Katy Young Yaroslavsky Set to Win as Sam Yebri Concedes

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LOS ANGELES—Katy Young Yaroslavsky, a former political aide, is set to represent the Los Angeles City Council’s 5th District after her opponent, Sam Yebri, conceded Nov. 15.

Yaroslavsky will replace termed-out Councilman Paul Koretz.

As of Tuesday morning, Yaroslavsky led Yebri by more than 10,000 votes, garnering over 58 percent of the ballots counted so far from the Nov. 8 election.

In a statement, Yaroslavsky said she was “optimistic that I’ll have the privilege of serving” on the council, noting that she was ahead by a “significant and growing margin.”

Yaroslavsky was a senior policy adviser for L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and comes from a family with roots in politics. Her father-in-law, Zev Yaroslavsky, served on the City Council for nearly two decades, and her mother was Kuehl’s district director when Kuehl was in the state Assembly.

Prior to serving as an aide for Kuehl, Yaroslavsky worked as a land use attorney and then as general counsel for a nonprofit focusing on climate change issues.

Yaroslavsky touted her experience working at the county level as a plus. She believes that councilors can be “parochial” at times, and said she would entertain citywide approaches to solutions regarding homelessness, public safety, and climate change.

Yebri, a small-business owner who has served on various nonprofits, sent an email to supporters Tuesday morning noting his disappointment in the vote count, but added that “I know we gave it our all.” Yebri said he called Yaroslavsky to congratulate her.

“While we sparred during the campaign, Katy and I agree on far more than we disagree,” Yebri wrote. “My wife Leah and I are rooting for Katy’s success in making the 5th District better and safer for everyone. If Katy succeeds, our neighborhoods will thrive.”

In the June primary, Yaroslavsky finished just shy of winning the election outright, claiming 49 percent of the vote. Yebri finished second at 30 percent.

The 5th District runs from the San Diego (405) Freeway to the edge of Koreatown, and contains some of the largest job centers in the city, including UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Yaroslavsky said some of the major issues facing the district are homelessness, public safety, and impacts of climate change.

She supports not having homeless encampments next to schools or daycare centers, but believes the city’s anti-camping ordinance would be more effective if it were paired with services and engagement. There aren’t enough resources to fully deploy the ordinance, she said.

Yaroslavksy doesn’t support cutting the police budget, but wouldn’t commit to a specific number of officers she would like to see hired. She also was hesitant to support suggestions of expanding the size of the city council.

She also realized her background in various sectors—land use, climate work, policy, and public health—could be useful on the city council. And she sees having roughly split her career between the public and private sectors as a benefit, which she said allows her to understand “how to bring those two together to actually get stuff done.”

City News Service


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