Endorsement: Jesse Creed is best choice for L.A. City Council District 5

The incumbent in next month’s election in Los Angeles City Council District 5 has been in politics since before his leading opponent was born.

It’s time for a change in the district that stretches from the San Fernando Valley community of Encino to L.A.’s Westside.

We recommend a vote for Jesse Creed on March 7.

Councilman Paul Koretz, who served as West Hollywood’s mayor and on its City Council and in the California Assembly before being elected to the L.A. council in 2009, is feeling the heat from Creed, a 31-year-old, Ivy League-educated attorney.

Meeting with this newspaper’s editorial board, Koretz immediately started trying to discredit Creed. Koretz sought to portray Creed as an opportunist, saying he is running only “because he thinks he can win,” and doesn’t really care about issues or the district.

That’s inaccurate.

Creed says he is “running to end the pay-to-play culture in Los Angeles City Hall.” He is pledging not to take campaign contributions from developers or lobbyists now or while in office.

 

Any Angeleno who’s paying attention can agree that the influence of developers’ money in swaying city officials’ land-use decisions is a long-standing scandal. It’s also an issue that doesn’t flatter Koretz.

Koretz made headlines this winter when he rescinded his support for a 20-story building in the Beverly Grove area after a news report — and Creed — drew attention to donations to Koretz from developer Rick Caruso.

If Creed thinks he can win, first, that’s not a problem, and second, it’s no wonder.

While Koretz means well, he too often sounds like a nanny-state politician distracted from his city’s basic fiscal, infrastructure, planning and ethics problems. A listener comes away amazed by several of Koretz’s obsessions, including his contention that humans are only 50 years from extinction if we don’t start to reverse climate change within a decade.

On one big issue where Koretz shows laudable interest, Creed himself shines. This is homelessness; Creed has made a mark as an advocate for L.A.’s homeless veterans.

Creed sounds broadly knowledgeable and committed to bringing fresh air to City Hall.

We endorse Jesse Creed for the City Council.

Jesse can’t do this without you.

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