Paul Krekorian

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Paul Krekorian
Councilmember Paul Krekorian
Councilmember Paul Krekorian in L.A. City Hall
Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 5, 2010
Preceded by Wendy Greuel
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 43rd district
In office
December 4, 2006 – December, 2009
Preceded by Dario Frommer
Succeeded by Mike Gatto
Personal details
Born (1960-03-24) March 24, 1960 (age 54)
San Fernando Valley, California
Political party Democratic
Residence Studio City, California
Alma mater
Occupation Politician
Profession Attorney
Website cd2.lacity.org

Paul Krekorian (born March 24, 1960) is an American politician and member of the Los Angeles City Council representing the second district. He was previously a member of the California State Assembly, and the Assistant Majority Floor Leader representing California's 43rd Assembly District. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Personal life[edit]

Krekorian was born in San Fernando Valley, California, and is a third-generation San Fernando Valley resident. He is the son of JoAnn (née Creswell), a North Hollywood native, and Erwin Krekorian, a Marine Corps WWII veteran from Reseda.[1] His father was of Armenian descent and ran a small business on Saticoy in Van Nuys. Krekorian completed his primary education entirely within the Los Angeles Unified School District, graduating from Cleveland High School in Reseda, before attending college in California.[2]

As the first member of his family to attend college, Krekorian enrolled in the University of Southern California, where he first became active in political causes. He worked with then-Assemblyman Tom Bane [2] and, as a student at USC, founded the school’s first Democratic group. He later became the campus organizer for Jerry Brown's 1978 gubernatorial campaign. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from USC, Krekorian went on to earn a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. A 1984 graduate of UC Berkeley, Krekorian became an organizer for Bill Clinton's 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, the latter of which saw Krekorian co-chair the Saxophone Club, the Democratic National Committee's nationwide young professionals group.[2]

Krekorian practiced law as a partner in the firm of Fisher & Krekorian, focusing on business, entertainment and intellectual property litigation. He served on the Board of Trustees of the L.A. County Bar Association, the Board of Trustees of the LA County Law Library, and the California State Legislature’s Task Force on Court Facilities. In the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots that ripped through the city, Krekorian served as counsel to the Webster Commission on the Los Angeles Police Commission and served on the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.

Krekorian has been praised for his efforts in preserving women’s rights for his pro bono work in the fight against domestic violence,[3] and a program he developed for at-risk youth, called GenerationNext. Krekorian currently lives in Studio City with his wife and three children.

Political career[edit]

Burbank School Board[edit]

Krekorian was elected to the Burbank School Board serving as President of that city’s educational group in 2003. Under Krekorian’s leadership, the district was able to resolve its most pressing budget problems, saving many educational programs and vital jobs, while still paring down administrative costs. During his tenure, the district significantly improved student attendance and performance, increased teacher pay, launched the Burbank Priority in Education Foundation, and encouraged student nutrition and exercise. Concurrently, Krekorian served as President of the Five Star Education Coalition, a consortium of five suburban school districts that worked to shape state and federal education policy.

State Assembly[edit]

Krekorian was elected to the 43rd district of the California State Assembly in 2007. During his first term in office, Krekorian owned one of the best records in the Assembly with the highest number of bills signed into law by any freshman legislator.[4]

Issues[edit]

Government Accessibility and Responsiveness[edit]

In 2006, Krekorian created the “Government at Your Doorstep” program in response to complaints about speeding, graffiti and noise pollution.[5]

Jobs[edit]

As the state battled to pass a balanced budget in early 2009, Krekorian authored a historic bill to ensure media production in California stays local. His bill offered tax incentives for film and television production to stem the tide of runaway production for the first time in state history.

Four years in, the program has been a resounding success. On-location feature production increased 9.1 percent in the second quarter of 2012, generating 160 production days in Southern California.[6]

Environment[edit]

Krekorian’s legislative priorities also included legislation that introduced strict restrictions on plastic pollution in ocean run-off, expanded renewable energy generation for California public utilities and reduced carbon emissions.

Public Safety[edit]

Krekorian has worked closely with local police departments to reduce gang violence, speeding and crime in his district and the state. In his first Assembly term, Krekorian’s Weapons and Ammunition Nuisance Abatement Act of 2007 gave apartment owners greater latitude to evict tenants who harbor guns and ammo. That year, Krekorian also introduced and passed a bill to encourage participation with federal authorities to siphon off the state’s stock of weapons.

Los Angeles City Council[edit]

On December 8, 2009, Krekorian won a seat on the L.A. City Council, representing Los Angeles City Council District 2. He is Chairman of the city's Budget & Finance Committee, Vice-Chair of the Economic Development Committee, and a member of the Transportation Committee.

His campaign officially began on July 10, 2009, when Krekorian officially announced his candidacy to fill the vacant seat for Los Angeles City Council’s Second District.

The primary election was held on September 22, where Krekorian placed first with 34% of the vote. A run-off was scheduled for December 8 and, aided by support from a number of public safety, environmental and Democratic groups, including Los Angeles Daily News,[7] the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City[8] the Los Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club[9] and the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley, Krekorian defeated Christine Essel. Krekorian won a resounding victory with more than 56% of the vote despite being outspent more than 2-1 in overall campaign dollars and more than 13-1 in third-party political committee donations.

The final days of the campaign were marked by a surge in so-called independent expenditure spending on behalf of Essel. "Labor unions have spent in the neighborhood of three-quarters of a million dollars against Krekorian – and in support of his opponent," reported KPCC's Frank Stolze on December 7.[10] As a member of the Los Angeles City Council, Paul Krekorian has worked to improve the city's fiscal state, ensure government transparency, preserve open space, and work to restore confidence in local government. After just six months in office, Krekorian garnered praise for his “thoughtful” approach and “decisive” action to help his district and the city of Los Angeles.[11]

Issues[edit]

Planning and Development[edit]

Councilmember Krekorian has long stated his support for development projects in his district consistent with the community’s needs. Conversely, he has taken a stance against planning issues that infringe on a neighborhood’s character.

On his first day in office, for example, Krekorian “took a decisive first step” put the brakes on a large multifamily development on Magnolia Boulevard in Valley Village that had been opposed by neighbors for years.

Councilmember Krekorian also worked to reduce the number of billboards in Los Angeles, eliminate mobile billboards - long a headache for Valley residents, persuaded T-Mobile not to build a 60-foot antenna tower in front of single-family residences in Sunland-Tujunga and clamped down on mansionization in Studio City.[1]

Energy and the Environment[edit]

Highlighting his independence, the councilman repeatedly stood with ratepayers and led the fight against proposed rate increases sought by the Department of Water and Power in 2010. In an open letter to constituents explaining his opposition, Krekorian lambasted the Department’s lack of transparency and insufficient justification. “I voted against the DWP’s proposal because I wanted to make clear that any rate hikes proposed by the Department must be vetted in the most responsible and transparent fashion,” he wrote.

Since that point, Krekorian worked to ensure the idea of a ratepayer advocate - an independent voice for Angelenos on DWP issues - became a reality.[2]

Government Transparency and Accountability[edit]

As a city councilman, Krekorian has been at the forefront of efforts for greater transparency and accountability. At the beginning of his term, Krekorian established a policy blog that included an unprecedented live-blog for untelevised committee meetings, which LAist called a "game changer."[12]

On June 7, 2010, Councilmember Krekorian’s office released two eGovernment applications for iPhone and Android mobile phones, becoming the first public official to do so in the state of California. He also introduced a motion to require full public disclosure regarding the funding of special interest campaigns to influence city elections and has made regular use of infographics [3] and mapping technologies to create easily accessible, easy to understand charts of how government is serving constituents.

Neighborhood Councils[edit]

As a former head of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, Councilmember Krekorian has been a vocal advocate for neighborhood councils. He repeatedly voiced his belief that neighborhood councils provide a valuable outlet through which concerned and committed citizens may voice their opinions regarding issues considered by the City Council. Accordingly, he has fought attempts to excessively curtail neighborhood council funding.

On February 16, 2010, Krekorian restored more than $1 million in rollover funding to neighborhood councils, arguing that a lack of funding “would not allow neighborhood councils what they need to meet their commitments.” Later that year, he led the fight against the Mayor's plan to combine the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment with the Community Development Department, which the councilman said would “send a signal to the city and neighborhood councils that neighborhood empowerment is less of a priority for the city than it used to be.”

The Council voted 12-0 against consolidation. Councilmember Krekorian then held a series of community meetings throughout Los Angeles to address this issue, spending a year to solve many of the root issues that plagued neighborhood councils.

Budget[edit]

In 2012, Councilmember Krekorian was tapped to lead the Budget and Finance Committee, inheriting the responsibility of overseeing a $4 billion General Fund budget and addressing a deficit of $200 million that fiscal year.

"With every great challenge there is great opportunity, and we must seize this chance to create a municipal government that effectively and efficiently provides the services our residents need and deserve," Councilmember Krekorian said at the time. "How we respond to this time of crisis will define Los Angeles for years to come, and the work we do now can and must create a firm foundation upon which to build a strong future for our city."[13]

Since taking the helm, he has taken a "difficult but responsible approach to solving a $220 million deficit and enhancing the city’s solvency." [14]

While more difficult work lies ahead, Krekorian said, the city has worked to adopt structural reform. With the elimination of about 5,000 positions, the city’s workforce is its smallest since the days Tom Bradley was mayor. Concurrently, the city's reserve fund is now the highest level in a decade and pension reform has resulted in an increase in contributions for city employee benefits while salary for new hires has dropped by 20 percent.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Obituaries : * Ruth N. Creswell; Homemaker, Artist". Los Angeles Times. 1995-11-29. 
  2. ^ a b c "About Paul". Paul Krekorian for City Council. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  3. ^ California NOW (11 May 2006). "California NOW Circulates Poll Results Paul Krekorian Winning with Education Message". Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  4. ^ Zain Shauk (21 July 2009). "Q&A: Paul Krekorian". Glendale News Press. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  5. ^ Asbarez Staff (14 July 2009). "Paul Krekorian Announces LA City Council Run". Asbarez News. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  6. ^ FilmL.A. (28 July 2012). "On-Location Production 2011-2012". FilmL.A. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  7. ^ LA Daily News (20 October 2009). "Council pick: Paul Krekorian is the best choice for Los Angeles City Council District 2". LA Daily News. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  8. ^ Daily News Wire Services (13 July 2009). "Krekorian gets LA Dems Endorsement for Council". LA Daily News. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  9. ^ Joe B. (21 August 2009). "Sierra Club Endorses Krekorian". Mayor Sam's Sister City. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  10. ^ Frank Stolze (7 December 2009). "Independent expenditures by labor unions soar in LA City Council race". KPCC. Retrieved 2009-12-12. 
  11. ^ Daily News Editorial Board (14 July 2010). "First impressions: Paul Krekorian starts out strong representing his district". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  12. ^ Zach Behrens (16 February 2010). "Game Changer? Councilman's Staff Begin to Live Blog". LAist.com. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  13. ^ Damian Kelly (30 January 2012). "Krekorian To Chair Budget And Finance Committee". Canyon News. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  14. ^ Patch (22 May 2012). "Krekorian Releases Statement as City Balances Its Budget". North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 

External links[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Wendy Greuel
Los Angeles City Councilmember,
2nd District

2010–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
California Assembly
Preceded by
Dario Frommer
California State Assemblyman
43rd district

2006–2010
Succeeded by
Mike Gatto