighborhood and across Los Angeles—decision-making that resulted in an unprecedented housing crisis, the nation’s largest jail population, and severely underfunded social services.

After a successful career leading campaigns, coalitions, and commissions that transformed local and statewide policy, Eunisses felt it was time to fight for a new vision for District 1. One where we center community and invest in systemic change that meets the needs of our people—needs like deeply affordable housing, structurally supported alternatives to incarceration, and expanded social protections that protect Angelenos from the violence of poverty.

Since taking office in December 2022, Councilmember Hernandez has prioritized a Care First agenda that focuses on investing in community care, workforce development, social services, and harm-reduction programs that help make our neighborhoods safer and healthier places for all Angelenos. She has built up a team dedicated to bringing neighborhood services back to District 1 and meeting local residents and businesses where they are at with resources, education, supportive services, and more.

She is the Chair of the Neighborhoods & Community Enrichment Committee, Vice Chair of the Government Operations Committee, and serves on the Civil Rights, Equity, Aging and Disability, Energy & Environment, and Transportation Committees.

Councilmember Hernandez lives in Highland Park with her family and dogs.