PHOTOS: Former LA City Councilman Art Snyder remembered as a 'rascal'

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City Councilman Art Snyder (center) at opening of El Mercado, 1968. Mayor Sam Yorty is 2nd from left.

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L.A. City Councilman Art Snyder (center) with Yolanda Rodriguez after winning Miss Lincoln Heights, 1967.

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City Councilman Art Snyder and family, circa 1970.

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L.A. City Council members Art Snyder (left) and John Ferraro with beauty contest winners, 1968.

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Art Snyder (left) with John C. Holland (showing 'pie-chart') during Assembly campaign, 1967. (The 1960s version of an infographic.)

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City Councilman Art Snyder walks in Mexican Independence Day (16th of September) Parade, circa 1980.

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From left to right: Sam Yorty, Councilman John C. Holland, Mary Snyder, and Art Snyder, who is being sworn in as councilman, circa 1967.

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Councilman Art Snyder (far right) at City Council Meeting, circa 1974. Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson is speaking in background.

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City and community officials break ground on November 13, 1975, for the Mission Road separation to be built in Lincoln Heights. Included are Mayor Tom Bradley, 6th from left, and Council member Art Snyder, 4th from left, among others.

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Art Snyder (right) with voter, 1967.

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City Councilman Art Snyder (right) with Father Juan Santilla, at Santa Teresita Church in Boyle Heights, 1984.

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Signed by Los Angeles Councilman Art Snyder for Pete Rodriguez, this view shows television broadcasters, from left to right, Fernando Del Rio, Jay Rodriguez, and Pete Rodriguez with Snyder. Three of them are holding a booklet on the Boy Scouts of America, indicating that this photograph may have been taken at a fundraiser for the organization.

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Mayor Tom Bradley (bottom, left) with group of politicians and friends. Included are City Councilman Richard Alatorre (top, far left), Senator Alex Garcia (top, 2nd from right), Congressman Edward Roybal (bottom, far right) and Councilman Art Snyder (top, far right).

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City Councilman Art Snyder (2nd from right) with children and community members dedicate Roundtop Park, 1979.

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Councilman Art Snyder with actor Dennis Weaver at unidentified event, circa 1980.

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Guillermo Lopez-Portillo (left), brother of Mexican president Jose Lopez-Portillo, with Councilman Art Snyder holding Los Angeles Flag, circa 1981.


Those who knew Art Snyder describe him as a “throwback” to the way things used to be, a "tough cookie," and a conservative Irish guy with an attitude. Snyder was all that and more.

The former Los Angeles City Councilman died in his sleep on Wednesday in Huntington Beach. He was 79.

Snyder represented northeast LA's 14th Council District from 1967 to 1985. That area stretched from Latino neighborhoods in Boyle Heights to suburban and largely white Eagle Rock to the north. Despite changing demographics that slowly increased the district's Latino population, Snyder was re-elected time and again, even running unopposed in 1981.

Among his constituents was Jaime Regalado, who teaches politics at California State Univerrsity, Los Angeles. He said Snyder was liked and supported by seniors, law enforcement, business merchants and conservative voters, but also served during a time of flux in LA. 

"He was a tough cookie. He was a Republican in an increasing sea of blue when the city council was changing from an ultra-conservative, old Los Angeles,” Regalado said. "Some saw him as 'the old,' not making way for the new Latino growth and Latino political desires."

Regalado said he remembers Snyder was a “rascal.”

"There was a very small parcel of land in Highland Park, and a lot of residents wanted some kind of a monument, some kind of a flower bed put there," Regalado said. "And Art Snyder had decided that he was going to install a wing of a B-52 bomber. The Vietnam War was on and here he just kind of threw a red flag, so to speak, right in the middle of the debate of what this should be. 'Well, this is what I want and devil-be-damned.' That was Art Snyder.”

Perhaps the best known story about Snyder was his effort to change the name of Hermon Avenue in Montecito Heights to Via Marisol after his young daughter. Some neighborhood residents objected, but Snyder pushed the name change through.

Snyder resigned from office in 1985 after personal, legal and political troubles caught up with him. He became a lobbyist, and got into hot water over money-laundering allegations that led to a conviction on misdemeanor campaign finance violations.

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