Zev Yaroslavsky, who has long been a dominant political figure on Los Angeles’ Westside, is not going to run for mayor of the city. Instead, the L.A. county supervisor and former Soviet Jewry activist will be retiring from politics.
The L.A. Jewish Journal reports:
Yaroslavsky, 63, had announced on his Web site Thursday morning that he will not enter next year’s Los Angeles mayoral race, despite having entertained the possibility for many months. He wrote that he will leave politics altogether once his term with the L.A. County Board of Supervisors ends in 2014.
“I have no doubt that, with my expertise and experience, I could help transform L.A.’s fortunes. In the end, however, it is this very length of service that has tipped the scales for me,” Yaroslavsky wrote.
He described the decision as “one of the most difficult … of my political life.”
Yaroslavsky was first elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1975, at age 26, after being a prominent advocate for the cause of Soviet Jewry. When his current term ends, he will have been in public office for almost 40 years. Yaroslavsky said his plans are to “move on to the other things I’ve longed to do outside the political arena.”
Even without Yaroslavsky in the race, the Forward notes that with the three currently announced main candidates, L.A.’s next mayor is likely to be either Jewish or a synagogue-going spouse of a Jew.