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March 7, 2017 — Local Elections
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City of Los AngelesCandidate for City Council, District 5

Photo of Paul Koretz

Paul Koretz

Los Angeles City Councilmember
25,914 votes (65.88%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Eradicate Homelessness
  • Enhance Public Safety in our neighborhoods
  • Ease Traffic and Congestion in the district



Profession:Los Angeles City Councilmember
Councilmember, 5th District, City of Los Angeles (2009–current)
City Councilmember, Los Angeles City Councilmember, 5th District — Elected position (2009–current)
Assemblymember, State of California (2000–2006)
Member, California State Assembly, 42nd District — Elected position (2000–2006)
Mayor and City Councilmember, City of West Hollywood (1988–2000)
Member and Mayor, West Hollywood City Council — Elected position (1988–2000)


University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Bachelor of Arts, History & Political Science (1979)


Born in the San Fernando Valley, Councilmember Koretz was raised and schooled in the 5th District, attending Canfield Elementary School, Palms Middle School, Hamilton High School, and UCLA, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history.

Councilmember Koretz’s father Erich escaped Nazi Germany in late 1939, emigrating first to Argentina and then settling in Los Angeles. He became a waiter and a dedicated member of the hotel and restaurant employees union. Councilmember Koretz often joined his father on picket lines and in other efforts aimed at improving the life of working people. His mother, Doris, grew up in Everett, Massachusetts, during the Great Depression after her family fled the pogroms in Russia and emigrated to the U.S. It was the lessons learned from his parent’s experiences that shaped Councilmember Koretz’s philosophy on service and social justice.

Councilmember Koretz lives with his wife Gail, daughter Rachel, and their two rescue cats, Chagall and Samantha, in the Beverly Grove neighborhood. A devoted husband and father, Councilmember Koretz strives to balance his council duties with his family life and apply the responsibilities of parenthood as a guide to inform his service to the public.

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (3)

  • United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC)
  • Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL)
  • Sierra Club

Elected Officials (2)

  • Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky (ret.)

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Councilmember Koretz currently serves on the L.A. City Council, where he champions environmental protection including fighting climate change, conserving water, and protecting our natural resources. Councilmember Koretz is leading the fight against mansionization and working hard to solve our city’s long-time homelessness problem. He also created a program for greater enforcement of quality of life issues and authored several laws to protect animals from cruel practices. He has worked hard to pave our streets, trim our trees, and improve our parks.

During his years of elected service, Councilmember Koretz has always delivered on his commitment to governmental efficiency, transparency, accountability, and accessibility – principles that have guided his life of activism, service, and leadership. He plans to continue serving with these values for everyone who lives, works, and plays in the 5th Council District.

Position Papers

Environmental Issues


Legislative Accomplishments on Environmental Issues

  • Authored citywide ban on single use plastic bags, which keeps billions of plastic bags out of our ocean, waterways and neighborhoods.
  • Authored Los Angeles’ Greenhouse Gas reduction plan to reduce to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, with increasing reduction markers along the way.
  • Authored a plan with Councilmember Huizar to create exclusive commercial waste hauling franchises, which will reduce traffic and air pollution and increase diversion rates, toward the goal of creating zero waste in Los Angeles. The Plan is in its implementation stages.
  • Authored motion for pilot project to protect Wildlife Corridors in the hillsides, which has been adopted by City Council.
  • Authored Water conservation motion, adopted by City Council, to create penalties and enforcements against excessive water abusers.
  • Authored motion to protect and preserve biodiversity in the City.
  • Authored motion which has been adopted by City Council, requiring buildings to use dewatering water onsite, then send excess into sewer system for recycling, rather than into the storm drain and from there into the ocean.
  • Lead on ordinance to allow residential backyard beekeeping in City.
  • Authored ordinance to halt rodenticide use in City parks, including Griffith Park.
  • Authored motion with Councilmember Bonin to place a moratorium on Hydraulic fracking in Los Angeles. (The City just recently hired a new Petroleum Administrator, an oil and gas expert who will provide us with the necessary analysis to allow us to move forward towards this goal).
  • Authored a motion to find ways for the City to reduce its considerable methane footprint (also awaiting action from the new Petroleum Administrator).
  • Authored the City’s Good Food Purchasing Policy for City Departments.
  • Authored motion to ban the sale of genetically-modified plants or seeds in Los Angeles.
  • Authored motion to create a watershed approach to the LADWP’s turf removal rebate guidelines, approved by the LADWP Commission.
  • Authored an ordinance to establish a robust organics recycling program in LA.
  • Helped lead the effort to require San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant to be proven safe before re-opening; efforts ultimately helped lead to Plant’s closure.
  • Authored motion to increase either reuse or treatment of the Hyperion Plant’s 270 million gallons of recycled water currently poured into Santa Monica Bay daily.
  • Authored motion to require compliance to Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy by proprietary departments (Port, LAX, LADWP).
  • Authored successful motion requesting LADWP to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for Electric Power Systems, to share and implement best practices in reducing the emissions of the potent greenhouse gas, Sulfur Hexafloride (SF6).
  • Authored motion with Councilmember Blumenfield requesting LADWP to incentivize customers moving to paperless billing to reduce paper use.
  • Launched and funded the “Cool Blocks” pilot project, aiming to reduce energy use, water use and waste and increase emergency preparedness and build community at a house-by-house, neighborhood-by-neighborhood level. We are piloting this in conjunction with San Francisco and Palo Alto. The alpha group of 9 neighborhoods has been successfully completed and we are moving towards 30 by the end of this fiscal year.
  • Authored resolution, adopted by the City Council, opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline Project.
  • Authored resolution, adopted by the City Council, supporting Prop. 37 – California GMO labeling proposition.
  • Won Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission approval to fund $2.2 million (which is ½ so far) of Westwood Neighborhood Greenway Project, which will clean and conserve water, provide native habitat for fauna and an ecological education park in a park-poor area.
  • Won Expo Board approval to raise native plant landscaping along Phase 2 of the Expo Line in West Los Angeles from 3% to 90%.
  • Helped save six-acre open space area at Laurel Canyon and Mulholland.



Legislative Accomplishments on Protections Against Overdevelopment

  • Leading the City’s anti-mansionization efforts on the City Council.
  • Authored motion, adopted by the City Council, to institute an Interim Control Ordinance limiting to 6000 square feet the amount of underground development allowed without counting against the square footage of a project in LA hillsides. (This put a halt to previously unlimited grading that had allowed for 50,000+ square foot basements to be built in Bel Air).
  • Authored the pilot project to protect wildlife corridors in our hillside communities, from Griffith Park to the Santa Monica Mountains.
  • Authored motion to require homes over 20,000 square feet to have additional environmental review. (Previously, these homes were approved automatically as by-right projects).
  • Leading efforts to create a ridgeline protection ordinance.
  • Successfully obtained funding in LA budget process to pay for City planners to work on ICO’s and HPOZ’s.

Homelessness Issues


What I have done and what I will do to end Homelessness in Los Angeles

  • As a member of the LA City Council’s Budget Committee, helped push for $138 million to reduce homelessness in Los Angeles.
  • Strong supporter of Measure HHH, to build 10,000 units of housing for the homeless.
  • Encouraging the Council to focus on family reunification as the most humane and cost-effective step towards eliminating homelessness.

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