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April 9, 1991
Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs in his campaign for reelection displays a total contempt for his constituents. While he secludes himself in Studio City snickering about how "my old district had all the Mercedes dealers, the new district has all the Mercedes dismantlers," he ignores the crime and gangs that infest his district, advocating instead that we should live behind barricades while he collects art on the hill. In 1987 the people of this district gave him a warm welcome, taking him at his word on promises to address the community's problems.
July 24, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
As a leader in the search for a successor to Jeffrey Deitch as director at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Joel Wachs is no newcomer to MOCA. As L.A. City Council president in the early 1980s, he negotiated the long-term lease under which MOCA pays $1 a year to occupy the cavernous city-owned former warehouse and police car repair building in downtown's Little Tokyo that is now known as the Geffen Contemporary. After a remodeling by architect Frank Gehry, it opened in 1983 as MOCA's first exhibition space.
April 22, 1987
Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs introduced a motion Tuesday asking that the city contribute $5,000 to help a San Fernando Valley theater group renovate the historic Van Nuys Post Office building as its new home. In a related motion, Wachs asked the council to urge the state to give $300,000 toward conversion of the structure, which has been vacant since the 1970s, into a 368-seat theater.
July 11, 2013 | By Patt Morrison
California has had term limits in the Legislature since 1990. Boy, that's really made a massive difference in the quality of governance, hasn't it? In Los Angeles, the rules now limit City Council member to three terms in their seats, and a consequence is that where once local legislators kept a weather eye for vacant jobs in Sacramento, now it's the other way around: Sacramento legislators are looking to city seats as their next political berths. All this is by way of getting to Joel Wachs, who did what no Angeleno -- at least not of any current generation -- is likely to do. Wachs served for 30 years as an L.A. City Council member, representing part of the San Fernando Valley.
July 1, 1987
An unsuccessful challenger to Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs in April's election filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Wachs, the ABC television network and its local affiliate, KABC, alleging that he was slandered when the councilman and local news commentators said he engaged in a smear campaign.
April 16, 1987 | RICHARD SIMON and STEPHANIE CHAVEZ, Times Staff Writers
Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs said Wednesday that his comfortable victory in Tuesday's election in a new northeast San Fernando Valley district has revitalized his political career and put him in a better position to be elected mayor. "I think that I'm stronger politically," he said. Others at City Hall, however, said Wachs won because he faced weak opposition.
April 20, 1989 | ALEENE MacMINN, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
A colorful, informative fold-out map and guide to 200 Los Angeles murals will be unveiled this morning at a downtown news conference led by Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs and muralist Kent Twitchell. Produced by the Los Angeles Mural Conservancy, the handy guide will be made available to the general public for $2 as soon as funding for reproduction and distribution is found, say conservancy officials, which could be within the next month.
December 3, 1991 | LOUIS SAHAGUN
After a bitter three-hour debate, a Los Angeles City Council panel on Monday voted to kill a controversial proposal to have restaurant waitresses, busboys and cooks throughout the city tested for the AIDS virus every six months. City Councilman Nate Holden, who authored the proposal, said such testing was needed because "there is so much unknown about the disease."
June 26, 1986 | BYRON MC CAULEY, Times Staff writer
When Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs persuaded his colleagues to start a program to attract volunteers for the city, he may have had people like Ed Waite in mind. Waite, president of Atwater Homeowners Assn., is so active in his community that Arline DeSanctis, a deputy for Wachs, said Waite is "almost like another deputy for the council."
April 28, 1987
The Wachs-Contini article is a curious mixture of fact and fantasy by two of Los Angeles well-known academic and private planners. Fact: ". . . we collectively waste 480,000 person-hours in each workday standing still or moving in traffic at speeds below free-flow conditions." Traffic congestion is ruining both our functional efficiency for business and the quality of life for our residents. Fact: "Reorganizing the boards of local transit agencies is an attempt by politicians to get off too easily."
July 9, 2013 | Patt Morrison
Joel Wachs hasn't been an Angeleno for a dozen years, but he still has his key to the city. And he feels its political tremors. L.A., where he made his political bones on the City Council, has just sworn in a new mayor - a brass ring he tried three times to grab. Only three other men served longer on the City Council than Wachs, but after 30 years as that rare political creature - a social liberal and fiscal conservative - he moved east in 2001, to head the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
April 21, 2002 | ERIC PAPE
Joel Wachs looks peppy for a man of 63 as he stands on 7th Avenue across the street from the Manhattan hotel he called home for six months. Sliding into a restaurant booth for breakfast, he's beaming. It's not exactly what you might expect of someone who moved to New York last year in defeat, walking away from three decades of public service in Los Angeles after losing his third race for mayor.
February 27, 2002 | From Times Staff Reports
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to name a downtown intersection "Joel Wachs Square" to honor the 30-year veteran of the council who resigned in October to become head of a New York arts foundation. Although Wachs lived in Studio City and represented the San Fernando Valley, the council sought to recognize his involvement in promoting the arts by choosing the intersection of Grand Avenue and 2nd Street, which is between the Museum of Contemporary Art and Disney Concert Hall.
December 11, 2001
Voters go to the polls today to fill the 2nd District seat on the Los Angeles City Council. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The three candidates are Van Nuys businessman James Cordaro, DreamWorks SKG executive Wendy Greuel and Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (D-Panorama City).
For the first time in three decades, 2nd District voters will elect a representative Tuesday to the Los Angeles City Council from a ballot that does not include Joel Wachs. The former dean of the council resigned in October to head an arts foundation in New York, forcing a special election and creating the first wide-open race since he was first elected in 1971.
November 13, 2001
Dr. Leonard V. Wachs, 93, the Long Beach surgeon in practice for more than half a century, died Thursday at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where he had worked since 1945, when it was called Seaside Memorial Hospital. Born in Yaslo, Austrian Empire (now Poland), Wachs came to the United States with his mother and siblings after his father was imprisoned in World War I.
November 5, 2000
Re "Council Asks Ethics Panel to Examine Wachs' Use of Mailers," Oct. 25. As a recipient of Councilman Joel Wachs' City Information booklets over the years, I think criticism of it as a misuse of city funds is nonsense. It is a valuable guide to city government, telling you who and how to contact for needed services and information, saving time and frustration on infuriating telephone trees. And Wachs is criticized for providing such helpful assistance and access? Give me a break! HARVEY BARKAN Studio City
November 18, 1999
Re "In TV Interview, Wachs Reveals That He Is Gay," Nov. 13: How could it be "natural and appropriate" for a dedicated public servant like Joel Wachs to feel that he must wait until he's 60 years old before he can safely reveal his sexual orientation? Contrary to Scott Seomin's claim that "when any public official comes out, it sends a wonderful message . . . to gay closeted youth struggling with their sexual orientation," Wachs' announcement actually sends a dismal and disturbing message to gay kids: Our society is still so intolerant that you'd better stay hidden until well after you're eligible to join the AARP.
October 3, 2001 | From Times Staff Reports
At Mayor James K. Hahn's urging, the City Council voted Tuesday to appoint City Hall veteran Greg Nelson to head the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. City lawmakers said Nelson, who worked 26 years for former Councilman Joel Wachs, is well qualified for the position because of his efforts in helping draft the original plan for neighborhood councils. Nelson will begin the $122,000-a-year job immediately.
October 2, 2001 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (D-Sylmar), DreamWorks executive Wendy Greuel and businessman James P. Cordaro filed papers Monday to run for the City Council's 2nd District seat, vacated last week by Joel Wachs. Potential candidates have until Friday to file declarations of intent to become candidates in the special election, to be held Dec. 11. The candidates then must file nominating petitions with the city clerk to be placed on the ballot.
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