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STUMPED: Meet City Controller Hopeful Ron Galperin
The latest in our series of user-friendly profiles on the local candidates running for office
Photograph courtesy of ronforla.com
On background: A Los Angeles resident for over 25 years, Ron Galperin currently serves on the United Way/ L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce Homelessness Task Force, Home for Good, and was recently named “Forward Thinker” by the non-partisan reform group California Forward. During his tenure as chair of L.A.’s Commission on Revenue Efficiency, Galperin was tasked with reforming Los Angeles’ revenue operations. In addition to being a businessman and current member of the City’s Quality and Productivity Commission, Ron has been a longtime civics educator and a cantor for more than 25 years. He is also a contributing columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
Reelection platform: If elected, Galperin intends to lean on his experience as chair of the L.A. Commission on Revenue Efficiency to hold government officials more accountable with city funds. He has proposed public hearings on every audit by the City Controller’s office and is looking to provide better incentives to high performing officials.
Campaign slogan: “Together we can—and will—return dollars and sense to L.A. and put our city to work!”
In his corner: L.A. County Democratic Party, Los Angeles Times, City of West Hollywood Mayor, Jeffrey Prang, former Los Angeles City Controller, Rick Tuttle and Laura Chick, National Organization of Women (NOW) of San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles
You ran for councilman for the fifth council district in 2009. Why run for city controller now?
Well, when I was running for council the biggest part of my campaign was talking about and working on the finances of the city. If you don’t have that fixed, you can be in council and you are not going to be able to get streets repaved or landscapes trimmed. I have lived in L.A. for about 28 years and I am the first in my family to be born in the United States. My parents came to this country not even speaking English, and they were able to realize a great life for themselves and for their kids. The reason I am doing this is so that everyone else has the same opportunity.
You haven’t held public office before. How are you prepared to serve constituents?
On the grassroots level I have been an officer on my neighborhood council (Bel Air-Beverly Crest) and served as president of my neighborhood association. I’ve also served on a variety of different commissions both in the city and in the county. My success is getting things done. You can have the best ideas in the world, but that is not enough; you have to implement them.
What is your number one priority if elected City Controller?
Number one is to see that the recommendations that I received on the Commission of Revenue and Efficiency get implemented. There are literally hundreds of these recommendations in tremendous detail. For instance, I worked a lot on how the city does its purchasing of goods and services. The city buys millions of goods and services and only a fraction of those are with businesses within Los Angeles. I am not saying we should pay more to buy these goods and services, but we should do everything we can to reach out to local businesses to create revenue and local jobs.
Who oversees the finances in your household?
I do—and with a lot of input from my spouse and a lot of help from Quicken.