UCLA alumnus Kristina Irwin runs to represent District 5 in LA City Council
Kristina Irwin, a local realtor, notary public and UCLA Extension alumnus, has declared her candidacy for LA City Council District 5, which represents Westwood. (Courtesy of Kristina Irwin)
By Justin Jung
Aug. 21, 2021 6:01 p.m.
Los Angeles resident and realtor Kristina Irwin has joined the race for LA City Council District 5.
Irwin, who is a UCLA Extension school alumnus in public relations and marketing, is one of seven candidates currently registered to run for the 5th District. In addition to her work as a realtor, Irwin is also a notary public in LA.
The 5th District represents the geographic areas around UCLA, including Westwood, and other areas in West LA.
The city council oversees elections, taxes, traffic regulation, municipal budget and other governmental tasks, and works with the mayor’s office on city management.
Current council member Paul Koretz cannot run for re-election due to term limits, and will instead run for city controller in 2022.
Other candidates registered with the LA City Ethics Commission, which administers laws related to campaigning, include Molly Basler, Jimmy Biblarz, Jeff Ebenstein, Scott Epstein, Sam Yebri and Katy Yaroslavsky. As of the most recent campaign update on June 30, Irwin had raised $4,125 in contributions, with all 5th District candidates totaling $1,310,785.07.
Irwin’s campaign is most focused on public safety and homelessness, she said. Environmental safety is one of her biggest concerns, Irwin added, pointing to oil drilling at the West Pico Drill Site, which is around four miles from UCLA.
Irwin also said she is focused on addressing homelessness, which she said the city council has historically failed to resolve. Irwin said that she does not believe that homelessness is a housing issue but a health and safety issue, adding that she believes ongoing housing projects like the Tiny Home Villages would be ineffective as a long-term solution.
[Related: LA City Council candidates address homelessness ordinance at NWWNC forum]
Addressing homelessness should focus on mental health issues first, such as by repurposing existing health care resources for new use, Irwin said. Working with the Veterans Affairs hospital or using abandoned lots to build a medical facility for individuals experiencing homelessness may be one possible solution, Irwin added.
Irwin also said she would support vocational training, counseling and rehabilitation services for individuals experiencing homelessness.
On policing, Irwin said that she supports police officers but would also support some changes to police training, such as on brutality.
“We have to go under, under the roots into the problem, and I think that stems from just a hatred for police and I don’t think that’s the right approach,” Irwin said.
Irwin added that her police-community partnership may include placing police officers in schools and organizing police officers meeting with individuals from minority backgrounds.
On each of her campaign issues and others, Irwin said that her door as a council member would be open for constituents.
“I’m going to work very, very strong to bring my constituents in, not just behind the scenes, but to have town hall meetings, to open my door to people,” Irwin said.