Gay and lesbian-related legal records, correspondence, and awards of Los Angeles City Councilmember Joel Wachs, 1983-1996.
Joel Wachs was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1939, but grew up in Los Angeles. He received a bachelor’s degree in political
science at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1961; a law degree from Harvard in 1964; and a master's degree in
tax law from New York University in 1965. Wachs returned to Los Angeles to practice corporate tax law. In 1971, he was elected
as a Los Angeles City Councilmember for District 2 located in the San Fernando Valley. Wachs served as a councilmember for
thirty years. He was involved in the passing of an anti-AIDS discrimination law in 1985, establishing the Los Angeles Endowment
for the Arts in 1988, supporting rent control, and supporting assistance for the city's elderly. Wachs became president of
the Los Angeles City Council in 1981. Wachs ran, unsuccessfully, three times for mayor. After his last loss (2001) he resigned
from his city council position to assume the presidency of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
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