LA City Council President Paul Krekorian to speak at 2023 International Institute commencement
Krekorian has had a long career that spans the practice of law, service as counsel to the Webster Commission following the 1992 Los Angeles uprising and four years as a California State Assemblyman.
UCLA International Institute, May 12, 2023 — LA City Council President Paul Krekorian will deliver the keynote address at the International Institute’s commencement ceremony in Royce Hall on Saturday, June 17, at 6:30 p.m.
Krekorian has been a member of the Los Angeles City Council (representing District 2) for 13 years and was unanimously elected its president in 2022. He is the first Armenian American to hold elected office in the City of Los Angeles. Upon becoming council president, he created and now chairs its Ad Hoc Committee on City Governance Reform. The committee is considering reforms to the city charter, including creation of an independent redistricting process.
Born in the San Fernando Valley, where he remains a resident, Krekorian is a first-generation college graduate (USC, political science). He earned a J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley and then pursued a successful legal career in Los Angeles for 20 years before entering politics. He served in the California State Assembly (43rd district) from 2006 to 2010, during which he was floor leader under then-Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (2008–10).
Krekorian chaired the LA City Council’s powerful Budget and Finance Committee from 2012 until recently, helping lead the city’s recovery from both the Great Recession of 2008–09 and the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. He currently chairs the council's Rules, Elections and Inter-Governmental Relations Committee and the Board of Referred Powers and is a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2028 Olympics.
The Valley native played an instrumental role in ending oil and gas drilling in the City of Los Angeles and initiated the city drive to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035. A member of the board of directors of both LA Metro and LA Metrolink, Krekorian is a major supporter of public transportation. He helped expand bus and light rail service in the San Fernando Valley, including conversion of the Orange Line Busway to all-electric buses, breaking ground for the East San Fernando Valley Light Rail line and preparation for a rapid bus line between North Hollywood and Pasadena.
Krekorian was the first member of the LA City Council to create Tiny Home villages and a Services Navigation Center for people experiencing homelessness in his district. Five permanent supportive housing projects with a total of over 300 units are currently being built in the district, in addition to the 100 existing units already constructed with his support. His work in this sphere reduced unsheltered homelessness in his district by over a third during the two worst years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A longtime advocate of sensible gun law reform, Krekorian led the City Council in enacting a safe storage ordinance and co-authored a “Ghost Guns” ban in Los Angeles, which makes possession or sale of these untraceable weapons a criminal offense. While a California Assemblyman, he sponsored the Weapons and Ammunition Nuisance Abatement Act of 2007.
The LA City Council president has long supported official recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915–18 and welcomed the U.S. presidential statement of 2021. “President Biden’s unambiguous declaration that this crime against humanity constituted genocide is a long overdue confirmation of undeniable historical truth. Much more important, it is an overdue confirmation of our American values,” he said.
He has also been an outspoken advocate of relief for the besieged Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, known as Artsakh among Armenians. They are currently suffering from Azerbaijan's blockade of the Lachin Corridor, which connects the region to Armenia — a blockade the International Court of Justice has ordered removed.
Krekorian lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife and three children, where he is also a member of the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments, a coalition of elected leaders in Valley communities of the city and county of Los Angeles.