James Hahn

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James Hahn
James Hahn

James Kenneth Hahn (born July 3, 1950) is an American politician from the Democratic Party who is the current Mayor of Los Angeles, California, although he has been defeated for reelection in the 2005 mayoral election. He is the son of the late Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who was known as an ardent supporter of civil rights.


Political career

Hahn served as city attorney from 1985-2001 before defeating former State Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, a fellow Democrat, by 9% in the 2001 mayoral run-off election to become the 40th mayor of the city of Los Angeles. Hahn sought a second term as mayor, with the runoff election being held on May 17, 2005, but he was defeated by Villaragoisa.

Mayoral achievements

Hahn boasts of these achievements:

  • Successfully fought San Fernando Valley and Hollywood secession.
  • Opposed Bernard Parks a second term as chief of police and brought in William Bratton. Supported implementation of a flexible work week schedule for police officers.
  • Pushed the LAX modernization plan through the approval process.
  • Made street maintenance and improvement a priority.
  • Signed a reform of the city business tax and streamlined the business tax process.
  • Expanded LA's Best, an after school program for elementary school students to serve more than 20,000 kids.
  • Signed a law calling for there to be at least one ambulance in every fire station.
  • Instructed the Police and Fire departments to hold emergency drills in anticipation of a major terrorist attack.
  • Helped create a 100 million dollar housing trust fund and expanded the adaptive reuse ordinance, which converts old vacant buildings into residential units.
  • Worked with Jan Perry, a Los Angeles City Council member, to expand the homeless shelters to be open year round instead of just during the winter months.


James Hahn was born in Los Angeles, and raised in the Morningside Park district of South Central Los Angeles. His sister, Janice Hahn, serves on the Los Angeles City Council. Hahn attended Manchester Avenue Elementary School, Daniel Freeman Elementary School and then went on to go to Horace Mann Junior High School, followed by Lutheran High School. He graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California with a Bachelor's Degree in English and received his law degree from Pepperdine as well. From 1981-1985. he served as the City Controller for Los Angeles. Hahn then went on to serve for the next 16 years, 1985-2001, as Los Angeles City Attorney.

Hahn lives in the Los Angeles community of San Pedro; he was formerly married to Monica Hahn.

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