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Q&A: Paul Krekorian

July 21, 2009|By Zain Shauk

Democratic Assemblyman Paul Krekorian has come under fire from critics of state government and constituents who say he should step down while he runs for another office.

He is currently campaigning for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council and has already garnered some endorsements, including that of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

Krekorian's supporters have celebrated his efforts on legislation to promote in-state film and television projects and to increase green energy production. But his detractors argue that he has been a participant in a broken state system that continues to push California into deeper financial disarray, even as leading lawmakers have solidified a deal to close a $26-billion deficit.

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Krekorian's 43rd Assembly District overlaps with the Los Angeles City Council's 2nd District and he has recently moved from his home in Burbank, which is for sale, to an apartment in the community of Valley Glen.

ZAIN SHAUK: The state is in a financial crisis that doesn't appear to be ending. Many Californians argue that the government is broken and that major changes are needed. Why are you running for Los Angeles City Council at a time when some say the state's government needs all the help it can get?

PAUL KREKORIAN: I agree that fundamental reforms are going to be needed in Sacramento to change the dysfunctional process of budgeting that we have right now in Sacramento. No question about it. I think the people are largely going to have to drive that change . . . My focus is and has remained on doing the best job that I can right now for the people of the 43rd District and for the entire state. The fact that I'm running for this other office is not detracting from the work that I'm doing in Sacramento to try to bring about that change. 

Q: Is your campaigning distracting you from your work in the Legislature to solve the state's financial crisis?

A: The short answer is no, because my first priority is doing the work of being a member of the Assembly and a leader of the House and if that means that I am not able to campaign then that means that I'm not able to campaign. 

Q: Does campaigning for the Los Angeles City Council impact your ability to push legislation impacting the people of Glendale and Burbank?

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