Zev Yaroslavsky Won't Enter Mayoral Fray

Los Angeles Powerhouse Plans To Call It Quits After 40 Years

By Rex Weiner

Published August 23, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Zev Yaroslavsky, the Los Angeles County Supervisor and longtime Southern California political force, has announced he will not enter the 2013 race for mayor of Los Angeles.

Zev Yaroslavsky
getty images
Zev Yaroslavsky

The move signals not only an end to Yaroslavsky’s 40 years as the city’s most prominent and popular Jewish politician, but also clears the field for the three declared Democratic candidates currently campaigning for mayor, and any others who might throw their hats in the ring.

Recalling his political debut as a 26 year-old city councilman, Yaroslavsky admitted it was time to move on from elected office.

“I have quite literally come of age in public life at the forefront of Los Angeles’ most critical issues,” he said. “While I have never been a supporter of term limits, I do believe that four decades is long enough for any citizen to hold elective office, especially in an executive capacity.”

This is Yaroslavsky’s third and in effect last demurral from joining a race for L.A.’s top job. The choice first faced him in the 1980s when he would have contested Tom Bradley, the city’s first black mayor.

Yaroslavsky, an L.A. native and son of Russian immigrants, came to prominence during the 1970s when he helped lead L.A.’s Jewish community in the battle to allow Russian Jews to exit the Soviet Union. As a city councilman, Yaroslavsky was instrumental in aiding Russian speakers’ integration into the city’s Jewish community.

The decision leaves three announced Democratic mayoral candidates in the race, including City Council members Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, and City Controller Wendy Greuel.

Greuel was the first to step forward with a tribute: “Whether it was protecting our oceans and beaches from offshore drilling, preserving open space, tackling homelessness or expanding and improving our transportation system, Zev has always put policy above politics to deliver results.”

Greuel, with her Jewish husband is a member of Hollywood’s Temple Israel. Both Perry and Garcetti are also Jewish. In heavily Democratic L.A., that likely ensures the election of the city’s first Jewish mayor when voters go to the polls next June.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.