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LOCAL ELECTIONS : 8 Candidates Try to Woo Voters in 13th District : City Council: A newcomer definitely will capture the open seat in Hollywood. In two other Westside districts, longtime incumbents Zev Yaroslavsky and Marvin Braude are favorites.

April 18, 1993|JEFFREY L. RABIN and RON RUSSELL | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Beyond the bombast of Los Angeles' most freewheeling contest for mayor in two decades, Westside voters on Tuesday will decide the future of two powerful city councilmen and select the finalists in a hard-fought race for an open council seat in Hollywood.

Longtime councilmen Zev Yaroslavsky and Marvin Braude--better known and far better financed than their challengers--are favored to retain their hold on the affluent Westside/San Fernando Valley districts they have represented for many years.

The suspense lies in the 13th Council District, where eight candidates are waging an expensive campaign to capture the seat being vacated by councilman Mike Woo in his quest to become mayor. In precincts from Los Feliz and Silver Lake to Hollywood and Eagle Rock, council candidates are bombarding voters with last-minute mailers and appeals for support.

Also up for grabs Tuesday is a seat on the Los Angeles school board in a district that includes most of the Westside and part of the Valley. Incumbent Mark Slavkin is getting a spirited challenge from teacher Douglas Lasken and union negotiator Judy Solkovits.

Here is a recap of each contest:

5th Council District

In a replay of a 1989 race, environmental activist Laura Lake is seeking to deny Yaroslavsky a sixth term on the council. City building inspector Mike Rosenberg of North Hollywood also is on the ballot.

The district stretches from the Fairfax District to Bel-Air and across the Santa Monica Mountains to Sherman Oaks and North Hollywood.

If money and endorsements are keys to a successful campaign, Yaroslavsky is the heavy favorite. The powerful chairman of the council's Budget and Finance Committee has amassed support from a broad array of neighborhood leaders, environmentalists, and political activists. And he has raised nearly four times as much money as Lake, a former UCLA professor.

After a slow start, Yaroslavsky's fund raising took off between March 7 and April 3, the latest period for which records are available. He collected $184,735 in campaign contributions--much of it from special-interest groups. By comparison, Lake raised only $9,400 during the period.

Although the two rivals appeared jointly on several occasions, Yaroslavsky ignored Lake's invitation to debate, and the political discourse between them has been unexciting.

The campaign's dramatic high point occurred in February, when a brief car chase involved Lake's husband and a Yaroslavsky aide. Lake later accused Yaroslavsky of spying on her home in Westwood to see if she was living there.

The house is located in a neighborhood dropped from the district when the City Council redrew the boundaries last year. In order to run against Yaroslavsky this year, Lake and her family took up residence in a rented Westwood Village apartment, but kept their house nearby.

Yaroslavsky dismissed the spying allegation as ridiculous, saying his aide merely went to the neighborhood to deliver a planning document. It was another sign of a long and intense rivalry between the two adversaries.

Lake has received her share of endorsements from activists in womens groups and environmentalists. As one of the founders of Heal the Bay, she has tried to emphasize quality-of-life issues.

But as someone with a record of fighting overdevelopment in the 1980s, her slow-growth credentials have been a harder sell in tough economic times when development has slowed and unemployment has risen sharply.

For example, Lake has attacked Yaroslavsky for supporting Fox Studio's planned $200-million expansion in Century City, saying he has not done enough to protect surrounding neighborhoods.

The councilman supports the project, which the studio promises will mean 1,600 new jobs, and has used the issue to portray Lake as being anti-growth and anti-jobs.

The two prime contenders have traded charges about crime. Yaroslavsky is backing a ballot measure to raise property taxes to finance 1,000 additional police officers. Lake opposes the idea, preferring to abolish the city's Community Redevelopment Agency and use the savings to hire more police. Rosenberg also opposes the tax increase.

11th Council District

The questions of crime and police personnel led all other issues in the 11th District, where Braude is running for an eighth term.

The district includes parts of Palms and West Los Angeles, all of Brentwood and Pacific Palisades and extends across the Santa Monica Mountains to Encino, Woodland Hills and part of Van Nuys.

Braude has opposition for the first time in 12 years, but nonetheless appears to be in little danger. His challengers, West Los Angeles attorney Daniel W. Pritikin and Brentwood restaurateur John B. Handal II, are making their first bids for office. They have sharply criticized Braude's performance, particularly on the crime question.

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