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Full Biography for James Kenneth Hahn
When Mayor Jim Hahn was elected in 2001, he immediately began working to turn around a rising crime rate and enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Under Mayor Hahn's leadership, thousands of community and business leaders have worked together to make Los Angeles a city on the rise.
Key to Mayor Hahn's comprehensive crime fighting strategy was restoring the LAPD's community policing program to help build stronger relationships between the police and the communities they serve. Mayor Hahn's aggressive efforts to put more police officers on the street led to the first increase in LAPD officers in four years. Now, community members are working in partnership with police officers to make neighborhoods safer, including providing assistance that has led to arrests of suspected violent criminals. As a result of these efforts, violent crime is down 18 percent citywide compared with just two years ago.
Mayor Hahn recruited business leaders to help fund the expansion of the city's nationally-recognized LA's BEST program to serve an additional 5,500 kids at more than 45 additional schools. The program now provides over 20,000 students at over 120 schools with a safe, educational, and fun place to go during the crucial after school hours.
Mayor Hahn is working with local leaders to ensure that our police and firefighters have the equipment and training they need to respond to a terrorist attack. The city's plan to protect schools, religious institutions, office buildings, water supplies, and other critical places in our neighborhoods is now being used as a national model. After being a passenger on the first cross-country commercial airline flight after the terrorist attacks of September 11, Mayor Hahn brought together mayors from across the country to serve on a task force that helped shape airport security.
Mayor Hahn spearheaded the fight by California's cities to stop Sacramento politicians from raiding local funds, which has previously prevented Los Angeles from hiring even more police, firefighters, and paramedics. In November 2004, he was joined in these efforts by millions of California voters who overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure he helped to negotiate that ends Sacramento's ability to raid over $100 million each year in Los Angeles' local tax dollars.
Clean and healthy neighborhoods are also important to Mayor Hahn. To clean up our air and water, Mayor Hahn set an ambitious goal for the city's Department of Water and Power to increase its use of clean energy sources, and stopped a plan for Los Angeles to invest in a Utah coal plant. Instead, the money will be used to develop clean energy sources. Under Mayor Hahn's leadership, the city has also moved more of its fleet to hybrids or clean fuel vehicles, including garbage trucks and street sweeping trucks, which helps reduce air pollution in our neighborhoods.
Mayor Hahn fulfilled a pledge to improve the city's 25 worst intersections each year, which helps make the intersections safer and helps reduce traffic congestion for over 1 million drivers every day. His new Street Smart program targets for traffic-reducing improvements 35 of Los Angeles' busiest streets and when completed will save Los Angeles drivers an estimated 15 million hours per year.
Through the neighborhood council program, Mayor Hahn has supported thousands of community leaders, including many who had not previously been involved in civic life. Working with the city's neighborhood councils to identify their neighborhood priorities, he developed city budgets that funded record levels of street improvements, and provided each neighborhood council with up to $50,000 per year to pay for operating expenses and local projects of their choice.
To attract businesses to Los Angeles and keep jobs here, Mayor Hahn has eliminated the city's business tax for small businesses. Working with local businesses, he expanded opportunities for adults to learn the skills that they need to work in today's economy. A partnership with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the award-winning Cash for College program has helped over 22,000 students gain access to financial aid for a college education, which will help prepare them for quality jobs. Because business leaders commonly cite the availability of housing as a key factor in deciding where to locate their businesses, Mayor Hahn brought together developers and housing advocates to create a $100 million Housing Trust Fund, the largest of its kind in the nation.
Raised in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Los Angeles, Mayor Hahn attended Manchester Avenue Elementary School, Daniel Freeman Elementary School, Horace Mann Junior High School, and Lutheran High School. He received a B.A. in English at Pepperdine University. During this time, he served as a student volunteer helping abused women get restraining orders. His experience encouraged him to pursue his law degree, which he also received from Pepperdine. He currently lives with his family in San Pedro where his kids attend public schools.
Prior to his election as mayor, Jim Hahn served Los Angeles for 16 years as City Attorney (1985-2001) and four years as City Controller (1981-1985). As the city's chief prosecutor, he used innovative approaches to curbing gang violence, sued gun manufacturers to stop the illegal distribution of guns, pioneered the concept of sentencing slumlords to live in their own buildings, worked to ensure that tobacco companies stopped marketing to kids and paid for anti-tobacco initiatives, and implemented a program that trains parents and neighborhood volunteers to ensure the safety of students walking to and from schools.
Mayor Hahn learned the value of public service from his late father, Kenneth Hahn, who was elected a record ten times to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Mayor Hahn's sister, Janice Hahn, currently serves on the Los Angeles City Council, representing neighborhoods that stretch from Watts to San Pedro. His son, Jackson, served as Student Body President at his elementary school.
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