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‘Become a Leader, Not Just a Bureaucrat’

A Los Angeles Times piece asking veteran public servants to offer words of guidance to the seven new members of the Los Angeles City Council included insights from Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin. Yaroslavsky, who served the people of Los Angeles as a city councilman and county supervisor for nearly four decades, stressed the importance of mastering the rules and processes of legislating, but said it’s essential to become a leader, not just a bureaucrat. He advised each of the new councilmembers to look in the mirror each morning and ask: “What issue am I willing to lose my job for?” He continued, “People will respect an elected official who takes a calculated risk in the interest of the public.” 


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