Mayor Zev Yaroslavsky?

In an article that hit the Forward website today, Rex Weiner asks Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky the question that’s on many peoples’ minds: Will Yaroslavsky run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2013?

“I’ve been asked by many people,” Yaroslavsky said, speaking to the Forward in the spacious conference room of his office. His bespectacled gaze — from between a dense thicket of dark hair above and the walrus moustache below that have been unmistakably familiar to residents of L.A. for three decades — turned thoughtful. “I’ve been asked by some people you don’t ignore.”

The article gives a quick run-down of Yaroslavsky’s past accomplishments, starting with his activism on behalf of Soviet Jews in the 1970s and going all the way to his efforts as supervisor to tackle Los Angeles’ homelessness problem, which was the subject of a recent article in the Jewish Journal.

Weiner mentions two other possible Mayoral candidates including developer Rick Caruso and Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti:

The other potential Democratic Jewish candidate is 40-year-old Eric Garcetti, the city council president. Son of a former L.A. district attorney, Garcetti is the product of an Italian-Mexican marriage on his paternal side, while his maternal grandparents, Louis and Sukey Roth, were Russian Jews, founders of Louis Roth Clothing, the first union shop in L.A.’s garment industry. He is fluent in Spanish and has been known to knock back tequila shots with Mayor Villaraigosa. He also attends services at IKAR, the congregation founded by […] Rabbi Sharon Brous. Garcetti offers both Latino and Jewish ethnicity — a potent combination in a city where the surging Latino community helped elect Villaraigosa to his second term.

Adding further complexity in the event of a Garcetti vs. Yaroslavsky race is the fact that the legal ceremony uniting Garcetti and his wife, Amy, was performed by Yaroslavsky, whom the younger man regards as a friend and mentor. Garcetti told the crowd at a recent community board meeting that he was “seriously leaning” toward a mayoral run and will go public in the next six to eight months with his decision.

Asked by the Forward his view of Yaroslavsky’s candidacy, Garcetti offered carefully, “He’s certainly qualified.”

Read the article at