L.A. Councilwoman Jan Perry jumps into the 2013 mayor's race
City Councilwoman Jan Perry has filed paperwork to begin her run for mayor, joining City Controller Wendy Greuel, San Fernando Valley businessman YJ Draiman and talk-radio host Kevin James in the process of raising money for a 2013 bid to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Perry, who represents downtown and part of South Los Angeles, began her career at City Hall in 1990, working for former City Council members Michael Woo and Rita Walters. She was hired by Mayor Richard Riordan to coordinate the city's outreach for the 2000 census before she was elected to the council in 2001.
"I have the experience, the focus and the ability to take the city in the direction that it needs to go and realize its full potential," said Perry, adding that she would focus on improving Los Angeles' transportation system and bringing in new revenue to the city, which is facing a $404-million budget gap. "We need to hit that point where we can continue to provide basic services in a realistic manner and have a budget that is balanced so that we can build a city for the future," she said.
During her three terms on the City Council, Perry has presided over a major expansion of development in the downtown areas of her district, but she said she counts some of the projects in South Los Angeles –- including two new grocery stores, a wetlands parks at Slauson and Compton avenues, and a neighborhood city hall with a rooftop garden at 43rd Street and Central Avenue -– as the most important projects built during her tenure.
"These projects downtown are tremendous and wonderful, and they employ a lot of people," said Perry, who is 55. But she said the reaction of constituents in South Los Angeles to projects such as the two wetlands parks in her district has been the most rewarding: "They never imagined this was possible right in their own frontyard. There’s nothing better for a public servant than to help somebody create a whole new belief in what’s possible."
Several prominent Los Angeles figures are also considering a run for mayor including: First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner, developer Rick Caruso, City Council President Eric Garcetti, state Sen. Alex Padilla and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavksy.
James is the latest entry to the field. He announced his run for mayor Wednesday on the steps of City Hall. James, who said Wednesday that he had already secured fundraising commitments of $250,000, became a broadcaster in 2003 after practicing law and serving as a prosecutor for the U.S. attorney’s office in the early 1990s.
-- Maeve Reston at Los Angeles City Hall