Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz has announced plans to run for city controller in March 2022. He officially declared his candidacy on Jan. 2.
“Having been an elected official since 1988, both at the state level and as a local city councilman in two cities for over 25 years, people will understand with that background why I would be looking at this,” the 64-year-old told the Journal.
If elected, Koretz, who currently sits on the city council’s budget and finance committee, would be the city’s 20th controller. The current controller, Ron Galperin, who also is Jewish, will be termed out in 2022.
Koretz praised Galperin’s work, saying, “I think he has done a lot to find efficiencies and make the office more transparent. I think he has been an excellent city controller. If he were not termed out, I wouldn’t run against him in a million years.”
To date, Koretz has received endorsements from more than 90 current and former elected officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council President Herb Wesson and City Council President-elect Nury Martinez.
Explaining why he announced his candidacy more than two years before the election, Koretz said, “I have all this support and I might as well let people know early.”
Koretz has served on the city council since 2009, representing an area that extends from Beverlywood, Pico-Robertson and Fairfax into Century City and Westwood, and up into the hillsides of the West San Fernando Valley.
“My support of the Jewish community and support for Israel will not change in this position. I will continue to be out front and lead in every way I can think of.” — Paul Koretz
As a former council member for the city of West Hollywood, Koretz led an effort to incorporate West Hollywood as its own city. On the L.A. city council, he helped the city navigate the recession in 2009 when local officials, including former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, were calling on the city to declare bankruptcy.
“I helped us to get through that by looking for efficiencies,” Koretz said. “It was as simple as paying bills on time.”
Koretz also has fought against “mansionization” in his district, championed environmental protections and supported the construction of affordable housing for the city’s homeless.
Born in the San Fernando Valley, Koretz is a longtime leader in the organized Jewish community. His father, who escaped Nazi Germany, introduced Koretz to Democratic politics when Koretz was a young boy. His mother’s family fled the pogroms of Russia before emigrating to the United States.
Koretz, who lives his wife, Gail, and their daughter, Rachel, in the Beverly Grove neighborhood, also was among those who denounced Airbnb when the hospitality company said it would delist properties located in the West Bank.
If elected city controller, Koretz said he would continue to be a vocal advocate for Israel. “My support of the Jewish community and support for Israel will not change in this position,” he said. “I will continue to be out front and lead in every way I can think of.”