(Raphael “Raphe” Sonenshein is executive director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs and has headed charter-reform and neighborhood council review commissions. A California State University political science professor, Sonenshein is also an author whose books have analyzed racial and reform politics. He spoke to Frying Pan News about what he believes are the biggest tasks facing L.A.’s next mayor – as well as telling reporter Marc Haefele what candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel should avoid during the campaign before the May 21 runoff election.)
The Biggest Job
The next mayor has to reinvent his office as an office of strength, because just being elected doesn’t hand you that. Once you are in you will be dealing with very powerful forces of the community and very powerful forces at City Hall —
We present the following guide to show where three front-running mayoral candidates stand on issues affecting jobs and the local economy. Except as noted, all quotes are drawn from our interviews with the candidates. (Jan Perry did not respond to interview requests.) Please note that Frying Pan News does not endorse candidates.
Jobs are extremely important but depend on a revitalized business sector.
“The first thing on my agenda is putting this city back to work, making City Hall work for everybody but then also getting jobs back here — good, middle-class, decent-paying jobs with benefits.”
“I will be the jobs tsar. I will be the person in the city that is going to go out and talk to businesses and encourage them to move to the city of Los Angeles and to grow.”
“We have a shockingly high unemployment rate – it’s 50 percent higher than the national average.
Frying Pan News continues its series of interviews with the leading mayoral candidates, who will face off in the March 5 primary. Part Two of our interview with City Councilmember Eric Garcetti appears today (click here to read Part One), followed Thursday by a conversation with City Controller Wendy Greuel.
Frying Pan News: Many in the business community would prefer the mayor to be a cheerleader for business, but in the last few years we’ve seen what happens when the economy is left to big corporations and financial institutions. How will you balance the interests of the business community and those who are desperately trying to find a path into the middle class?
Eric Garcetti: There’s no question that business is absolutely critical to our economic strength here, and by business it’s not necessarily just the large corporations – we’re talking about the mom and pop store,
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,
Update: KPPC FM’s Hayley Fox reports that L.A. City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jan Perry is also declining Walmart campaign funds.
Los Angeles’ two top mayoral candidates announced Thursday they will not accept campaign contributions from Walmart, which is locked in a battle with community and labor groups over the retail giant’s plans to open a 3300-square-foot grocery store in Chinatown.
The pledges by L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti and his chief opponent, City Controller Wendy Greuel, bring new focus to Saturday’s protest march and rally against Walmart. Both candidates have endorsed the June 30 action.
“Los Angeles loses if we run a race to the bottom in terms of wages and working conditions,” Garcetti said. “Our economy needs good middle class jobs to get back on track, and that’s what we should be working toward.”
The two candidates urged other elected politicians to also refuse money from Walmart.