Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz took the oath of office to begin his first term representing the 5th District in 2009.
Born in the San Fernando Valley, Councilmember Koretz was raised and schooled in the 5th District, attending Canfield Elementary School, Palms Middle School, Hamilton High School, and UCLA, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history.
Councilmember Koretz’s father Erich escaped Nazi Germany in late 1939, emigrating first to Argentina and then settling in Los Angeles. He became a waiter and a dedicated member of the hotel and restaurant employees union. Councilmember Koretz often joined his father on picket lines and in other efforts aimed at improving the life of working people. His mother, Doris, grew up in Everett, Massachusetts, during the Great Depression after her family fled the pogroms in Russia and emigrated to the U.S. It was the lessons learned from his parent’s experiences that shaped Councilmember Koretz’s philosophy on service and social justice.
Councilmember Koretz lives with his wife Gail, daughter Rachel, and their rescue dog, Mack, in the Beverly Grove neighborhood. A devoted husband and father, Councilmember Koretz strives to balance his council duties with his family life and apply the responsibilities of parenthood as a guide to inform his service to the public.
Councilmember Koretz helped lead the effort to incorporate the new City of West Hollywood in 1984, establishing greater local accountability, constituent service, and control over planning. He served on the West Hollywood City Council from 1988-2000, leading key efforts that boosted the city’s efficiency and accountability, promoted jobs and the local economy, protected renters and homeowners, championed human, animal and civil rights, fought for environmental protection, and made West Hollywood a regional model for providing quality city services and city management.
In 2000, he was elected to the California State Assembly, representing the 42nd Assembly District that included much of the City of L.A.'s 5th District. While serving in the State Assembly, he authored over 70 bills to protect workers and their families, fought for LGBTQ equality, and for live-saving public safety and health care measures including legislation to reduce gun violence.
Councilmember Koretz currently serves on the L.A. City Council, where he champions environmental protection including fighting climate change, conserving water, and protecting our natural resources. Councilmember Koretz is leading the fight against mansionization and working hard to solve our city’s long-time homelessness problem. He also created a program for greater enforcement of quality of life issues and authored several laws to protect animals from cruel practices. He has worked hard to pave our streets, trim our trees, and improve our parks.
During his years of elected service, Councilmember Koretz has always delivered on his commitment to governmental efficiency, transparency, accountability, and accessibility – principles that have guided his life of activism, service, and leadership.