By Aaron Blevins, 8/30/2012
After 40 years of service, Yaroslavsky contemplates a memoir
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, 3rd District, announced last week that he will not run for mayor of Los Angeles. The race currently includes two Los Angeles City Council members, the city’s controller and a radio host.
Yaroslavsky said he will be retiring from politics at the end of his current term, which ends in December 2014. While he still has much he would like to accomplish as a supervisor, the former city councilman is looking forward to a life outside of politics.
“It was a very tough decision,” Yaroslavsky said, adding that he believes he could help the city through some of its current challenges. “I think I could bring my experience and expertise to bear on some of those issues.”
However, he said he could not be mayor and pursue some other professional avenues he is interested in, such as teaching and writing. Yaroslavsky said he would like to write about his grandfather and perhaps pen an autobiography about his nearly 40 years of public service.
In the past, he would use his vacation time to work toward these personal goals, which is not something he could do as mayor, he said.
“I actually would regret not doing the other things I want to do,” the supervisor said.
However, Yaroslavsky said he would also stay current on the issues facing the city and county once his term is complete. Beyond that, time will tell what the former city councilman may have in store.
“I don’t have every waking hour planned at this point,” he said.
Yaroslavsky has 27 more months left in his term, and he hopes to continue to guide a number of projects, including the Westside Subway Extension and the Expo Line. He wants to lobby for the passage of Measure J, which would extend the Measure R sales tax to speed up transportation projects.
“Transportation is going to be a major issue for me [in the coming months],” Yaroslavsky said, adding that he will also continue his work to benefit the homeless.
He said the residents within the two districts he has represented — the third district of Los Angeles County and the city council’s 5th district — gave him a gift by electing him, and he feels that he accomplished a lot with that trust.
“I feel very fulfilled,” Yaroslavsky said.
He said that only in Los Angeles could a person enter politics at the ripe age of 26 and go on to serve nearly four decades in office for the second largest city in the U.S. and the most populous county in the country. Yaroslavsky added that he is especially appreciative of his constituents, especially those in the Fairfax area.
“I’m very grateful,” he said.