Joel Wachs


Joel Wachs

Joel Wachs served for several terms as Los Angeles City Councilman for the 2nd district. He was first elected by defeating incumbent James B. Potter.

While in office, Wachs chaired the Public Works Committee and vice-chair of the Environmental Quality & Waste Management Committee. He authored legislation for the city's first rent stabilization ordinance, the nation's first law prohibiting discrimination against persons with AIDS, to provide funding for the city's arts endowment, and to establish the citywide system of neighborhood councils. He stood virtually alone in his successful fight to ensure that no taxpayer funds were used to subsidize building of the Staples Center.

His frequent fights against appropriations of city funds earned him the nickname "Dr. No".

Before completing his final term, Wachs resigned and moved to New York City in order to serve as president of the Andy Warhol Foundation.

While in Los Angeles, Wachs ran unsuccessfully several times for mayor. In 1993, he finished third in the race behind Richard Riordan and Mike Woo. He ran again in 2001 and finished fourth behind the winner James Hahn, receiving 11 percent of the vote.


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