Assemblymember Paul Krekorian, a Democrat, was elected to the California State Legislature in 2006, following a successful term as head of the Burbank Board of Education and a twenty year career in the private sector. His time in Sacramento has led to major reforms in the entertainment community, public safety and the environment. He currently serves as the Assistant Majority Floor Leader, the third-ranking leadership post in the Assembly after the Speaker.
After graduating from UC Berkeley’s School of Law, Paul focused on business litigation and intellectual property law, representing business clients at two of the country’s most prominent law firms, Skadden Arps and Dewey Ballantine. Later, he went on to work with the entertainment industry boutique firm Leopold, Petrich & Smith where he first delved into the intricacies of Hollywood and the inherent problems facing an industry that for years was neglected by Sacramento – a formative experience that would later pave the way for groundbreaking legislation.
In 2003, Paul ran for and won a seat on the Burbank Board of Education, defeating a slate of incumbents as the district teetered on the edge of financial disaster. He led the board through one of its most difficult periods, saving the district from fiscal calamity while increasing transparency and saving teaching jobs.
Paul was elected to the State Assembly in 2006 to serve the communities of Burbank, Glendale, Los Feliz, North Hollywood, Silver Lake, Valley Glen, Van Nuys and Toluca Lake. During his first year in Sacramento, Paul achieved remarkable legislative success, with the highest number of bills passed and signed by the governor of any freshman legislator. Among his important accomplishments are new laws that will reduce plastic pollution in the world’s oceans; expand solar energy generation in California and reduce carbon emissions; and revamp and modernize California’s trademark laws.
In 2008, after his reelection, Paul was tapped by Speaker Karen Bass to serve as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He currently chairs the Select Committee on Preservation of California’s Entertainment Industry, a fitting seat for the representative of the 43rd District – the entertainment capitol of the world.
In that capacity, Paul has made a concerted effort to stem the tide of runaway production by incentivizing local film and television production. In January 2009, after 15 years of legislative attempts by Sacramento politicians, Paul wrote and the governor signed the state’s first film and T.V. incentive legislation to stimulate job and economic growth for the region’s entertainment sector. It has already had a positive effect and experts expect the program to infuse the state with hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have gone to the more than 40 other states and countries that offer film incentives.
Paul is also a member of the California Film Commission and host of the annual FilmFest43, a film festival featuring the best in high-school movies from throughout his district.
In addition, he serves as the first Chairperson of the newly-created Select Committee on Renewable Energy, which leads the Assembly’s effort to meet at least 33% of California’s electricity needs from renewable resources like solar and wind.
The Renewable Portfolio Standard working group, as it is known in Sacramento, has been working with environmentalists, labor groups, utilities, electricity generators and others to ensure that California generates innovative policy and establishes world-leadership in development of renewable resources. The bill, AB 64, was passed by the Legislature in September.
Paul has a wide range of other important assignments, including membership on the Accountability and Administrative Review committee, which helps identify the best saving mechanisms for the state; the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media committee, whose jurisdictions are programs and policies affecting a range of art, athletic and electronic programs; the Judiciary committee, the committee on Local Government, which looks after some of the state’s administrative issues and the Utilities and Commerce committee, whose primary jurisdictions are public utilities.
Paul received his law degree from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from USC. He lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife Tamar and their three children.
Los Angeles City Council
On December 9, 2009 Paul was elected to the LA City Council in a runoff against a much better funded opponent.
California State Assembly
President Of Burbank Board of Education
BURBANK, Calif. - The Burbank Board of Education has unanimously elected Paul Krekorian to serve as the President of the Board for 2005-2006. Krekorian, who has served as a Board member since 2003, was elevated to the highest position at the Board's May 4 meeting, before a crowded audience of friends and supporters.
Upon his selection, Krekorian was handed the gavel by outgoing President Dave Kemp. Krekorian thanked Kemp warmly for his leadership for the past year and presented him with a plaque of recognition. Krekorian then took the center chair and led the remainder of the meeting.
In his comments, Krekorian cited some of the many accomplishments of the Board in the two years since his election. Burbank schools have made great strides during that period in academic achievement, significantly increasing test scores. English language learners are being redesignated as fluent in English at a much faster rate than in surrounding districts, and much faster than the County and State averages. The district's finances are now strong, marking a huge turnaround from the disastrous condition of the budget just two years ago. The district has made great improvements in communication with all families and in outreach to Armenian parents. The district's relationships with its teachers, with the City and with its business partners have never been stronger.
"I feel honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this outstanding school district," Krekorian said. "We've made tremendous progress over the last two years, and I'm looking forward to building on that progress and taking the Burbank Unified School District to an even higher level of excellence."
Krekorian is believed to be the only Armenian-American ever elected to any office by the voters of Burbank. As such, Krekorian brings a special insight to the Board on issues that impact the ever-increasing number of Armenian students and their families. "We need to ensure that all of our students are treated fairly and have every opportunity to participate fully in all school programs," Krekorian said. "No student and no parent should ever feel stigmatized or excluded because of their last name or because they have limited English abilities."
In his first year in office, Krekorian demanded and obtained recognition of the April 24 remembrance of the Armenian Genocide by the L.A. County Office of Education. As a result of Krekorian's efforts, the remembrance will be observed in all future editions of the County Education Office's calendar of important educational events, which is distributed to teachers throughout the County. Previously, Krekorian had worked with State Senator Jack Scott and the Burbank ANC to ensure that all of the district's world history teachers would have the curricular material they need to teach the Genocide appropriately.
Krekorian also initiated the first-ever Armenian Cultural Awareness workshop for Burbank teachers, in partnership with the Burbank Teachers' Association and the Burbank ANC. The workshop gave participants new insights into Armenian history, culture, language and traditions, and offered a variety of tools to help make teachers and administrators more effective in reaching their Armenian students. Similarly, Krekorian has worked closely with the PTA on strategies to make Armenian families feel more welcome in the schools and to encourage greater parental involvement in their children's education.
From California Courier June 2, 2005
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