Mike Hernandez (born December 4, 1952 in Pleasanton California) is a political activist in the Los Angeles Latino community who organized students to participate in the Chicano Moratorium, helped register over 25,000 new Latino voters in one year and was the Founding Chair of Plaza de La Raza Head Start Inc. where he helped develop 17 Head Start Enters.
Elected in 1991 in a special election to complete the unfinished term of previous Councilmember Gloria Molina who had moved on to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Hernandez became only the fourth Latino elected to the Los Angeles City Council since the election of Edward Roybal in 1948. While in office Hernandez, much to the chagrin of his then council colleagues, often reminded his constituents and the Latino community at-large that his district was the result of a landmark court case mandating that a Latino district be created because of the gerrymandering that had occurred in previous decades.
While drawing much of his early electoral support from voters of the Northeast Los Angeles communities that made up much of his district, Hernandez represented some of the poorest areas of the city including MacArthur Park, Westlake and Pico Union. Regardless, Hernandez understood that each of the neighborhoods he represented were largely young immigrant communities that had been all but forgotten by civic leaders. With limited social infrastructure and almost no access to city resources Hernandez, a trained organizer, began to unite community leaders and together during his decade-long tenure between 1991 and 2001, either spearheaded or laid the groundwork for much of the transformations that have since occurred in what was once his district.