Paul Krekorian

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Paul Krekorian
Councilmember Paul Krekorian
Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 2nd district
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 56)
San Fernando Valley, California
Political party Democratic
Residence Studio City, California
Alma mater
Occupation Politician
Profession Attorney
Website www.paulkrekorian.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, representing California's 43rd Assembly District. He is a member of the Democratic Party and is the first Armenian American to be elected to office in the City of Los Angeles.

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, a North Hollywood native, and Erwin Krekorian, a Marine Corps WWII veteran.[1] His father was of Armenian descent and ran a small business on Saticoy Street in Van Nuys. Krekorian completed his primary education entirely within the Los Angeles Unified School District, graduating from Cleveland High School (Los Angeles, California) in Reseda.[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, became the campus organizer for Jerry Brown's 1978 gubernatorial campaign and helped lead USC's Democratic student group. 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. Krekorian became an organizer for Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and co-chaired the Saxophone Club, the Democratic National Committee's nationwide young professionals group.

Krekorian practiced law, with a focus on business, entertainment and intellectual property litigation, at the firms Sadden Arps, Dewey Ballantine and Leopold, Petrich & Smith and Fisher & Krekorian, where he was a name partner. He served on the Board of Trustees of the LA 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, Krekorian was counsel to the Webster Commission and was appointed to 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 lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Tamar, and children Hrag, Andrew and Lori.

Early Political Career[edit]

Krekorian has spent more than a decade in public service, first as a member of the Burbank School Board and then as a California State Assemblymember. He currently serves as a member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing District 2 in the southeast San Fernando Valley. Council District 2 includes the communities of North Hollywood, Studio City, Valley Glen, Valley Village and parts of Sun Valley and Van Nuys.

Burbank School Board[edit]

Krekorian was elected to the Burbank School Board, serving as president in 2003. Under Krekorian’s leadership, the district resolved its most pressing budget problems, saving many educational programs and vital jobs, while still cutting 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.

California State Assembly[edit]

In 2006, Krekorian was elected to the 43rd district of the California State Assembly. During his first term in office, Krekorian held one of the best records in the Assembly with the highest number of bills signed into law by any freshman legislator.[4] He was named Assistant Majority Floor Leader of the State Assembly, the third ranking leadership position in the Assembly, by then-Speaker Karen Bass. Krekorian's legislative priorities included making government more accessible and responsive, saving and creating jobs, protecting the environment and increasing public safety. He created the "Government at Your Doorstep" program in response to complaints about speeding, graffiti and noise pollution in his district.[5] As the state battled to pass a balanced budget in early 2009, Krekorian authored a historic bill to ensure film and TV production in California stays local. His bill was the first successful tax incentive aimed at saving California jobs by addressing runaway production. On-location feature production increased 9.1 percent in the second quarter of 2012, generating 160 production days in Southern California.[6] Krekorian also introduced legislation that restricted plastic pollution in ocean run-off, expanded renewable energy generation for California public utilities and reduced carbon emissions. He worked closely with local police departments to reduce gang violence, along with crime in his district and throughout 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 Los Angeles City Council, representing Los Angeles City Council District 2. He is the Chair of the city's Budget and Finance Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Job Creation, the Vice Chair of the Entertainment and Facilities Committee, and sits on the Economic Development Committee, Trade, Commerce and Technology Committee, Executive Employee Relations Committee and the Board of Referred Powers. He also serves on the board of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Metrolink (Southern California), and sits on the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments, a coalition of leaders advocating for the Valley’s two million residents. His campaign officially began on July 10, 2009, when Krekorian officially announced his candidacy to fill the vacant District 2 seat in a special election. The primary was held on September 22, in which 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 soundly defeated Christine Essel with more than 56% of the vote, despite being outspent 2-1 in overall campaign dollars and 13-1 in third-party political committee donations.

Since taking office in January 2010, Krekorian has worked to improve the city's finances, ensure government transparency, preserve open space, and restore confidence in local government. He garnered quick praise for his "thoughtful" approach and "decisive" action to help his district and the City of Los Angeles.[10] He was overwhelmingly elected to his first full term in 2011 and again in March 2015. In their editorial endorsing his March 2015 campaign, the Los Angeles Times called Krekorian "smart, knowledgeable" and a "voice for fiscal responsibility and responsive government." [11]

City Budget[edit]

In 2012, Councilmember Krekorian was tapped to lead the Budget and Finance Committee, inheriting the responsibility of overseeing a multi-billion dollar General Fund budget. He has been a fiscal watchdog for the city and is responsible for reforming LA's finances and putting the city on a path to economic recovery. "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."[12] Since taking the helm, he has taken a "difficult but responsible approach to solving a $220 million deficit and enhancing the city’s solvency." [13] When Krekorian took office in 2010, the projected deficit for fiscal year 2014-2015 was more than $1 billion. Since then, he has helped the city reduce costs by more than $800 million, nearly eliminating the entire structural deficit. Under his leadership, the city has also established the highest reserve fund in decades. Krekorian has also made improvements to the budget that benefit our neighborhoods by investing in infrastructure, public safety and people. He has restored needed funds to the Los Angeles Fire Dept., improved library hours, and directed funding toward sidewalk repair, tree trimming, graffiti abatement, neighborhood beautification projects, cleaning up illegally dumped items, and senior and student programs at our city's parks.

Jobs[edit]

Krekorian chairs the City Council's Ad Hoc Job Creation Committee, created on July 1, 2015, and sits on the Economic Development Committee. Throughout his tenure, Krekorian has worked to implement changes to the city’s policies that will make it easier to do business in Los Angeles, create good jobs for working Angelenos and boost the city's vital economic sectors. He has lowered and simplified the city's confusing business tax, supported tax relief for Internet-based businesses and new car dealers, crafted legislation that encourages the City of Los Angeles to contract with local businesses, cracked down on illegal medical marijuana dispensaries, and pushed for a better, streamlined permitting process for new businesses. Krekorian helped craft the City Council's final plan to raise the city's minimum wage, and took great pains to make sure it was done right, taking into consideration the wants and needs of working families, along with our small businesses and non-profit organizations.

Transportation and Mobility[edit]

Krekorian believes that expanding the San Fernando Valley's public transportation system will help grow the economy, create jobs and make life (and commutes) easier for residents. As a member of the Metro and Metrolink boards, he is the Valley's primary voice for increased transit options and better connectivity between neighborhoods. He has advocated for expanding rail and bus transit in the Valley, including improving and possibly converting the Orange Line (Los Angeles Metro) to light rail,[14] completing the East Valley North-South Transit Corridor and Sepulveda Pass projects, linking the Red Line to the Bob Hope Airport and connecting the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys by rail. Krekorian recently inaugurated new, Valley-Westside express bus service over the Sepulveda Pass, cutting daily commutes by 40 minuets. Krekorian has also championed bringing new, less confusing parking signs throughout the city, voted to ban third-party phone apps that sell parking spaces, lifted parking restrictions near elementary schools and supported sensible parking citation reform.

Public Safety and Gun Control[edit]

Councilmember Krekorian is committed to making the residents of Los Angeles safer through sound policies and supporting the police and fire departments. He has a long history of fighting for safer streets and communities. Krekorian has restored critical Los Angeles Fire Department services, by championing the hiring of hundreds of firefighters, and providing the department with funding to replace outdated safety equipment and to keep more ambulances on the street. He has prioritized decreasing emergency response times and proposed new ideas to make the fire department more responsive to residents. Krekorian works hand-in-hand with the Los Angeles Police Department on community education programs, by supporting a well-funded and -staffed department, and by fostering strong partnerships between law enforcement officers, elected leaders and neighborhoods. He has also launched campaigns in his district to clean up parks, housing, railroad tracks and alleyways, turning them from hubs of crime into safe public spaces. Krekorian has also taken on graffiti head on with his #NoTag campaign, cleaning up more than one million square feet of graffiti in just 12 months. Krekorian is also known for his strong stand against gun violence and for the safety of children and families. His City Council measures have mandated safe storage for handguns in homes and electronic reporting of ammunition sales, and banned the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Supporting the Arts[edit]

For nearly a decade, Krekorian has fought hard for our government to do everything it can to preserve vital film and television jobs in Los Angeles and to stop runaway production. Krekorian recently chaired the City Council's Ad Hoc Committee on Film and TV Production Jobs, where he successfully lobbied for the state to pass an expanded tax incentive package for film and TV production, saving thousands of jobs and creating billions in local economic activity. He has taken concrete steps to make Los Angeles more film friendly by extending a local tax incentive, waiving fees for filming at city-owned properties, streamlining the permitting process, and helping city departments find more efficient and effective ways to accommodate and assist filming. As a strong advocate for the arts, Krekorian has authored measures to fund public art, protect LA's historic murals, prevent graffiti vandalism and preserve our city's diverse cultural heritage. Krekorian also supports the next generation of filmmakers. He created the annual Los Angeles Student Film Festival, the only Southern California film festival featuring the work of high school students.

Neighborhood Empowerment[edit]

Krekorian is vocal advocate for neighborhood councils and bringing more community involvement to city government. He works closely with the neighborhood councils, associations, watches and all resident organizations in Council District 2. Krekorian believes that these organizations provide a valuable outlet for concerned and committed citizens to voice their opinions about issues considered by the City Council and city departments. Throughout his time at City Hall, Krekorian has fought attempts to excessively curtail neighborhood council funding and has championed their inclusion in the budget process. In 2010, when he chaired the City Council's Education and Neighborhoods Committee, 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." Krekorian is also known for listening to residents and providing top notch constituent services. He responds quickly and decisively when emergencies threaten neighborhoods and when residents are simply looking for assistance. His field office in North Hollywood is a neighborhood center of activity, outreach and information. Krekorian endeavors to bring city government to the doorsteps of his constituents and always welcomes their valuable input.

Environmental Sustainability[edit]

Since before was first elected to public office, Krekorian has worked tirelessly to support the restoration of damaged ecosystems, fight global warming, prevent air pollution and promote sustainable development for our city and state. As an City Councilmember, his strong advocacy for sound environmental policies led the way for Los Angeles to become the largest city to ban single-use plastic bags and to prioritize revitalizing the LA River. Krekorian has also opened parks throughout Council District 2, pushed for the city to use and implement green technology and practices, acted to preserve our urban forest and protected our open space. Highlighting his independence, the councilman repeatedly stood with city ratepayers and led the fight against proposed rate increases sought by the Dept. 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. Krekorian worked to ensure that a ratepayer advocate - an independent voice for Angelenos on DWP issues - became a reality.

Community Planning and Development[edit]

Krekorian has long stated his support for development projects in his district consistent with the community’s needs, but has opposed projects that infringe on the neighborhood’s character. On his first day in office, Krekorian took a decisive first step by putting the brakes on a large multifamily development on Magnolia Boulevard in Valley Village that was opposed by neighbors for years. He has also opposed an out-of-character condo development at the Weddington Golf and Tennis complex in Studio City and voiced his desire to have the area contribute to the revitalization of the LA River. Krekorian has worked to reduce the number of billboards in Los Angeles, eliminate mobile billboards - long a headache for Valley residents and clamped down on mansionization in Studio City.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Obituaries : * Ruth N. Creswell; Homemaker, Artist". Los Angeles Times. 1995-11-29. 
  2. ^ "About Paul". Paul Krekorian. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  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. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Los Angeles Times Editorial Board (5 February 2015). "Paul Krekorian is the best choice for L.A. City Council's 2nd District". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-08-05. 
  12. ^ Damian Kelly (30 January 2012). "Krekorian To Chair Budget And Finance Committee". Canyon News. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  13. ^ Patch (22 May 2012). "Krekorian Releases Statement as City Balances Its Budget". North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 
  14. ^ Rick Orlov (24 July 2014). "MTA approves study to convert Metro Orange Line to light rail". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 2015-08-13. 

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