James Hahn, former mayor of LA

James Hahn, former mayor of LA

Lyndon Johnson, no stranger to the pressures and controversies of public office once said, “When the burdens of the presidency seem unusually heavy, I always remind myself it could be worse.  I could be a mayor.” This from a guy who was wrestling with the Vietnam War and conflicts over the Civil Rights Movement!

It’s not easy being a mayor, particularly of a sprawling metropolis like Los Angeles, where the issues a mayor  grapples with can range from  fixing potholes and making sure traffic lights work  to concerns about gang violence and how to keep Hollywood moguls happy so they don’t take production jobs elsewhere.

But enough people still seem to want the job of being mayor of Los Angeles. L.A. is in the midst of a mayoral campaign, with five major candidates running for the office. But instead of talking to them about what they would do if elected, we thought we’d check with a person who’s already had the job and moved on. He’s James Hahn, who was mayor of L.A. between 2001 and 2005. During his years as mayor, Hahn confronted such issues as a campaign to break up the city, controversies over hiring a new police chief, and terrorism jitters in the aftermath of Setember 11th.

Compared to the job he had, Hahn now leads a fairly under-the-radar lifestyle as a Los Angeles County judge. I met him in his courthouse chambers to discuss the joys and frustrations of being mayor and what his life is like now. You can check it out here:

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  • http://yjdraimanformayor.org YJ Draiman for Mayor

    Do you think the media will strengthen our democracy, or destroy it?
    My assessment — given after paying close attention over the past two decades, the political coverage — is disturbing. I have long argued that the media in general, and TV broadcasters in particular, need to do a lot more to nourish civic discourse.
    Unfortunately, the owners of the nation’s television stations do not see it that way.
    ”The public airwaves,” according to my view and many others “have been hijacked by those whose primary objective is to serve the special interests rather than the public interest.”
    They intentionally ignore candidates that are on the ballot who do not raise sufficient money, thereby not giving the voters sufficient information in order to select the appropriate candidate listed on the ballot. If that is not Anti-democratic, I do not know what is.

    YJ Draiman for Mayor of LA 2013 http://draimanformayor2013.com

  • http://yjdraimanformayor.org YJ Draiman for Mayor

    Do you want LA to follow Detroit? Be carful whom you vote for as the next mayor of Los Angeles – by YJ Draiman

    When millions of dollars are spent by Unions to support a specific Mayoral Candidate in LA, it is time to question the candidate’s loyalty to the people.

    Our city is in dire financial crisis, our economy is in shambles, businesses and people are leaving the city in droves. Sounds familiar? – This is what is happening in Detroit. Do you want the same to be repeated in Los Angeles?

    The Odor of Favoritism, Monopoly and Union Pressure is raising a Stink in LA politics.

    Candidates courting Union money for their campaign coffers are costing taxpayers jobs and higher rates for city services. Let us address what is rotten in Los Angeles politics when many of the office-seeking candidates raised campaign funds through backroom politics and cronyism rather than looking out for their constituency. .

    YJ Draiman for Mayor 2013