Last week we labeled City Councilmember Paul Koretz “L.A.’s Food Truck Public Enemy #1.” Now hungry hungry hipsters are firing back, flooding his inbox with e-hate and creating a fake Twitter account for him that rejoices in sadistically gleeful Tweets like, “Mission Accomplished! I’ve ended the era of the Food Truck while crushing the spirits of eaters and entrepreneurs!” and “My solution to the city budget crisis? I’ve rerouted my phone to a 1-900 number. Charging $4.99/minute for complaints.” So how is Koretz responding to the attack?
Speaking with LAist, the embattled rep, who started the mess by saying that food trucks are essentially only fit for construction sites, now wants to make it clear he’s no Gloria Molina. He says his concerns are only locally based, and not meant to ruin the city’s truck culture. “I’m not necessarily a fan, but it’s not my mission to stop it,” Koretz says in response to the roughly 60 emails he received after the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association told supporters to air out their feelings to his office.
Koretz explains that lashing out against food trucks was solely his attempt to speak up for his home-owning constituents, organized into the Holmby Hills Homeowners Association, who sent about 45 emails to him complaining about trucks parking and leaving trash on Beverly, where the council-member helped crush hopes for a food truck lot that was in the planning stages. “My concern is really responding to people who have complained in my district, and that’s a pretty limited category,” Koretz notes,”I’m trying to be responsive, you can’t ignore complaints like that.”
So Koretz is sort of off our hook as the city’s next Gloria Molina. Clearly, he never saw the surge of support coming from truck fanatics and now understands the demand that exists far outside of construction zones. And for once, food trucks can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that not only do their fans have their backs, but the food truck lot on Century was apparently a thousand people-strong success, with few residents or competing eateries to complain. Hopefully, Koretz and the SCMFVA can work together towards a solution that will both profit his district and the trucks, while allaying neighbors’ fears.