Zev Yaroslavsky debuts book at Chevalier’s

| June 1, 2023 | 0 Comments

ZEV YAROSLAVSKY and Mayor Eric Garcetti in the Miracle Mile with subway tunnel boring machine cutterhead in 2018

Two days before distribution of the June issue of the Larchmont Chronicle, Larchmont Boulevard was the scene of the launch for the long-awaited memoir by local resident and resilient elected official Zev Yaroslavsky. “Zev’s Los Angeles” made its debut at a talk and signing at Chevalier’s Books on May 30.

The book is an informative recollection that anyone familiar with the local political scene for the past fifty years will find fascinating reading that reminds us of the evolution of our city and takes us behind the scenes in City Hall, the County Hall of Administration and other seats of power. In Yaroslavsky’s case, he consistently used his increasing power for the public good.

Now a faculty member at his college alma mater, UCLA, the author is a product of this community, having attended Melrose Avenue Elementary, Bancroft Junior High and Fairfax High. The book’s 23 chapters chart the passage of Yaroslavsky’s family from Belarus to Boyle Heights to the Fairfax area, and they chart the route of the future city councilman and county supervisor to UCLA and beyond.

To local news junkies (this writer included) those 23 chapters — and the touching Dedication and informative Epilogue, Acknowledgments, Endnotes and Index — chronicle Yaroslavsky’s advocacy for his constituents. Described is his growing attention to residential neighborhoods after experiencing the pressures for high-rise development in Century City and along the Wilshire Corridor in Westwood. That experience led him to successfully urge city voters to enact Proposition U in 1986 — to reduce commercial (not residential) zoning and density along neighborhood-serving commercial streets like Pico Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.

Also being a transit junkie, I relished his Chapter 16, The Transit Revolution. He describes his trip as a County Supervisor to Curitiba, Brazil in 1999. Organized by Martha Welborne and financed by a nonprofit she created, that visit (and the tenaciousness of Yaroslavsky, described in detail in the book) led to construction of the Orange Line in the Valley.

The book is available at Chevalier’s and elsewhere.

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Category: Entertainment

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