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Yaroslavsky Won't Run for Mayor

'I do believe that four decades is long enough for any citizen to hold elective office,' the county supervisor says.

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky announced Thursday he will not run for mayor of Los Angeles, saying he would give way to "a new generation" of political leaders when his term ends in 2014.

In a blog post, Yaroslavsky said the decision was one he wrestled with for months and was one of the most difficult of his political life.

"I've been urged to enter next year's race by friends, supporters and residents throughout the city. And I've been humbled and touched by the confidence they've placed in me," he wrote.

To read Yaroslavsky's announcement in full, click here.

The 63-year-old supervisor, a lifelong Angeleno, wrote that "with my expertise and experience,'' there is no doubt he could "help transform L.A.'s fortunes.

"In the end, however, it is this very length of service that has tipped the scales for me."

Yaroslavsky will have served 40 years as an elected official in Los Angeles when he is termed out from the Board of Supervisors in 2014, a tenure he called "eventful, productive and fulfilling."

Yaroslavsky's exit from the race will ease some gridlock in the campaign, allowing the current candidates to pursue donors and constituencies that were holding out to see if Yaroslavsky would run. However, his exit will not dull Yaroslavsky's influence over issues in the race, according to political analyst Raphael Sonenshein, who heads the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles.

"The candidates will be working very hard to get his endorsement. Zev turns from a possible opponent to a possible ally,'' Sonenshein said. "It will give candidates a reason to talk more about some of the issues he cares about,
like transportation."

Mayoral candidates City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilman Eric Garcetti moved quickly to praise Yaroslavsky's 37 years as an elected official, first as a Los Angeles councilman in 1975 and then as a Los Angeles County Supervisor in 1994.

Greuel likened Yaroslavsky's influence to that of former Mayor Tom Bradley and longtime County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. Yaroslavsky "will
continue to be an iconic and transformational leader for L.A. whose profound impact will be felt for generations," she said.

Garcetti said he admired Yaroslavsky's commitment to some of L.A.'s most intractable problems—homelessness and transportation.

"Zev Yaroslavsky has always led with intellect, creativity and determination," he said.

City Councilwoman Jan Perry and attorney Kevin James, who are also running for mayor, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Sonenshein said Yaroslavsky's exit, contrary to conventional wisdom, does not help any one candidate more than another. As moderate Democrats with strong ties to the San Fernando Valley, Greuel will pick up some of his base of support. However, Yaroslavsky and Garcetti have been close over the years and Perry has been garnering backing from some conservative areas of the Valley who otherwise would have supported Yaroslavsky.

"I think they all have some opportunities they didn't have before,''
Sonenshein said.

Yaroslavsky committed to serving his final 27 months in office, after which he said he will "move on to the other things I've longed to do outside the political arena while I have plenty of productive years ahead of me. Simply put, it's time for a new generation of leaders to emerge and guide this region into the future."

Yaroslavsky vowed that he and his staff "will give our all during the next 27 months" as one of the five supervisors of the nation's most populous county.

The third district supervisor represents most of the Westside, San Fernando Valley and mountain communities.

What do you think of Yaroslavsky's announcement? Had he run for mayor of Los Angeles, would you have voted for him? Vote in our poll below and tell us what you think in the comments.

YJ Draiman for Mayor of LA August 24, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Are LA voters angry enough to change the current administration at Los Angeles City Hall??? (click to enlarge) LA voters in the March 2011 Elections voted for incumbents - People do not care, why??? Why do we think LA city election on March 5, 2013 will be any different??? I would think with the poor performance and dismal track record by the current administration, the voters would demand to change the current administration at LA City Hall. 4 of the current LA Mayoral candidates are mostly recycled LA City Council members who have proven themselves unworthy by their repeated failure to solve the City's problems and Council staff members who have demonstrated their loyalty and obedience to their pockets, like well-trained dogs. The corruption in LA government must be stopped. Public corruption in LA City Hall "pay-to-play''. The performance of the current administrations borders on criminal neglect. In order to move forward, we must educate the voters, let them know that the current administration goals are business as usual, there will be no significant changes and the city will be heading into bankruptcy. The escalating costs of pensions and benefits will drain most of the city budget as we head into 2020. The increased taxes and fees on residents and businesses will push people and businesses to leave the city. This again will reduce revenues to the city. The peoples brigade for honest government YJ Draiman http://www.yjdraimanformayor.org
YJ Draiman for Mayor of LA August 24, 2012 at 08:37 PM
LA's Mayoral Camdidates The city must initiate an austerity program. Cut salaries and benefits across the board, increase efficiency and performance. The Police Department should utilize civil service employees for clerical work, not Police Officers. The city must tighten its belt and reduce taxes and fees, streamline bureaucracy. Promote the health of existing businesses and actively go after new businesses. Any city employee who is not performing his job to standards should be put on suspension without pay or benefits and if such action has not improved the workers performance, the worker/employee should be terminated. The city must utilize its most expensive resource, its employees more efficiently, promote a good work environment and reward exceptional performance. People must realize that if they do not do their job, they will have no job and no means of support. The city must streamline management and reduce management costs. A high administrative cost is not prudent and not sustainable. LA's employee costs are one of the highest in the country. We need a change in attitude, and that starts at the top. As they say in good leadership, "follow me". The peoples brigade for honest government YJ Draiman http://www.yjdraimanformayor.org
YJ Draiman for Mayor of LA August 24, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Los Angeles needs new leaders The main question is, why LA voters don't care, why they are resigned to accept failure and diminishing LA city services. Can we not find a leader who will motivate City Hall and initiate hard choices to bring the city to financial health? City elections should be held on the first Tuesday of November with all the other elections to Federal, County & State. It will reduce costs and increase voter turnout. Can we not find a leader who will motivate City Hall and initiate hard choices to bring the city to financial health? City elections should be held on the first Tuesday of November with all the other elections to Federal, County & State. It will reduce costs and increase voter turnout. The peoples brigade for honest government YJ Draiman http://www.yjdraimanformayor.org
Minoter August 26, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Hey, Patch editor. Could you please edit some of these comments? Draiman for Mayor is using up precious space to get free exposure that will just irritate and bore your readers. As for Zev, he was the only candidate I preferred. Don't know who to support now.
ruth August 27, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Very sad day for L.A. that Zev is not running.. The two city council members running are so beholdin to developers it is not even funny. One should have been recalled, but his campaign financing is so huge from developers... he just keeps going and going and going..and ruining Hollywood as he goes..If he has no concern for residents of Hollywood, always putting his supporters/developers interests first.. imagine a Los Angeles under his dictatorship.. And as for the former city council member, her campaigns were funded by them too. L.A. City Political Corruption ..what else is new..

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