Yesterday’s victory by Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in the special election for Congressional District 36 has set the musical chairs rolling once again, as Democratic Assemblymember Warren Furutani, who represents the 55th District, declared his intention to run for the impending vacancy. Via email release from Parke Skelton:
(LOS ANGELES) Quickly following Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s victory for Congress in the special election yesterday, Warren Furutani wasted no time in announcing his plans to run for City Council.
“I was born in San Pedro and have lived in the 15th Council District for almost 20 years,” said Furutani. “I’m an LA guy and I’m very excited at the opportunity to work closely with the community on important issues like job creation, gang prevention, education, transportation, air quality and improving the great neighborhoods of San Pedro, Watts, Wilmington, Harbor City and the Harbor Gateway.”
Furutani began his career in Los Angeles as a community organizer during the civil rights movement. He later worked as a counselor at one of the toughest continuation high schools for dropouts in Downtown LA to keep at-risk kids out of gangs and in school.
Per the release, Asm. Furutani currently represents approximately 30 percent of the turf that is Council District 15. If successful, Furutani would join fellow former Assemblymembers Paul Koretz (District 5) and Paul Krekorian (District 2) on the Los Angeles City Council. While going from the Assembly to a City Council would normally seem like a downgrade, Los Angeles is a distinct exception for several reasons, in no particular order: 1) the pay is substantially better; 2) City Hall is a much easier commute than Sacramento; 3) more authority over similar turf; and 4) members of the City Council are only term-limited out after three four-year terms without the threat of being redistricted out since the Council controls redistricting.
In Furutani’s case he would get nearly 14 years on the City Council should be be successful, since Janice Hahn’s unexpired term would not count against his term limit. Not a bad way to end a legislative career. As of yet, no dates have been set for a special election, as Janice Hahn has not formally resigned her Council seat.