........................................................................Home | Books | Bio | c.v. ............................. ... ...

The Krekorian Axes

There are at least two thorny but navigable political axes in Councilman Paul Krekorian's district, about which so many political decisions there must turn: the Armenian community axis--which people vote either enthusiastically for or against--and the anti-development axis--ditto. Building momentum to a degree that it might stand as a third bringer of depth to all political thought in the Councilman's office is the burgeoning concern for public schooling; you might call this, should it emerge as politically important, the Lydia Grant axis.

Consider for a moment the degree to which these axes have informed chatter in what would otherwise be a political no-brainer: the brouhaha currently taking place in the district regarding whether or not the unused space owned by Home Depot should sell Christmas trees. A leftover battle from the earlier No2HomeDepot movement, some in the community think that merely letting Home Depot lease the lot to a seasonal vendor is menacing to the community, &c.

Added into the mix more recently is the successful political exploitation of a long-standing problem: the administration of a local school. Ms. Grant's long-standing outrage regarding Sunland Tujunga's Mt. Gleason school has taken on a national dimension, as did Abby Diamond's courageous crusade against Home Depot. Ms. Grant's affiliation with Parent Revolution, a nationally-subsidized organization that many teachers do not trust, has enabled her to mobilize parts of the community that haven't been mobilized before, and both for and against.

With the CRA declining, the Governor certain to snatch redevelopment funds, and CPIO-enabled "micro-districts" coming increasingly susceptible to whims of Council planning, the anti-development forces in Sunland Tujunga have been all but politically obsoleted--they simply are a fact of life, a community given. Which is probably a bad thing for Krekorian, a man who won election in large part because the community viewed his opponent Chris Essel, the Mayor's pick for the district, who now heads the beleaguered CRA, as far more beholden to the development interests than Krekorian.

The Armenian axis is non-negotiable: people in the District either vote that way or they don't. The anti-development axis is still very strong in the northeast center of the district but also becoming as non-negotiable as the Armenian axis; as the Christmas tree kerfluffle demonstrates, people aren't getting any friendlier towards outlanders and won't be anytime soon. But who Krekorian--a former school board member who is savvy on educational matters, and who most distinguished himself in debates with Chris Essel in his fluidity regarding educational matters in the district--supports for various school board seats, whether he sides with teachers, administrators, or charters, or nobody at all, will loom large in his immediate future as he ponders what role next: Council president, maybe, or maybe a bid for City Attorney, or even maybe, most simply, Councilman to the District with two-and-a-half political axes, for another eleven years.