Meet Our Staff

Welcome to Council District 5 where our highly trained professional staff is ready to help you with a variety of issues and problem solving.

Bienvenidos al quinto distrito concejal de la ciudad de Los Ángeles donde nuestro equipo profesional está listo para ayudar y servirles con cualquier encuesta y proveer soluciones. 

ברוכים הבאים למועצת עירית  לוס אנג׳לס, מחוז 5. הצוות המיומן והמקצועי שלנו ישמחו לעזור לכם עם מגוון רחב של פתרונות בכל עניין הקשור לעירייה.

ברוכים הבאים צו די לאס אנדזשעלעס סיטי קאָונסיל, שטח 5. אונדזער באָקע און פאַכמאַן שטעקן וועט זיין צופרידן צו העלפֿן איר מיט אַ ברייט קייט פון סאַלושאַנז אין קיין ענין שייך צו די שטאָט.

Բարի գալուստ 5-րդ շրջկենտրոն, որտեղ բարձր որակավորում ունեցող անձնակազմը պատրաստ է աջակցել առաջացող բոլոր խնդիրները լուծելու հարցում. Հարգանքներով ՝ Գրեգ

Добро пожаловать в 5-й Районный Центр Где Высококвалифицированные Кадры Готовы Помочь в решении всех возникших проблем-Суважением-Грег

به شورای منطقه 5 که در آن کادرهای  ماهر ما آماده هستند تا در زمینه انواع موضوعات و حل مشکلات به شما کمک کنند خوش آمد می گوید.

City Hall- Downtown Los Angeles (CH)
200 N. Spring Street, Suite 440 
Los Angeles, CA 90012 
(213) 473-7005


Joan Pelico

Joan Pelico | Chief of Staff | CH

Joan Pelico is the Chief of Staff of Council District Five and has been with the Council office for 17 years. Joan is the Councilmember’s main advisor on community and policy matters and oversees all operations of the City Hall and the West Los Angeles district office providing direction and strategic assistance to all staff. She works closely with David Hersch, Deputy Chief of Staff by handling the district's time-sensitive and long-term projects. Joan also works closely with the city departments and is involved in every aspect of community outreach.

Joan grew up in New York and moved to Los Angeles in 1978. She has been a Valley resident since 1987 and is the proud mother of a beautiful grown-up daughter. Joan also has two rescue dogs, Tyler and Candy.  She has experience and an extensive background in problem-solving, creating solutions, motivational speaking, mass communication, event and workshop production, marketing, sales, fundraising, management, innovation, and education. The Council District Five office discovered her in 2005 when she was the Director of Development for the Sherman Oaks Elementary School. Joan is driven by her desire to help people in their time of need.

David Hersch

David Hersch | Deputy Chief of Staff | CH

David Hersch is the Fifth Council District’s Deputy Chief of Staff. A devoted public servant and accomplished veteran of several elected offices, David is particularly well-respected in City Hall for his polished expertise regarding the technical and procedural aspects of the legislation. With twenty-five years of experience in municipal and state government, he works closely with the Councilmember and the Chief of Staff concerning both far-reaching goals and the day-to-day operations of the Council Office.

As a longtime Aide to Councilmember Koretz, David advises the Councilmember on a myriad of issues affecting the communities of the 5th District and the city as a whole. His many diverse responsibilities include overseeing the annual budgetary deliberations for the Council Office, staffing the Councilmember on both the Personal and Animal Welfare (PAW) Committee and the Executive Employee Relations Committee (EERC), and assisting community organizations and individual constituents with local efforts and needs.

David is a native Angeleno who graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science, then got his law degree from Loyola Law School. When not at work, he can be found working out at the gym, reading, or communing with his cat, Callie.

Headshot photo of Alison Simard

Alison Simard | Director of Communications |CH

Alison Simard is the Communications Director for Councilmember Paul Koretz and Council District 5. She is the point person for television, radio and print media. Alison is responsible for press releases, press advisories, newsletters and other media relations. For more than 25 years, she has worked as a public relations/ corporate communications professional and marketing strategist. During that time, she represented a variety of thought leaders, entrepreneurs, small businesses and large corporations including Merrill Lynch, where she worked at their global headquarters in New York City as a communications consultant. Prior to joining CD5, Alison was a co-founder and Chairperson for Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife (CLAW), an environmental non-profit organization committed to the protection of wildlife and open space in LA.

Alison earned a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Montana. She began her career in Sacramento as a PR representative for the Mountain Lion Foundation at the State Capitol and has participated in a variety of wildlife, environment, and alternative energy campaigns throughout her career. Whether exploring Los Angeles’ beautiful mountains and beaches or camping with her family in Yosemite National Park, Alison is passionate about animal protection, wilderness conservation, and environmental education. 

Andy Shrader

 Andy Shrader | Director of Environmental Affairs, Water Policy & Sustainability | CH

Andy advises the Councilmember on issues related to the environment, climate change, water policy, technology, and sustainability, working to ensure the city can meet its present economic, environmental, and sociopolitical needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. He staffs the Councilmember on the Energy and Environment Committee.

Andy was elected in 2003 as one of the founding members of the Mar Vista Community Council where his most notable motion instituted the popular Mar Vista Farmers Market. He earned a Master’s Degree in Screenwriting and a Certificate in Global Sustainability from UCLA, wrote the celebrity speeches for 10 years for the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women (in support of cancer research, treatment and support) and was awarded Heal the Bay’s 2011 “Super Healer Award” for his work on marine debris plastic waste issues.

Gregory Martayan

Gregory Martayan | Director of Public Safety & Special Assignments | CH

Mr. Gregory Martayan is Director of Public Safety and Special Assignments for Councilmember Paul Koretz. Based out of LA City Hall, Mr. Martayan acts as the Councilmember's liaison to the command staff, relative Commissions, Stations and Divisions of the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department and related public safety agencies. He assists business, non-profit and community members who would like to start safety initiatives and addresses concerns related to crime and criminal behavior. He provides collaborative support for major events, infrastructure protection, as well as special projects which call for lengthy street closures and public safety mitigations. In his work establishing safe communities, Martayan places an emphasis on prevention rather than reaction.

Martayan was honored with distinction for his humanitarian efforts by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, for his efforts in protecting children with the Leadership Award by Hillsides Home for Children, and by numerous agencies for his service to the State of California and the City of Los Angeles. Martayan is a native of Los Angeles, born and raised in the Hancock Park area of West Los Angeles. Martayan lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children. He is a strong advocate for pet adoption and rescue. He is a member of several local organizations. He and his wife had rescued a German Shepherd named Dakota, who lived to the age of 16 under their care.

Jim Bickhart

Jim Bickhart | Policy and Legislative Consultant | CH

Jim consults on a variety of policy and legislative matters, including housing, homelessness, land use, airports, infrastructure, environment and animal welfare, amongst others. Additionally he provides support in the area of communications.

Jim is a veteran of city and state government, having worked for former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, council districts 3, 6 and 14, and state Assembly district 45. He’s also worked in the nonprofit sector, serving as policy director for the Transportation and Land Use Collaborative of Southern California and as a founding board member of PVJOBS. Prior to his career in public policy, Jim was a journalist and a writer in the music business, as well as a community activist in Venice. He has a degree in sociology from UCLA.

Headshot photo of Dylan Sittig

Dylan Sittig | Senior Planning Deputy | CH

Dylan Sittig is the Senior Planning Deputy for Councilmember Koretz. Dylan helps the Councilmember develop policy that will shape the future of the 5th District and the City of Los Angeles as a whole.

Prior to joining the 5th District, Dylan worked for more than 8 years with the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning covering long-range policy planning and project planning in West Los Angeles. Dylan has also served as a Community Liaison for the Department of City Planning. Dylan is a graduate of Occidental College and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Maria Aguiniga

Maria Aguiniga | Director of Office Operations | CH

Maria Aguiniga manages all office operations at our City Hall, West Los Angeles, and Encino offices. Maria provides support for the Councilman’s legislative and district office teams, handles personnel issues, coordinates the Councilman’s youth and senior bus program, administers the Councilmember’s discretionary funds program and oversees all of Council District Five’s special events at City Hall.

A veteran staffer at City Hall, Maria joined the office of Councilmember Paul Koretz on July 1, 2013. She held the same position previously for Councilmember Dennis Zine of the Third Council District for 12 years. This is not her first time serving the Fifth Council District, as she was formally a Council Aide for Mike Feuer during his service as a Councilman. Maria also served as a Council Aide to Mayor Richard Riordan and began her City career in 1994 working in the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Ana Barranco Staff Pic

Ana Barranco | Scheduler & Executive Assistant | CH

Ana manages the Councilmember’s time, prioritizes all incoming information for his review, and ensures that he is prepared for all his meetings and events. She began as Scheduling Assistant for Councilmember Koretz and has helped manage his busy calendar for 3 years.  Previous to joining Council District 5, she was a Professional Student Worker at the City’s Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) and also served as Secretary for the California State University Los Angeles’ Hispanic Business Society where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.  

Michelle Flores Headshot

Michelle Flores | Scheduling Assistant | CH

Michelle Flores is Councilmember Koretz's Scheduling Assistant. She is well versed in organizing, planning, and coordinating. Michelle studied at California State University, Long Beach, where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Chicano & Latino Studies. For the last six years, Michelle has served in the education field as a coordinator and educator. Working in education has been a rewarding experience for her as Michelle believes in servicing communities. Nevertheless, her passion for serving communities has led her to this new venture at Councilmember Paul Koretz’s office.


Vanessa Saldana Headshot

Vanessa Saldana | Council Aide | CH

Vanessa Saldana serves as Council Aide for Councilmember Paul Koretz. In this role, Vanessa manages the front-desk duties at the City Hall office, managing phone calls, assisting constituents, processing parking requests, correspondence, and commendation requests.

Prior to joining Councilmember Koretz’s office, Vanessa worked as an Intensive Case Manager providing management services and harm reductions for individuals impacted by substance abuse. She also worked with a non-profit organization offering assistance to low-income communities and collaborating with Housing Development representatives to address housing insecurity.

Vanessa earned a B.A. in both Chicano Studies and Political Science from UCLA as a Bill Gates Millennium and Hispanic Scholarship Scholar. She is a native Angelena who grew up in South Los Angeles and recently completed a year-long legislative internship for Council District 08. In her spare time, Vanessa enjoys cooking multicultural recipes, exploring Los Angeles, and working out. 

Western District Office (WDO)

6380 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 800 
Los Angeles, CA 90048 
(323) 866-1828

Jay Greenstein

Jay Greenstein | Chief Field & Transportation Deputy | WDO

Jay Greenstein is Councilmember Paul Koretz’s Chief Field and Transportation Deputy stationed at the Western District Office. Jay is responsible for tracking, briefing, and staffing the Councilmember on district transportation issues such as the Westside Subway Extension currently under construction and the study for the future Sepulveda Blvd. corridor project. Jay is also involved in tracking bike lane and bikeway projects in the district. He has served as the district liaison for the Westside Cities Coalition of Governments (COG) and the San Fernando Valley (COG).  He works on a variety of other issues impacting the district.

Jay first met Councilmember Koretz in 1986 when he interned for then-West Hollywood Councilmember Alan Viterbi, while a young Paul Koretz was serving as Councilman Viterbi’s Field Deputy. Jay later spent six years as a Field Representative to then-Assemblymember Paul Koretz before joining the staff of Council District Five. Jay earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He lives in the Fifth Council District

Jasmine Shamolian

Jasmine Tahour | Westwood Field Deputy and Policy Deputy| WDO

Jasmine is the Westwood Field Deputy and Policy Deputy of Council District 5. Jasmine Shamolian received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011. She is a recent graduate of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and holds a Master of Social Welfare. Jasmine has experience serving a diverse population in Los Angeles on both micro and macro levels. As part of her graduate program, she interned at the LA Centers of Alcohol and Drug Abuse where she provided therapy sessions for at-risk homeless males on Skid Row. She also spent a year at Saving Innocence, a nonprofit that provides services to sex trafficked youth in Los Angeles. Jasmine has a passion for serving underprivileged individuals in the community; through her work, she strives to make the community a better place for its constituents. She is a native Angeleno, born and raised in Tarzana. Jasmine is fluent in Farsi.

Jarrett Thompson

Jarrett Thompson | Bel Air Field Deputy | WDO

Jarrett Thompson joined the office of Councilmember Paul Koretz as a Field Deputy in January of 2019. Jarrett grew up in Grinnell, Iowa, received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Grinnell College in 2014, and relocated to Los Angeles in 2018. Jarrett strongly believes in strengthening active citizen participation in government at all levels.

Jarrett has a background in community organizing, campaign management, development, and construction estimation. Prior to working with the Office of Councilmember Koretz, Jarrett worked as the Midwest Community Organizer for Common Cause in Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Jarrett also worked as the Campaign Manager for the Minnesota State House District 61B Seat. In his free time, Jarrett can be found coaching youth baseball, rock climbing, and playing with this Labrador Leo.

Photo of Jill Kline Headshot

Jill Kline | Beverly Grove, Carthay Circle, Fairfax, and Melrose Field Deputy| WDO

Jill Kline serves as the Field Deputy for Beverly Grove, Carthay Circle, Fairfax, and Melrose in Council District 5. She has a long history in public service and a passion for community engagement. Prior to working with the City, Jill led a tech company that helped individuals and organizations more effectively communicate with their elected officials and better advocate for their public interests. She also previously served as the Chief of Staff for a Missouri State Senator and the Communications Manager for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Jill is a graduate of the University of Missouri where she earned a Bachelor's of Journalism in Strategic Communication. She also has a certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from the University of South Florida. Jill resides in the San Fernando Valley with her spouse, Leo, and their two rescue pets. In her spare time, you can find Jill cooking, knitting and crocheting, or reading.

Headshot photo of Joaquin Macias

Joaquin Macias | Park La Brea and Greater Wilshire Senior Deputy | WDO

Joaquin is a seasoned and respected part of the city family. From 2005-2014 Joaquin worked with various Councilmembers. He started with Wendy Greuel in Council District 2 as a Field Deputy for the North Hollywood, Sun Valley, and Stonehearst communities. He remained on staff as Councilmember Krekorian transitioned into the role. He then served as a Senior Deputy and Planning Associate under Councilmember Rosendahl in Council District 11, where he served the communities of Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, and Santa Monica Canyon. When Councilmember Rosendahl retired Joaquin was hired as Deputy District Director to help Councilmember Blumenfield’s staff transition from the state assembly to city government in Council District 3. Joaquin comes with a wealth of knowledge on constituent services, planning and transportation.

After leaving the city, Joaquin went to work in philanthropy where he spent the last 8 years working at First 5 LA. At First 5 Joaquin helped to develop civic engagement strategies and leverage resources in support of the Best Start Communities. In 1999 he graduated from California State University Northridge with a degree in Psychology. In 2016 he went back to school and earned his Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship from USC’s Marshal School of Business.

Joaquin is an active father of four, 2 adult children and 2 high schoolers. When he’s not coaching softball, soccer, basketball, or baseball he is volunteering, working on his garden or tending to his dogs. He has made a home for himself and his children in the San Fernando Valley. Over the years he has been a member of several neighborhood councils, helped establish community non-profits and currently is an executive board member on the California State University Northridge Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Greg Erlich

Greg Erlich | Council Aide | WDO

Greg Erlich (pronounced “Er-Lich”) is Councilmember Paul Koretz’s Council Aide for the Western District Office. His duties include filing parking relaxations for various events, helping with speech writing, and consulting with troubled constituents. Greg grew up on the Westside and attended Hamilton High School before graduating from Cal State University, Northridge, with a Bachelors of Arts in Speech Communications.

Greg currently resides in the San Fernando Valley where he has lived since 1978. In his free time, Greg enjoys working out, playing a variety of sports, learning foreign languages, writing and performing stand-up comedy, music, and his time with the fork and knife.


Cara Goldman

Cara Goldman | Case Manager | WDO

Cara Goldman is Councilman Paul Koretz’s Case Manager for Council District Five. Cara grew up in New York City and attended the United Nations School until she moved to Los Angeles with her family. From there she went to Oakwood School in North Hollywood and Beverly Hills High School and earned her Bachelor’s Degree from UC Santa Barbara. Cara lives in West Hills with her husband of 19 years and their teenage son. For most of her life, she has worked for the entertainment industry in Paramount Studios for 25 years and MTM Studios (now CBS on Radford) as a production and script coordinator on such shows such as "Newhart", "Sister, Sister", and "Seinfeld". For 5 1/2 years, she worked for former Councilmember Dennis P. Zine as a Case Manager for Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Winnetka, Canoga Park and Reseda area’s until his term ended in June 2013.

Over the past few years, as the Case Manager in the previous Valley District Office for the Encino and Bel Air communities, Cara has assisted constituents with their DWP issues, Street Repair requests, Urban Forestry issues, Sanitation issues, Relaxed Parking and Parking Enforcement requests, Tables and Chair requests, LAPD issues, Filming issues, and other quality of life concerns.

Headshot of Ryan Ezhari

Ryan Ezhari | Case Manager and Assistant to Field Deputies | WDO

Ryan Ezhari is Councilmember Paul Koretz’s Case Manager and assistant to CD 5's Field Deputies. Born and raised in Los Angeles,  Ryan is currently a student at Santa Monica College pursuing an Associate’s Degree in political science and transferring to a university in the fall of 2023. During his senior year of high school, Ryan held an internship with Councilmember David Ryu’s Office. Prior to joining Councilmember Paul Koretz’s Office, he spent 7 months interning under CD 5's Director of Public Safety & Special Assignments Greg Martayan. In his free time, he enjoys coaching for a local recreational youth lacrosse team, exercising, playing volleyball, and listening to music. In addition, Ryan can understand and speak conversational Farsi.