Herb Wesson elected 1st black LA City Council president

Herb Wesson, Jr.
Herb Wesson, Jr. via cd10.lacity.org

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted for Herb Wesson, making him the first African-American L.A. City Council president.

Wesson's two black colleagues, Councilman Bernard Parks and Councilwoman Jan Perry, didn't show up for the vote. They've had strained relations with Wesson in recent weeks, the L.A. Times reports. Parks called in sick while Perry received permission for an excused absence.

Relationships had been strained over redistricting and the selection of the new council president, the Times reports.

Wesson called the day "practically perfect," the Times reports. "If I could look at the front row and see my mother, it would be a perfect day," Wesson said. His mother passed away last summer.

Police Chief Charlie Beck, former assemblymen Mike Davis and Mervyn Dymally and former City Councilman Nate Holden all attended the vote.

Councilman Ed Reyes was chosen to be the new president pro tempore. Wesson and Reyes take their new positions Jan. 2, when current council President Eric Garcetti steps down.

Correction: An earlier photo on this story was misidentified as Councilman Wesson.

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