After Election, Women to Outnumber Men on City Council

First published in the Aug. 20 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Women will outnumber men on the Burbank City Council for the first time in the city’s history.
Three of the five seats on the council are up for grabs, and all five of the candidates who have filed for positions on the ballot for the Burbank general municipal election on Nov. 8 are women.
The five candidates are social worker Nikki Perez, environmental advocate Tamala Takahashi, incumbent Councilwoman Sharon Springer, Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins and diversity advocate Carmenita Helligar.
Two Incumbents, Mayor Jess Talamantes and Councilman Bob Frutos, did not file papers for reelection. Their terms will expire on Dec. 19 when new members will be sworn in. Frutos announced in June that he planned to retire, ending a decade of service on the council.
“Over the 110-year history of the city, less than a dozen extraordinary women have held the position of mayor and most within the last 20 years,” said Marsha Ramos, who served two terms as mayor of Burbank from 2004 to 2005 and 2007 to 2008.
“I am delighted with the choice of City Council candidates this election cycle in Burbank – all are women, a first for Burbank. The candidates are diverse in thought and experience, smart and courageous,” she said.
Each candidate for the City Council has served on at least one city board.
Emily Gabel-Luddy, previously mayor of Burbank, was recently elected as president of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority. Gabel-Luddy told the Leader “I am so pleased to see more women advancing to elected office and it bodes well for Burbank. Mary Lou Howard was the first woman elected in 1979 and served three terms. Now, over 40 years later, five women and no men are running.”
“This will be Burbank’s year of the woman,” Gabel-Luddy said.
The number of women running for office in the United States has sharply increased since 2016. In 2022, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Black, Latina/Hispanic, and white women have all set new candidacy records, though not at all levels of office, according to a study by the Center for American Women and Politics.
“Across the state and nation, more and more women are running for office and winning, and many are a driving force for enhancing the quality of life in our communities. I believe strong women in elected leadership, for the most part, have proven to be effective, responsive and bring a valuable perspective and balance to public policy decisions,” Ramos said.

CANDIDATES FILE FOR SCHOOL BOARD CITY CLERK, CITY TREASURER
Last week, School Board President Steve Frintner announced in a letter to the Leader that he does not plan to run for another term on the board, leaving two seats up for grabs. Candidates include incumbent Vice President Charlene Tabet, parent, contractor and former school board member Larry Applebaum, parent and probation officer Harutyun Ketikyan, Megaverse Principal Michael Morgan, game artist James L. Morrison, parent and education administrator Abby Pontzer Kamkar and global workplace director Brian J. Smith.
With City Clerk Zizette Mullins now running for council, the City Clerk’s race is between public school administrator Kimberley Clark, financial annuity consultant Jamal El-Amin and administrative analyst Viviana Garzon.
City Treasurer incumbent Krystle Palmer will run unopposed this election cycle.