Citing overwhelming Westside voter disapproval of a coastal oil drilling project 2 weeks ago, a former mayoral aide said Tuesday that he wants to continue fighting Occidental Petroleum Corp. by running for the 5th District Los Angeles City Council seat now held by Zev Yaroslavsky.
Steve Saltzman, 39, said he supports many of the same environmental and slow-growth issues that in recent years have been pushed by Yaroslavsky and are of increasing concern on the Westside. Like unannounced mayoral candidate Yaroslavsky, Saltzman said he will strongly oppose any Occidental effort to resurrect the drilling project killed Nov. 8 by the narrow passage of Proposition O.
Saltzman said he expects Yaroslavsky to relinquish his 13-year hold on the 5th District seat to run against Mayor Tom Bradley and to remain neutral in the race to succeed him on the council. Yaroslavsky said Tuesday that he has no plans to endorse anyone, but he did not rule out the possibility. He added that he has not decided when he will formally announce his candidacy for mayor.
Saltzman has been lining up support for a possible council bid for more than a year and has raised about $150,000. In 1982, Saltzman finished a close second in a bitter 1982 Democratic primary race against Tom Hayden for a Santa Monica-area Assembly seat. He served from 1978 to 1981 as Bradley's Westside deputy and is one of Bradley's appointees on the city's energy commission.
A businessman involved in property management, Saltzman is supported by his one-time boss, former U.S. Sen. John V. Tunney, and by Ed Sanders, former president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.