Tom Bradley has the international terminal at LAX. Richard Riordan has the Central Library. What does Jim Hahn have? Nothing.
That's about to change, as the L.A. City Council is considering whether to slap his name on City Hall East.
Can't place it? It's that bland, functional structure right next to City Hall. So…
The motion was written by Hahn's sister, Councilwoman Janice Hahn. She introduced it as one of her last acts before taking her seat in Congress. The motion describes the one-term, scandal-plagued ex-mayor as “one of the great leaders in the history of
Los Angeles,” which is something that only a close relative would say.
According to her chief of staff, Doane Liu, there was talk of renaming something for Hahn shortly after he was defeated for reelection. But it went nowhere, mostly because people could still remember his tenure pretty clearly.
But with the haze of intervening years, we can look past the hand jobs and remember the good things about the Hahn administration. He defeated Valley secession. He appointed Bill Bratton. He… must have done something else. Why not name a building for him?
Janice Hahn wanted to get this done before leaving the council, but appearances prevented her from introducing the motion during the heat of her Congressional campaign.
“It's traditional for mayors to have something named after them. Jim Hahn hadn't yet,” Liu said. “City Hall East seemed natural because he spent 20 years of his career in that building.”
If this goes through — and there's no reason at the moment to think it
won't — then the new Hahn building will be just down the street from
the old Hahn building — the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, which is named
for Hahn's father. Good luck keeping them straight.
One other note: In listing his achievements, the motion gives Hahn credit for
“preventing various succession efforts.” In fact, there's a guy named
Villaraigosa whose succession effort went pretty well.
Full motion below.