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Paul Koretz
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz.jpg
Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 5th district
Assumed office
July 1, 2009
Preceded byJack Weiss
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 42nd district
In office
December 4, 2000 – November 30, 2006
Preceded byWally Knox
Succeeded byMichael Feuer
Member of the West Hollywood City Council
In office
Preceded byAlan Viterbi
Succeeded byJohn Duran
Personal details
Born (1955-04-03) April 3, 1955 (age 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Gail Koretz
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.

Paul Koretz (born April 3, 1955) is an American politician. He is a member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing the Fifth Council District. He was previously a member of the California State Assembly and the West Hollywood City Council. He is a member of the Democratic Party.


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.[citation needed] It was the lessons learned from his parents' experiences that shaped Councilmember Koretz's philosophy on service and social justice.

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. Koretz grew up in what is now the 5th Council District of Los Angeles, graduating from Hamilton High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in History from UCLA in 1979, where he was a founder of the "Bruin Democrats".[1] Koretz served on the Los Angeles County Democratic Committee for more than 10 years.

While he was a student at UCLA during the 1970s, he was defeated for a seat on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Koretz would go on to serve as an aide to then-Los Angeles City Councilmember Zev Yaroslavsky in 1975, and after that, to then-Los Angeles City Councilmember Marvin Braude in 1984. After his marriage to Gail, the Koretz family moved less than a mile away from his parents' home to an area where his father originally lived upon moving to Los Angeles.[2]

City of West Hollywood

In 1984, Koretz supported the creation of the City of West Hollywood from what was then unincorporated Los Angeles County. Koretz campaigned for the City's incorporation while managing the City Council campaign of Alan Viterbi and served as Viterbi's deputy after his election. Upon Viterbi's retirement in 1988, Koretz was elected to the West Hollywood City Council.[citation needed]

As Councilman, Koretz appointed Kevin Norte to the City's Rent Stabilization Commission in 1992, that commission's first openly gay chair for two one-year terms. Koretz also appointed former Log Cabin Republicans member and Equality California[3] leader attorney John Duran[4] to replace Norte as Koretz's appointee to the Rent Stabilization Commission. Duran would go on to succeed Koretz on the West Hollywood City Council.

Also during his council tenure, Koretz played a major role on many high-profile issues. In 1988, Koretz sponsored a citywide ban on semi-automatic rifles, which built momentum for a subsequent statewide "assault weapons" ban. In 1996, Koretz co-sponsored the City's ban on "Saturday Night Specials." The city was the first to enact such a ban, which survived various legal assaults by the National Rifle Association. Koretz also sponsored an ordinance limiting handgun purchases to one gun per month in order to cut the resale of guns on the black market.[5] Koretz served as Mayor and City Councilman for twelve years before being elected to the State Assembly.

Koretz's former colleague on the West Hollywood City Council, Abbe Land, was a candidate for Koretz's seat in the California State Assembly, and faced former Los Angeles City Council member Mike Feuer in the June 6, 2006 Democratic primary. Koretz endorsed Feuer, who defeated Land, winning 52.4% of the vote to her 36.3%.[6]

State Assembly

Koretz represented the 42nd district in the California State Assembly from 2000 to 2006, serving the maximum 3 terms allowed under California term limit law. The district includes West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Universal City, and the portions of the City of Los Angeles encompassing the Sunset Strip, Hollywood, Hancock Park, Los Feliz, Westwood, Brentwood, Studio City, Encino, Sherman Oaks, and North Hollywood/Valley Village.

During his six years in the Assembly, Koretz served as the Chair of the Assembly Labor Committee since his first year in the Assembly. He also chaired the Assembly Select Committee on Gun Violence and the Assembly Select Committee on California's nursing shortage. Koretz was also a member of the Health, Public Safety, Business & Professions, Insurance and Natural Resources committees.[7]

As a state Assemblymember, Koretz introduced legislation in the State Assembly to increase the smoking age to 21. As a City Councilman, Koretz had authored West Hollywood's ordinance banning smoking in restaurants, and developed the strategy of making it a regional ban by having neighboring cities pass the same ban at the same time. This provided momentum to help pass then-Assemblyman Friedman's historic AB 13.[citation needed]

Koretz was the first Southern California Director of the California League of Conservation Voters and served as Administrative Director of the Ecology Center of Southern California. In the Assembly, he introduced legislation requiring retailers profiting from the most commonly littered items to share some of the costs of removing trash from storm water runoff, and he is the joint-author of legislation to ban the use of dry cleaner solutions, which have been found to be carcinogenic [4].

Post-legislative service

In November 2006, Koretz ran for the West Basin Water District, but narrowly lost the seat by a little more than 1% of the vote.[8]

In June 2007, Koretz was nominated by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez to the California Board of Podriatic Medicine.[9]

Los Angeles City Council

In 2009, Koretz took the oath of office to begin his first term as a City Councilmember representing the 5th District of Los Angeles. He has been re-elected twice to the role, in 2013 and 2017. In 2017, Koretz secured 65.88% of the vote in the city's primary election.[10]

As a City Councilmember, Koretz has worked on a range of environmental initiatives and initiatives related to the city's long-standing homelessness problem. Koretz has also authored several animal cruelty laws.

In 2018, Koretz lobbied successfully against California Senate Bill 827, with a goal of preventing new development. He stated that the bill would "have a neighborhood with little 1920s, '30s and '40s single-family homes look like Dubai 10 years later".[11]


Koretz's wife, Gail, serves as local government liaison for the office of Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.[12] They have one child, Rachel. The Koretz family resides in the Beverly-Fairfax District of Los Angeles.[13]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ LA County Registrar of Voters
  9. ^ Alex Vassar (2007-06-24). "Paul Koretz Political History". archive. Retrieved 2006-06-25.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Dillon, Liam. "Get ready for a lot more housing near the Expo Line and other California transit stations if new legislation passes". Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  12. ^ Orlov, Rick "Los Angeles City Hall becoming a family affair for Councilman Paul Koretz" Los Angeles Daily News, September 15, 2013
  13. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-08-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Weiss
Los Angeles City Councilmember,
5th district

July 1, 2009 – present
Succeeded by
California Assembly
Preceded by
Wally Knox
California Assemblymember,
42nd District

Succeeded by
Michael Feuer
This page was last edited on 22 March 2020, at 02:26
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