Saturday, July 20

Koretz maintains support from community in upcoming election

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, whose district includes Westwood, received more endorsements from city officials than his challenger, the lawyer Jesse Creed. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, whose district includes Westwood, received more endorsements from city officials than his challenger, the lawyer Jesse Creed. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Correction: The original version of this article misquoted Jesse Creed.

Some community leaders have already endorsed candidates for the city’s primary elections next March, including the council seat representing Westwood and surrounding neighborhoods.

Incumbent Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz received more endorsements from city officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, than his challenger, 31-year-old lawyer Jesse Creed. Whoever voters elect next year will serve a term of five and a half years instead of four because the city will not hold its next election until 2022 to coincide with state and federal election.

Parke Skelton, Koretz’s campaign consultant, was unavailable to comment on his plans, but said in a press release that Koretz advocates for environmental issues, gun control, animal rights and the district’s residential neighborhoods.

Victor Narro, the project director of the UCLA Labor Center and a labor studies professor, said he endorsed Koretz because of his experience and strong record defending labor rights as a state assemblyman from 2000 to 2006 and as a city councilmember.

He said he thinks Koretz championed minimum wage increases and stronger enforcement of wage theft laws.

“When most legislators lose a fight, they let it go,” Narro said. “But he kept at it and he brought it down to a local level.”

Sandy Brown, president of the Holmby Westwood Property Owners Association and vice president of the Westwood Neighborhood Council, said she has endorsed Koretz since he first ran for his current post in 2009.

She said she thinks that because of his experience as a state assemblyman and city councilmember, he knows how city government works and has a history of listening to constituents.

“Paul seems to want the community to bring issues to him and let them decide what’s best,” Brown said. “Different parts of his area have different issues – (residents) are the ones who know our community best.”

For instance, Koretz’s motion to move a planned bike lane from Westwood Boulevard to Gayley Avenue prioritized residents’ concerns about traffic and safety over giving cyclists the most direct route to UCLA, she said.

[Related: Councilmember’s emails show inconsistencies with stance against bike lane]

Brown added she thinks residents in Westwood care about traffic, road quality and safety the most.

Lisa Chapman, the president of the Westwood Neighborhood Council, said she has not yet decided whether to endorse Koretz.

She said she thinks Koretz does not actively advocate for more green space in the area or citywide pension reform because of his obligations to developers and labor unions.

She added she thinks Koretz hasn’t actively addressed homelessness and could be more involved in revitalizing the Village instead of leaving business permits and other decisions up to the Westwood Design Review Board and community leaders.

On the other hand, she said Koretz has been helpful on issues like moving the planned Westwood Boulevard bike lane to Gayley Avenue and ensuring the Broxton Garage remained publicly owned instead of being leased in 2011.

[Related: LA City Council votes to move proposed Westwood Boulevard bike lane]

Creed, who said he wants to increase community engagement and focus on addressing traffic and homelessness in the district, received endorsements from former LA Mayor Richard Riordan and Westwood Neighborhood Councilmember David Lorango.

Creed said he thinks some community leaders felt obligated to endorse Koretz because they have to continue working with him until his term ends.

He added he thinks Koretz does not prioritize his constituents and tends to let neighborhood governance take care of itself until he needs to make a final decision.

“We need more active and energetic leadership in the district,” Creed said. “There’s been a lot of missed opportunities to address challenges such as homelessness and affordable housing.”

As of June 30, Creed had raised about $112,000 and Koretz had raised about $192,000, according to reports submitted to the LA City Ethics Commission.

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Catherine Liberty Feliciano was a news reporter and a staff representative on the Daily Bruin Editorial Board. She wrote stories about Westwood, research and student life. She dabbled in video journalism and frequently wrote #ThrowbackThursday blogs. Feliciano was an assistant Opinion editor in the 2015-2016 school year.

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  • Michael Cahn

    Sustainability advocates are disappointed that Koretz, in spite of his green endorsements in the past, has become a real stumbling block for sustainable transportation in his district. He only listens to the leadership of home owner associations, who still live in yesterdays car bubble. Renters and students, and those who walk and cycle, just do not count in his district.

    Bike lanes do increase safety for those who use a bike. the Sierra Club and Ed Begley Jr should not endorse Koretz because of his opposition against bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

    • Craig Castilla

      A lot of us are diaappointed in Koretz.

  • Stephen Kolodny

    Koretz is a typical politician, business as usual. He misleads people seeking to preserve the Historic Holmby Westwood neighborhood in favor I’d developers, real estate brokers and their lawyers. He misleads and deceives We need to end politics as usual, get him out of office, protect our environment and neighborhood, not profit making developers, brokers and their lawyers. People, not profit, count in matters of this nature.

    • Craig Castilla

      Agree 100%

  • Craig Castilla

    LA Can Do Better than Paul Koretz, much better. Consider voting in March 2017 for someone we can believe in. Vote for Jesse Creed, #BelieveInCreed.

    Koretz is unbelievable in every way; he is bad news for the City; he is exactly what’s wrong in our City politics.

    Dig for a moment and you’ll see his wife got hired by the Mayor’s office. Koretz even hired his own daughter as an intern in his own office. Come on people! This is the same old, same old. Political cronyism, nepotism, conflicts of interest. The Mayor, City Councilpeople, Koretz they all scratch each others’ backs.

    Q: How often do our City Councilpeople ever oppose each other?

    A: Almost never! I believe the statistic is that about 99% of the time they vote unanimously. That’s not a typo. 99%. Unbelievable, just like Koretz.

    Clearly all free thinkers, no collusion there, no “you vote for my project, I’ll vote for yours”… Are we all so jaded that this is OK? Is the next generation of young voters really going to put up with these hacks and the way they do business?

    My experience of Paul Koretz is that he is far more interested in the very thin superficial appearance of propriety than anything else.

    Dig half an inch deeper ( and see how heavily he relies on property developers for his funding. Then ask yourself how much he really cares about our neighborhoods.

    How about DOING THE RIGHT THING for a change? Read up on Jesse Creed. He is the rare thing in politics, the real deal. Time for a change, not just any change either, one that is clearly for the better. CREED.

    Question for journalist @fromliberty: with respect, is it really all that noteworthy that an incumbent politician running for yet another term in office has a bunch of endorsements?

    Incumbents largely have those endorsers over a barrel. Jesse Creed put it politely when he points out those “endorsers” still have to work with Koretz. With a system as rigged as the LA City Council, it is just far too much to expect anything else from those hostages. We can be sure Koretz’s re-election team called most all of them “requesting” endorsements. These are really meaningless.

    Koretz has more than enough airtime.

    Suggestion for journalist @fromliberty:
    for really good service to your readership, many of whom are our bright, young future, what would be most worthwhile would be to give some solid one-on-one interview time to Jesse Creed, so that everyone can read in the Daily Bruin the substance he offers. People – certainly Daily Bruin readers – are better than sheep who may be herded to follow endorsements that approximate blackmail. Let people make up their own minds with some real policy discussion.

    Aren’t we all sick and tired of politics as usual?

    • Ilaya

      Well what we are ALL sick of is Jesse Creed posting about himself all over the internet under various pseudonyms….”Craig”

      Koretz has done alot of good. If you think you can do better, than do better. Otherwise, stop wasting our time.