Councilor Zaida Luna
Zaida Luna (Ward 1)
First Elected: 2009
Committees: General Government, Chair; Race & Civil Rights; Health & Human Services; Elders Affairs.
Education: Unknown, assumed B.A.
Work: Social Worker
Prior Public Service: None known.
Other Elections: None known
Political Distinctions: Democrat, No known memberships
Poll of last contested election: City Council Ward 1 2013 general:
City Council Ward 1 2009 general:
Biomass Repeal: Yes
Police Oversight Board: Yes
F.W. Webb Tax Financing No
For Mayor’s FY2013 Budget: Yes
For Mayor’s FY 2014 Budget: Yes
Limiting Residency Ordinance Waivers: Absent on third step, No on veto override.
Pawn shops regulations: Yes
Tagged stories here.
Zaida Luna was not interviewed by WMassP&I during the 2013 campaign
Political note: At Springfield City Council meetings, the voice least likely to be heard other than to vote or to back a motion, is that of Zaida Luna. A bit more talkative in committee meetings and quite gregarious in person, Luna might be otherwise dismissed as a cipher, despite some critical votes for fiscal responsibility in 2011. Luna was also involved in pre-2007 efforts to bring ward representation to Springfield. Her political isolation from the city’s more powerful wards should provide her some protection, but ever since a split with the New North Citizens Council after her reelection, the neighborhood association has sought her ouster. During Luna’s uncontested 2011 reelection bid, the Ward 1 race attracted a surprisingly high number of write-ins, attributed to a last minute sticker campaign waged by powerful figures in Ward 1 like NNCC. She may also possess a power representing an indisputably Hispanic dominated ward and is, with Clodo Concepcion and Orlando Ramos, one of only three Hispanic members. Whether she has exercised it or not is less clear, but other politicians in the city have sensed it and tried to act accordingly. She is, however, aware of at least her own credibility as the Council’s only woman of color when she called out what she and others saw as abuses at the polls in 2011’s September preliminary and requested the US Justice Department to monitor the election, which it did. She got a cornucopia of committee assignments for 2012, much to her own surprise, but it is unclear what she did with it. Neither establishment or non-establishment among the city’s Latinos, she has nevertheless gotten under the skin of some of individuals . Indeed, in 2013 three people opposed her for reelection and she ultimately prevailed over Jose Claudio, despite his having considerable support from city establishmentarians and even the two candidates for the ward that failed to advance beyond the preliminary. The victory has been ascribed to her superior ground game and help from SEIU, but now that she has played David to Goliath, there may be no time like the present to fully leverage her position.