John Lee was first elected to the Los Angeles City Council during a special election in August 2019, and re-elected to his first full term in March 2020. John’s deep knowledge of both the Twelfth Council District and local government set him apart as the most qualified candidate in both elections. As a CD12 resident of over 40 years, John found his passion for public service at an early age when he first began volunteering for local nonprofits while in middle school. A lifelong public servant, John has been serving this community his entire adult life. His extensive understanding of the City’s legislative and budget processes and day-to-day operations gives him tremendous insight into what works and what doesn’t at City Hall. With an agenda focused on public safety, supporting local businesses, and providing core city services, John is committed to putting the neighborhoods of the Twelfth District first and ensuring that his constituents have a voice at City Hall.
In his first year in office, John has dealt with everything from a natural disaster to a global pandemic and ensuing fiscal crisis, and everything in between. During the Saddleridge Fire, John jumped into action, helping establish emergency shelters and working with local businesses to quickly secure essentials like food and water for evacuees.
A staunch advocate for public safety, John supports policies and programs that provide first responders, like police, fire, and emergency response personnel, with the resources they need to do their jobs well. Since taking office, John successfully secured funding for additional LAPD foot patrols in key areas and hotspots in the district. He also voted against proposals calling for arbitrary cuts to the Los Angeles Police Department.
A champion for small businesses and the son of a former small business owner, John believes that small businesses are critical to a strong and thriving economy in the San Fernando Valley and continues to support policies and programs that cut bureaucratic red tape, eliminate burdensome fees, and will make Los Angeles a more business-friendly city.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, John has sought to provide immediate assistance to his constituents. In partnership with the nonprofit organization The Change Reaction, he launched the innovative CD12 Small Business Relief Fund, which provides zero interest loans to struggling small businesses. To date, the Small Business Relief Fund has provided approximately $700,000 in loans to 60 local small businesses in the northwest San Fernando Valley. He recently announced the launch of Project Elevate, a pilot program with The Change Reaction, which provides financial assistance in the form of grants and subsidies for college application and testing fees for students whose families were impacted by the pandemic. Councilmember Lee introduced an emergency rental assistance subsidy program for low-income residents of CD12, and in recognizing the domino effect of the economic fallout from the pandemic, he also advocated for and supported programs that not only provided relief to tenants, but also to landlords.
With the homelessness crisis continuing to worsen across the city, John has brought a new perspective to the City’s housing-first approach, advocating instead for more funding for treatment and interventions for mental illness, substance addiction, and greater focus on prevention to stop the homelessness pipeline. Shortly after taking office, John partnered with the nonprofit The Change Reaction to launch the CD12/Change Reaction Angel Fund. This program provides emergency assistance to local residents who experience an unexpected financial challenge and has helped keep dozens of individuals who were on the brink of homelessness, in their homes. Working together with local community leaders and organizations, he also created the Lunches with Love program, which provides fresh meals and hygiene products to unhoused residents in the district.
John is not afraid to tackle tough issues or fight for the people and priorities of the Twelfth District. A believer in fiscal responsibility and doing what’s right – not what’s popular – John continues to be a watchdog on the Council, pushing for more efficiency and accountability to ensure that the City is delivering on critical services that residents rely on to keep the Twelfth District a safe, vibrant, thriving place to live and work.
John chairs the Council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Education and Neighborhoods committee and is vice chair of the Public Works committee. He also serves on the Public Safety; Housing, Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM); and Trade, Travel & Tourism committees. He proudly represents the communities of Northridge, Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Granada Hills, North Hills, Sherwood Forest, Reseda, and West Hills on the Los Angeles City Council. A product of local public schools, John is a proud graduate of Prairie Street Elementary, Robert Frost Middle School, Granada Hills High School, and California State University, Northridge. John resides in Porter Ranch with his wife, Sheila, and their two children.