Today Frying Pan News launches a series of interviews with the leading mayoral candidates, who will face off in the March 5 primary. Beginning with City Councilmember Eric Garcetti, we posed questions about what we think are the most pressing issues our next mayor must confront. Part One of our interview with Garcetti appears today; Part Two will run tomorrow, followed by a conversation with City Controller Wendy Greuel.
Frying Pan News: A lot of the mayoral debate so far has focused on challenges with the city budget and whether we should cut benefits for city employees. Can you paint your broad vision of how we bring good jobs, clean air and healthy communities to all of Los Angeles?
Eric Garcetti: Our recovery can’t be just about how we are going to cut more, tax more. My greatest fear is that we will have those who will do well no matter how bad things get – the highly educated,
(Editor’s Note: Today we continue our series of posts from invited writers who offer thoughts on what the coming four years hold for Los Angeles and its next mayor. These opinions do not reflect the views of Frying Pan News or the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.)
Before Antonio Villaraigosa won his first term as mayor, he came over to my house to film a commercial. This took place by the merest chance. My neighbor across the street is a union organizer, a fellow progressive and a respected figure in local Democratic circles — he might have had something to do with Villaraigosa’s sudden appearance in our neighborhood. A whole bunch of staffers fanned out up and down our street that morning, knocking on every door to ascertain where they might mingle with hoi polloi and gather up a few sound bites.
(Editor’s Note: Living in Los Angeles is a day-to-day experiment requiring patience and improvisational skills. So does governing this sprawling metropolis of 3.8 million people. The city’s next mayor, however, cannot be satisfied with merely coping with issues as they arise, but must be able to look forward and anticipate and define the city’s needs for the next four years. To this end we’ve asked writers to share their thoughts about what lies ahead – and around the corner – for Los Angeles.)
Going green may be all the rage. But get into the weeds and you may lose a few people. Take energy efficiency. Yes, it’ll save you money, create good jobs (if done right) and help us preserve the planet. But walk into a party and start talking about window caulking, attic insulation and compact fluorescent bulbs, and you may soon find yourself alone in a corner.