In her bid to become the first mayor of Los Angeles from the Valley since Sam Yorty, Controller Wendy Greuel has put together an early list of supporters that has some range to it. She represented part of the Valley as a city council member, and it's emerging as her political base.
On one side of the spectrum are two major players behind the early 2000's push for the Valley to secede from Los Angeles. Attorney David Fleming was one of the business executives who secretly conspired with Daily News management to bankroll the secession cause. Jeff Brain ran the Valley Vote organization. There are Republicans, such as retired Rep. Bobbi Fielder and retired city council member Hal Bernson, and Democrats such as Richard Katz, the former assemblyman from the Valley who is now an advisor on transportation to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Among the other interesting names to show up on Greuel's list are former city council member Joy Picus, Valley Industry and Commerce Association head Stuart Waldman and several past winner's of the Valley's civic honor the Fernando Award. Here's a full list.
"I love the diversity of Los Angeles neighborhoods, from San Pedro to Sherman Oaks, from Rancho Park to Highland Park and Watts," Greuel said in a statement that her campaign released along with the names. "But I have a special place in my heart for the Valley. I grew up in the Valley and my family has long owned a small business in the Valley. It's home."
Rival candidate Eric Garcetti also grew up in the Valley, but his political base is closer to the Hollywood, Echo Park and Silver Lake areas he has represented. I haven't seen a list of his Valley supporters. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, if he gets in the race, should be competitive in the Valley as well. He has represented parts of the Valley for many years and is closely tied to Rep. Howard Berman, the longtime congressman who is fighting for his political life out there right now. City council member Jan Perry's base is in downtown and south Los Angeles, though if I remember my history correctly, Yortys winning coalition included not just white Valley suburbanites but South LA blacks frustrated with their treatment by the LAPD.
Yet to be heard from in the mayor's race are many leaders in the heavily Latino eastern half of the Valley. The Valley is represented by a number of elected Latinos, including city council members Richard Alarcon and Tony Cardenas, and Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, and none of them are on Greuel's list.
LA Observed photo: Victory and Van Nuys boulevards in Van Nuys.