Mayor appoints longtime aide to oversee 1st District

In the wake of Lena Gonzalez’s election to the state Senate, Mayor Robert Garcia has appointed one of his longtime aides to oversee business in the Downtown area 1st District until a new representative is elected.

Daniel Brezenoff, who currently works for the mayor as an adviser leading housing and homelessness initiatives, will step in to oversee operations and handle constituent concerns—though he will not get a vote or be able to propose legislation.

“We don’t want 1st District residents to miss a beat during this transition,” Brezenoff, a licensed social worker, said in a written statement.

Brezenoff has long worked for the mayor, first as a senior adviser when Garcia represented District 1 as a councilman. He handled communications and other duties as deputy chief of staff when Garcia was elected mayor, though he stepped down from that position in November 2016 to advocate on behalf of changes to the Electoral College.

He returned to the mayor’s office in January.

It will take several months to elect a new representative to serve the remainder of Gonzalez’s term. After the election results are certified by the county in the next few weeks, the City Council will then have to declare a vacancy and start the process of the special election. Candidates may be able to file paperwork sometime in July, depending on how quickly results are certified.

Candidates would not be able to file paperwork until after the vacancy declaration is signed by the mayor and processed, a timeframe that could take another 30 days—though at least three candidates have already declared their intention to run.

Gonzalez was elected June 4 to serve the remainder of the Senate term of Ricardo Lara, who was elected state insurance commissioner in November. She will be sworn in today in Sacramento.

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