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Paul Koretz

Paul Koretz

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Paul Koretz is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

. He is currently a member of the Los Angeles City Council
Los Angeles City Council
The Los Angeles City Council is the governing body of the City of Los Angeles.The Council is composed of fifteen members elected from single-member districts for four-year terms. The president of the council and the president pro tempore are chosen by the Council at the first regular meeting after...

, representing the Fifth Council District. He was previously a member of the California State Assembly
California State Assembly
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members in the Assembly, representing an approximately equal number of constituents, with each district having a population of at least 420,000...

 and the West Hollywood City Council. He is a member of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...



Koretz's father escaped Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

's persecution of Jews in 1939 by emigrating to America, settling in what was then unincorporated Los Angeles, modern-day West Hollywood. http://www.cmta.net/bio.php?people_id=koretz_paul.

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
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 from UCLA in 1979, where he was a founder of the "Bruin Democrats" http://bruindem.bol.ucla.edu/history/formerbruins.htm. Koretz went on to serve 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 seat on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Koretz would served as an aide to then-Los Angeles City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky
Zev Yaroslavsky
Zev Yaroslavsky is a Los Angeles County politician. He served on the Los Angeles City Council from 1975 until 1994, when he was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He was preceded in both offices by Edmund D...

 in 1975, and then to then-L.A. City Councilman Marvin Braude
Marvin Braude
Marvin Braude was a member of the Los Angeles City Council for 32 years, between 1965 and 1997—the third-longest-serving council member in the history of the city...

 in 1984. After his marriage to Gail, the Koretz family moved less than a mile away from parent's home to an area where, by coincience, his father originally lived upon moving to Los Angeles http://www.jewishjournal.com/old/westho.3.24.0.htm.

City of West Hollywood

In 1984, Koretz supported the creation of the City of West Hollywood
West Hollywood, California
West Hollywood, a city of Los Angeles County, California, was incorporated on November 29, 1984, with a population of 34,399 at the 2010 census. 41% of the city's population is made up of gay men according to a 2002 demographic analysis by Sara Kocher Consulting for the City of West Hollywood...

 from what was then unincorporated Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County, California
Los Angeles County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 9,818,605, making it the most populous county in the United States. Los Angeles County alone is more populous than 42 individual U.S. states...

. 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 http://www.zoominfo.com/Search/PersonDetail.aspx?PersonID=858725.

As Councilman, Koretz appointed Kevin Norte to the City's Rent Stabilization Commission in 1992,http://kevinnorte.com/ that commission's first openly gay chair for two one-year terms. Koretz also appointed former Log Cabin Republicans
Log Cabin Republicans
The Log Cabin Republicans is an organization that works within the Republican Party to advocate equal rights for all Americans, including gays and lesbians in the United States with state chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C...

 member and Equality California
Equality California
Equality California or EQCA is a non-profit civil rights organization that advocates for the rights of LGBT people in California.-Early history:...

 http://www.eqca.org/site/pp.asp?c=9oINKWMCF&b=40330 leader attorney John Duran
John Duran
John J. Duran is an American municipal politician and a member of the city council of West Hollywood, California.-Political career:Duran was elected to the City Council on March 6, 2001. He succeeded outgoing City Council member Paul Koretz who was elected to the State Assembly. He had previously...

 http://www.weho.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/detail/navid/16/cid/5010/ to replace Norte as Koretz's appointee to the Rent Stabilization Commission. Duran would go on succeeded 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 city-wide ban on semi-automatic rifle
Semi-automatic rifle
A semi-automatic rifle is a type of rifle that fires a single bullet each time the trigger is pulled, automatically ejects the spent cartridge, chambers a fresh cartridge from its magazine, and is immediately ready to fire another shot...

s, 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
National Rifle Association
The National Rifle Association of America is an American non-profit 501 civil rights organization which advocates for the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection...

. 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 http://wehonews.com/z/wehonews/archive/page.php?articleID=72. 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
California State Assembly
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members in the Assembly, representing an approximately equal number of constituents, with each district having a population of at least 420,000...

, and faced former Los Angeles City Council member Mike Feuer in the June 6, 2006 Democratic primary. Koretz endorsed Feuer, who went on to defeat Land, winning 52.4% of the vote to her 36.3% http://www.smartvoter.org/2006/06/06/ca/state/race/caasm42d/.

State Assembly

Koretz represented the 42nd district in the California State Assembly
California State Assembly
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members in the Assembly, representing an approximately equal number of constituents, with each district having a population of at least 420,000...

 from 2000 to 2006, serving the maximum 3 terms allowed under California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 term limit
Term limit
A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office. When term limits are found in presidential and semi-presidential systems they act as a method to curb the potential for monopoly, where a leader effectively becomes "president for...

 law. The district includes West Hollywood
West Hollywood, California
West Hollywood, a city of Los Angeles County, California, was incorporated on November 29, 1984, with a population of 34,399 at the 2010 census. 41% of the city's population is made up of gay men according to a 2002 demographic analysis by Sara Kocher Consulting for the City of West Hollywood...

, Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills, California
Beverly Hills is an affluent city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. With a population of 34,109 at the 2010 census, up from 33,784 as of the 2000 census, it is home to numerous Hollywood celebrities. Beverly Hills and the neighboring city of West Hollywood are together...

, Universal City
Universal City, California
Universal City is a community in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, that encompasses the 415 acre property of Universal Studios...

, and the portions of the City of Los Angeles encompassing the Sunset Strip
Sunset Strip
The Sunset Strip is the name given to the mile-and-a-half stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through West Hollywood, California. It extends from West Hollywood's eastern border with Hollywood at Harper Avenue, to its western border with Beverly Hills at Sierra Drive...

, Hollywood
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood is a famous district in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema...

, Hancock Park
Hancock Park, Los Angeles, California
Hancock Park is a historic and affluent urban neighborhood in Los Angeles, California roughly bounded by Van Ness Avenue to the East, Melrose Avenue to the North, La Brea Avenue to the West, and Wilshire Boulevard to the South.-History:...

, Los Feliz
Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California
Los Feliz, also Rancho Los Feliz is an affluent, hilly neighborhood in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California, named after its land grantee José Vicente Feliz....

, Westwood
Westwood, Los Angeles, California
Westwood is a neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles, California, United States. It is the home of the University of California, Los Angeles .-History:...

, Brentwood
Brentwood, Los Angeles, California
Brentwood is a district in western Los Angeles, California, United States. The district is located at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains, bounded by the San Diego Freeway on the east, Wilshire Boulevard on the south, the Santa Monica city limits on the southwest, the border of Topanga State...

, Studio City
Studio City, Los Angeles, California
Studio City is an affluent residential neighborhood within the City of Los Angeles, California in the San Fernando Valley. Studio City expands over four ZIP code areas: 91604 and sections of 91602, 91607 and 90210....

, Encino
Encino, Los Angeles, California
Encino is a hilly district of the city of Los Angeles, California, United States. Specifically, it is located in the central portion of the southern San Fernando Valley and on the north slope of the Santa Monica Mountains...

, Sherman Oaks
Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California
Sherman Oaks is an affluent district in the San Fernando Valley area of the city of Los Angeles, California. In contrast to much of the Valley, the area is relatively urbanized, with commercial skyscrapers along Ventura Boulevard as well as scattered throughout...

, and North Hollywood
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
North Hollywood is a district in the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles, California, along the Tujunga Wash. It is bounded on the south by Moorpark Street and the Ventura Freeway, on the southwest by Burbank Blvd...

/Valley Village
Valley Village, Los Angeles, California
Valley Village is a district located in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, north of Studio City, west and south of North Hollywood, and east of Sherman Oaks. Approximately 22,000 residents live within the boundaries of Valley Village, which consists mostly of single family...


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 a member of the Health, Public Safety, Business & Professions, Insurance and Natural Resources committees http://wehonews.com/z/wehonews/archive/page.php?articleID=72.

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.

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. These solutions have been found to be carcinogenic http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/CalChronViewArticle.asp?articleID=14383.

Koretz has also been a protector of Los Angeles County's health system, an unwavering champion of the gay and lesbian community and supporter of domestic partnership
Domestic partnership
A domestic partnership is a legal or personal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life but are neither joined by marriage nor a civil union...

 rights and benefits and a well-known opponent of animal cruelty. Crime prevention is also one of Koretz's top priorities. In 2005, he combined the two interests by proposing AB 1677, allowing not-for-profits to distribute condoms in California's prisons. This bill was vetoed in September, 2006. He is also a passionate advocate for the Jewish community http://www.cmta.net/bio.php?people_id=koretz_paul.

In 2006, Paul Koretz introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 39, which called for the impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

 of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....


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.

In June 2007, Koretz was nominated by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez
Fabian Núñez
Fabian Núñez has been a labor union adviser and a Democratic politician. He served three two year terms as a member of the State Assembly, leaving office late in 2008...

 to the California Board of Podriatic Medicine.

Los Angeles City Council

On August 2, 2007, http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_6531398 he became a candidate for the 5th District seat on the Los Angeles City Council. The seat was occupied by Jack Weiss
Jack Weiss
Jack Stephen Weiss is an American politician. He is a former member of the Los Angeles City Council representing the 5th district from 2001 to 2009. He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California from 1994 to 2000...

, who was a candidate for Los Angeles City Attorney. In the March 3, 2009, primary, Koretz and candidate David Vahedi finished in the top two of six candidates. Koretz defeated Vahedi in the general election by under 800 votes. Not moving forward to the runoff were candidates Robert Schwartz
Robert Schwartz
Robert Schwartz may refer to:* Robert Schwartz, American designer of the M65 Atomic Cannon* Robert A. Schwartz , American physician* Robert Benjamin Schwartz, known as "Bobby", , American motorcycle speedway racer...

, Ron Galperin, Adeena Bleich, and Robyn Ritter Simon. Former Los Angeles City Controller
Los Angeles City Controller
The Los Angeles City Controller is an official in the government of the city of Los Angeles, California. The City Controller is the auditor and chief accounting officer of the city. Along with the Mayor and the City Attorney, the City Controller is chosen by popular vote every four years.The...

 Rick Tuttle
Rick Tuttle
Rick Tuttle is an American politician. He was Los Angeles City Controller from 1985 to 2001. He stressed the importance of creating a strong democratic influence at UCLA, which was in his words "the best large public university in a major city." The four-term controller stepped down after...

 and outgoing Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick had been rumored as possible candidates for the same seat, but did not enter the race.

Personal life

Koretz's wife, Gail http://www.hollywoodchamber.net/chamber/women_distinction.asp, serves as Government and Community Relations Manager for Kaiser Permanente's Los Angeles Medical Center. They have one daughter, Rachel. The Koretz family currently resides in the Beverly-Fairfax District of Los Angeles. http://www.ucop.edu/state/advocacy/biographies/ADKoretz42.pdf

Koretz also was the owner of an American historical and political memorabilia distributor that was one of the country's largest for several years.

External links