Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to elect Councilmember Paul Krekorian as president of the council, Asbarez reports.
“The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region warmly congratulates Councilmember Paul Krekorian for his election today as Los Angeles City Council President. This is truly a historic moment, and we are extremely proud that the Armenian-American community now has its highest-ranking elected official leading Los Angeles through these difficult times,” the organization said in a statement.
“The ANCA-WR looks forward to continuing to work with Council President Krekorian and his colleagues toward ensuring that our collective voice is heard and that our community has a seat at the table as the City moves forward toward finding solutions together for the many challenges that face us all,” added the ANCA-WR.
Interim City Council president Mitch O’Farrell offered his congratulations as the body prepares to tackle the fallout from a leaked recording in which former council president Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, and Kevin de Leon made racist comments about Blacks, Armenians, the LGBT community among others.
“I congratulate Councilmember Paul Krekorian on his election as the first Armenian American to serve as President of the Los Angeles City Council. As I hand the baton to Council President Krekorian, I have full faith and confidence that he will help guide our city with the experience, steady hand, and unifying voice that these challenging times require.
With today’s unanimous vote to move forward with my Charter reform initiative that will increase representation and redistricting that is completely independent of this elected body, I know the Council President will help ensure we directly address the very issue that has caused such devastation and harm. I am eager to work with Council President Krekorian and all of my colleagues to expeditiously move this imperative forward,” said O’Farrell.
Immediately following the vote, Krekorian issued a statement, in which he said the L.A. City Council had the mammoth task of restoring the public’s trust in their elected representatives.
Below is the text of Krekorian’s statement.
I am honored and humbled by the trust my fellow Councilmembers have placed in me at this time of crisis and challenge.
The Council Presidency is a position of collaboration, not command. I will see that the power of the Council Presidency is reduced, not enlarged. The era of unilateral decision-making and consolidating power ends today.
This is an extraordinarily painful moment for our City. We must ensure that the crisis we face becomes an opportunity we seize – an opportunity for greater unity, greater understanding, and a greater shared vision for our collective future.
Three elected members of this Council forfeited the public’s trust. One has already resigned, the greatest service to the city that the others can now perform is to resign their offices so that we can begin the process of healing.
But the people of Los Angeles cannot wait for two individuals to resign before we take action on the issues that confront the people of Los Angeles.
The people of Los Angeles can’t wait for action on housing, homelessness, on public safety, on reform of the way the City and this Council do business.
The first task before this Council is to restore the people’s trust in their elected representatives. We began that process with measures we passed today to create an independent redistricting process and expand the size of the Council to ensure broader representation and empowerment of people and neighborhoods.
There will be many more issues to discuss in the weeks to come, but this is foremost: all of us who are privileged to serve in City Hall must commit ourselves to set aside any idea of serving one faction, one group, or one neighborhood at the expense of others. We must serve all of the people of Los Angeles with integrity, and without preference or favor.