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LOCAL ELECTIONS / L.A. CITY COUNCIL : Contrast in Styles in 13th District Runoff : Politics: Jackie Goldberg represents a return to '60s-style activism, while Tom LaBonge takes a roll-up-your-sleeves approach to his work.

April 22, 1993

Sweeping past their challengers, longtime Los Angeles City Councilmen Zev Yaroslavsky and Marvin Braude on Tuesday easily won four more years at City Hall, while in Hollywood two politicos must now renew the battle for the council seat being given up by mayoral candidate Michael Woo.

After all the clamor about change, all the talk about bringing new faces and voices to Los Angeles government, voters in the crowded 13th Council District race chose as finalists the two contenders who had the most experience in government: former Los Angeles school board member Jackie Goldberg and longtime City Council aide Tom LaBonge.

LaBonge and Goldberg will face each other in a June 8 runoff in precincts from Los Feliz and Silver Lake to Hollywood and Eagle Rock.

As they head into a new campaign, they present voters with stark options.

In style and substance, Goldberg represents a return to '60s-style activism. She also will be seeking to become the council's first openly homosexual member.

LaBonge is a different kind of throwback, an old-time, roll-up-your-sleeves candidate seemingly more suited to a Brooklyn precinct than a Los Angeles district that includes Hollywood.

The two placed well ahead of six other contenders for the seat that Woo is giving up to run for mayor. Unofficial final results showed Goldberg with 35% of the vote and LaBonge with 31%. Behind them were Tom Riley, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer's campaign; AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein; businesswoman and community activist Virginia Stock Johannessen; television executive Conrado Terrazas; executive marketing consultant Gilbert Carrasco, and health care consultant Sal Genovese.

With an open seat at stake, spending by the eight candidates approached $1 million. LaBonge spent almost $300,000 on his primary campaign, while Goldberg managed to raise and spend more than $200,000 despite refusing to take contributions from development interests.

The prospect of becoming the council's first openly gay or lesbian member was not lost on Goldberg election night, but it was hardly the only thing on her mind.

"Absolutely . . . that's a part of this race. It's an important part, but I won't say it's the most important part," a jubiliant Goldberg said in an interview as her supporters cheered election returns.

"The most important part of this race is making sure that everybody--lesbian and gay, black and brown, Asian-Pacific and Anglo, young and old . . . feels like this city is about them and not about some special groups of interest that can buy and sell what goes on in City Hall."

LaBonge, in contrast, said his candidacy gives voters an opportunity to elect a proven public servant with 17 years of experience as an aide to Council President John Ferraro and a reputation as a hard worker at City Hall.

"We got our message out and we will continue to get our message out . . . that Tom LaBonge is somebody who gets things done for neighborhoods, who makes neighborhoods better, who brings people together," he said.

As they move into a runoff, Goldberg and LaBonge can be expected to emphasize themes high on the minds of voters: crime and jobs. The topics have repeatedly been raised by voters in the ethnically diverse district, which is 57% Latino, 21% Anglo, 19% Asian and 3% black, according to Census figures.

As a teacher and parent, Goldberg, 48, has focused much of her campaign on reducing crime and increasing jobs through education programs and projects that train and employ young people. Her proposals include a mentoring project for junior high school students and a private-sector jobs program for 18-to-25-year-olds patterned after a successful Boston project.

LaBonge, 39, has called for reassigning 180 traffic officers to patrol duty at the city's police stations. And to spur the district's economy, LaBonge's plans include revitalizing some of its major streets--Sunset, Hollywood and Glendale boulevards--to encourage new investment and create more jobs.

5th Council District

Fueled by the power of the incumbency and a flood of special-interest campaign contributions, Yaroslavsky easily won a sixth term on the council. Surrounded by scores of delighted supporters at his North Hollywood campaign headquarters late Tuesday, he praised his staff and volunteers for his impressive re-election victory.

"Our strategy was no mystery," Yaroslavsky said. "We just campaigned like crazy."

Referring to the change in his district caused by the reapportionment process following the 1990 Census, he said, "With 25% of the district new to me, we didn't take anything for granted."

Yaroslavsky, the powerful chairman of the council's Budget and Finance Committee, won almost 68% of the vote, compared with 26% for his chief rival, environmental activist Laura Lake. Mike Rosenberg, a city building inspector, had 6%.

The district stretches from the Fairfax district and Westwood across the Santa Monica Mountains to Sherman Oaks and North Hollywood.

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