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Eric Garcetti

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Eric Garcetti

His Honor
Eric Garcetti
42nd Mayor of Los Angeles
Assumed office
July 1, 2013
Preceded by Antonio Villaraigosa
22nd President of the Los Angeles City Council
In office
January 1, 2006 – January 12, 2012
Preceded by Alex Padilla
Succeeded by Herb Wesson
Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 13th district
In office
July 1, 2001 – July 1, 2013
Preceded by Jackie Goldberg
Succeeded by Mitch O'Farrell
Personal details
Born Eric Michael Garcetti
(1971-02-04) February 4, 1971
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Amy Wakeland (2009–present)
Children 1
Residence Getty House
Alma mater Columbia University
London School of Economics
Queen's College, Oxford
Religion Progressive Judaism
Website Government website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Information Dominance Corps
United States Navy Reserve

Eric Michael Garcetti (born February 4, 1971) is the current mayor of Los Angeles and a former member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing the 13th District.[1] He served as Council President from 2006 to 2012.[2]

A member of the Democratic Party, Garcetti won in a nonpartisan election for Mayor on May 21, 2013, defeating city Controller Wendy Greuel;[3] Garcetti is the city's first elected Jewish mayor and its youngest in more than a century.[3]

Early life

Garcetti was born at Good Samaritan Hospital[4] in Los Angeles and was raised in Encino,[5] in the San Fernando Valley.[4] Garcetti is the son of the former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti. His paternal grandfather, Salvador Garcetti, was born in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico and was brought to the United States as a child after his father, Massimo Garcetti, a judge and emigrant to Mexico from Italy, was hanged during the Mexican Revolution.[6][7][8] His paternal grandmother, Juanita Iberri, was born in Arizona, one of 19 children born to emigrant parents from Sonora, Mexico.[5] His mother, Sukey Roth, is of Russian Jewish descent.[5][6][7] [8] His maternal grandfather, Harry Roth, who founded the clothing brand Louis Roth & Co.,[5] was a Jewish immigrant from Russia.[6][8] It has also been reported that Garcetti's family is of Litvak descent.[9]

Eric Garcetti attended elementary school at UCLA Lab School[5] (formerly Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School), and middle school and high school at Harvard-Westlake School.[5] He majored in political science and urban planning and received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1992 as a John Jay Scholar.[10]

At Columbia, he served on the Student Council, was President of the St. Anthony Hall literary society, founded the Columbia Urban Experience, and co-wrote and performed in three years of the Varsity Show, a student-written musical, whose past co-writers include Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Lorenz Hart. Garcetti also received a Masters of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, graduating in 1993.[10] He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at The Queen's College, Oxford[11] and also studied for a PhD in ethnicity and nationalism at the London School of Economics.[4]

Professional career

Prior to his election to the Los Angeles City Council, Garcetti was a visiting instructor of International Affairs at the University of Southern California and assistant professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College.[4] His academic work focused on ethnic conflict and nationalism and he has lived and studied in Southeast Asia and Northeast Africa. He has published articles and chapters of books on post-conflict societies, Eritrean nationalism, and non-violent action.[12] He served on the California Board of Human Rights Watch.

City Council

Garcetti was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 2001 and reelected in 2005 and 2009. He succeeded Alex Padilla as President of the City Council on January 1, 2006 and was re-elected as President at the beginning of the Council's subsequent terms in 2007 and 2009. Garcetti declared his candidacy for mayor of Los Angeles on September 8, 2011.[13] On January 30, 2013, the Los Angeles Teachers Union voted to endorse Garcetti in the primary election.[14]

Crime

Garcetti supported recent expansions of the Los Angeles Police Department and the re-implementation of the Senior Lead Officer Program. Crime has fallen in his district by more than forty percent since 2001.[15] However, there had been criticism in the press suggesting that the LAPD deliberately misclassified crime data to achieve better statistics.

Environmental issues

In 2004, Garcetti authored Proposition O,[16] a county stormwater bond which sought to clean the city's waterways. Voters approved the bond with just over 76% of the vote making it the largest clean water bond in the country.[16]

In 2005, Garcetti helped found the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. He authored two of the nation's largest municipal green building ordinances, the first requiring all city buildings to be built to the LEED-certified standard, and the second which mandates all commercial buildings over 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2) in Los Angeles be built to a LEED standard. He supported changes in the city's landscape ordinance and plumbing codes to promote water conservation.

In July 2009, the City Council passed a water conservation ordinance he authored, which required all new construction and renovation projects in Los Angeles to be equipped with high-efficiency water devices and aims to conserve one billion gallons of water a year. A longtime electric car driver, he appeared as a proponent of electric cars in the 2006 documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?"

In July 2010, Garcetti, then President of the Los Angeles City Council, led the weakening of a 2009 lawn watering ordinance, allowing watering three days per week rather than two. The 2-day ordinance, passed 13 months earlier by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, helped the city reduce its water use and cope with ongoing drought, but was unpopular and was accused of causing pressure fluctuations and water main breaks. An LA Times editorial called the City Council's weakening of the watering ordinance a "death knell for one of the best collective environmental efforts made by the citizens of Los Angeles."[17]

Housing and neighborhood beautification

At times, Garcetti has come under public scrutiny for developments that unexpectedly demolish and built over cultural, and historic landmarks.[18] The most recent example are three small buildings at historic Sunset Junction which were demolished to make way for a large condominium development.[19] A developer had previously said there was no talk of demolition. However, the Department of Building and Safety granted the company a permit for demolition nearly a month and a half before it happened. Garcetti has also helped preserve historic neighborhoods and landmarks, from the designation of Historic Filipinotown[20] to Hollywood landmarks like the Palladium, which had been threatened by the wrecking ball.[21]

In his district, Garcetti created the Neighborhood Leadership Institute which trains constituents to be active citizens.[22]

Garcetti's volunteer UNTAG program, Uniting Neighborhoods to Abolish Graffiti, has reduced graffiti in his district over 78 percent in its first four years.[10]

During his first term, as chair and member of the Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee, he helped create a 100 million dollar housing trust fund, at the time, the nation's largest. He has also worked to revitalize the Hollywood area[23] and reduce and reform the city business tax.[24]

Constituent outreach

Garcetti was one of the first elected officials in Los Angeles to hold "office hours" each month, where constituents can meet with him face-to-face. He implemented a "Constituent Bill of Rights" that ensures that constituents' phone superior calls are returned within a single workday, that constituents are included in all land-use decisions in their neighborhood, and that all constituent concerns are tracked on a computer system that details all actions taken on that particular case.[25]

He drew respect as President by ensuring that the meetings start on time,[26] making all past meetings available on-line, and controlling the timing of public comment and council presentations at meetings. He has also helped more than 1500 local constituents learn about the governmental process by hosting Government and Planning 101 courses throughout the city.[27]

National politics

Garcetti endorsed Democratic National Committee that represents all local elected Democrats in the U.S. In this capacity, he serves on the DNC Executive Committee.

Acting

From 2010–2012 Garcetti appeared as "Ramon Quintero", the Mayor of Los Angeles, on the fictional TNT television show The Closer and its spin-off Major Crimes.[29] Garcetti's father, Gil Garcetti, is a consulting producer on both series.[30]

Mayor of Los Angeles

On May 21, 2013, Eric Garcetti was elected Mayor of Los Angeles with 53.9% of votes, defeating Wendy Greuel. The following day, he was congratulated by incumbent Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Villaraigosa said Garcetti's success in turning around his Hollywood district represented "positive indicators of the work he will do as mayor." Villaraigosa and his administration worked closely with Garcetti over the following weeks to ensure a "seamless" transition. His term began on July 1, 2013.[31] During Garcetti's campaign, he pledged to end chronic and veteran homelessness.[32] On his first full day as mayor, Garcetti proclaimed that Los Angeles was beginning to leave behind its culture of car ownership.[33] After taking office, he had interviews with each of the city's department heads and began making changes.[34]

On July 16, 2013, Garcetti called for "calm in the streets" following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin three days earlier. While acknowledging the similarities between the Zimmerman case and the 1992 Rodney King riots, he insisted the city had come a long way. “This is a different moment in time; we can see how much change for the better the city has enjoyed since 1992,” Garcetti said. “For somebody born after 1992, they just see the world the way it is before them. I think the importance of seeing this through the youth’s eyes is to see what’s left undone.”[35] In a memo in October 2013, Garcetti instructed department heads to develop a "starting point" budget based on the 5 percent cut from the previous year.[36]

On January 14, 2014, Garcetti was in the passenger seat of an LAPD vehicle when the vehicle struck a pedestrian. Garcetti's office said that the mayor had been on his phone and not witnessed the crash, but had been interviewed by investigators.[37] Battalion Chief Stephen J. Ruda of the Los Angeles Fire Department reported the female pedestrian "was stable and alert, responding to our paramedics" before she was rushed to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Hospital spokesman Rosa Saca said the woman was stable and had been admitted overnight.[38] Garcetti visited the woman in the hospital the next day and stated "We had a nice conversation and I am very pleased that she is in good spirits. I wish her a speedy recovery."[39]

The day of the LAPD vehicle incident, Garcetti had announced a new plan to tackle earthquake safety, which included how to better protect vulnerable buildings. Marking the 20th anniversary of the destructive Northridge earthquake, Garcetti stated that for the first time Los Angeles would partner with the U.S. Geological Survey to build "a comprehensive strategy for dealing with how to better protect private buildings and other resources such as telecommunications and the water supply during a major temblor." Jones said her assignment for the year would be to connect earthquake science and public policy, in an effort to reduce earthquake risk. “We are donating the majority of my time this year to working together and trying to find solutions to problems," Jones said. “It’s a good prototype of taking our science and getting it applied to actually making a difference." Garcetti's announcement took place only a few days before the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which killed about 60 people and said it was essential for the city to make progress on earthquake safety.[40] On January 20, 2014, Garcetti served as grand marshal during the 29th annual Kingdom Day Parade, the largest observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Southern California.[41]

On February 19, 2014, Garcetti announced the appointment of Otto Padron, COO and President of Meruelo Media, a division of Meruelo Group, as City Commissioner on the Board of the Los Angeles Convention Center. "I congratulate Otto on his confirmation by the Los Angeles City Council as a member of the Board of the Los Angeles Convention Center," Garcetti said. Padron's term as City Commissioner began the previous day.[42][43]

On April 3, 2014, Garcetti was joined by former President of the United States Bill Clinton in hosting a half-day conference on alternate energy and improvements of infrastructure. It was the first time Garcetti and Clinton had appeared together since his run for mayor the previous year, in which Clinton had endorsed Wendy Greuel. The former president referenced the race but accidentally said that Garcetti had been elected president, not mayor. Clinton told Garcetti that he "may become president one day.”[44][45] On April 10, 2014, Garcetti delivered his first State of the City Address at the California Science Center. He concluded by challenging residents to help build "the Los Angeles of tomorrow."[46]

On April 15, 2014, Garcetti signed into law a new waste franchise agreement, which was planned to expanded recycling to businesses and apartments. Garcetti first proposed the program three years earlier, when he was serving on the City Council. “What we have done with our residential program is create a clean environment, with good jobs and people making enough to support a family,” Garcetti said. “What we have had on the commercial and apartment side has been the Wild West, with multiple trucks on the same street, with no standards." Garcetti stated that his goal was to have 90 percent of all trash recycled by 2025.[47]

On April 16, 2014, Garcetti was joined by Jay Z in announcing during a news conference to announce the Made in America festival, scheduled to take place in the upcoming summer. “On Labor Day weekend, we’re going to celebrate our golden state of mind right here in L.A. with a sellout crowd, right here on the steps of City Hall and into Grand Park,” Garcetti said during the news conference. Jay Z, addressing the city of Los Angeles as a whole, said "you all should be very proud of this incredible mayor you have".[48]

On May 2, 2014, Garcetti announced he was bringing aboard Krisztina Holly and Amir Tehrani, two "entrepreneurs in residence", to assist in developing policies aimed at "helping business startup and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles grow." “We want L.A. to be the leading destination for people starting new businesses, and there are no better guides for our efforts than successful entrepreneurs themselves,” Garcetti said.[49][50]

On May 7, 2014, Garcetti greeted President Barack Obama when he arrived in Los Angeles.[51] On May 9, 2014, Garcetti said Officer Shaun Hillmann who received a 65-day suspension following using a racial slur should have received a "stiffer" punishment. Hillmann recorded remarks, in which he referred to an African-American man as a "monkey", were aired the day before Garcetti made his remarks on television. Garcetti said his statements were "reprehensible."[52] On June 5, 2014, Garcetti met with Governor of California Jerry Brown and legislative leaders during his first visit to Sacramento since taking office as mayor. He also met with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Senate President Darrell Steinberg and Kevin de Leon. Garcetti stated he kept in contact with state lawmakers, especially when they pass through Los Angeles. Garcetti pushed for an expansion of the current tax credit, awarding $100 million annually, to stop film production from leaving state. A new film incentive proposal had passed through the Assembly the previous week. Garcetti's visit came just as lawmakers were attempting to hash out a new water bond to put before voters in November.[53]

On June 9, 2014, Garcetti pledged to secure 10,000 jobs for veterans by 2017. "Our troops are finally returning home," Garcetti said. "They need more than a smile and a hug. They need housing. They need jobs. They need full integration back into civilian life." Through the "10,000 Strong" initiative, more than 100 employments agreed to hire veterans. Among those employments participating are the Bank of America, Coca-Cola, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, DreamWorks Animation, Health Net, Verizon, USC and the Walt Disney Company.[54] He also stated that it was "unacceptable" that veterans waited up to 56 days to have their first appointment through the VA’s Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.[55] Following the death of Casey Kasem on June 15, 2014, Garcetti referred to him in a statement as the "voice" of his childhood and noted that he and his wife had met with Kasem on a number of occasions.[56]

On July 7, 2014, Garcetti announced the Los Angeles Police Department would cease to honor most federal requests calling for the detaining of arrestees so they can be investigated for deportation. He stated that Los Angeles was joining with other jurisdictions to end the practice of detaining people for being in the country illegally with no judicial review and uttered that the detainment policy was expensive to local government and erodes public trust in the police department. “The federal government has the luxury of waiting to act,” Garcetti said. “Here at the local level, we are carrying out what the federal government should be doing.[57] On the morning of July 12, 2014, Garcetti rallied thousands of teachers downtown teachers union convention, voicing his support for controversial job protections, praising their efforts and pledging his political support going forward. He expressed that he was "sick and tired of hearing our teachers get beat up on by political leaders in this country". It was noted by the Los Angeles Times that he did not mention Vergara vs. California, a recent case in which the court found teacher job protections violate the equal education rights of the state’s poor and minority children.[58][59]

On July 15, 2014, Garcetti confirmed Los Angeles would help shelter immigrant children who have been detained after crossing the border and had begun talks with a federal agency about doing so. Garcetti made it a point to mention the fact that the city was helping children and stated "As a father, who are we as Americans if we don’t step forward first and say, these kids who are isolated, alone … let’s get them someplace safe and secure". He said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had contacted the city and federal money would flow to pay for legal representation and temporary shelter, while local nonprofits are expected to help find homes for the children. Garcetti also added that the city would be an "appropriate place" to reunify many of the children with their families as their legal situation is worked out, since many of their parents were probably in the Los Angeles area.[60] On July 16, 2014, Garcetti committed to accept the Obama administration's challenge to end veteran homelessness in Los Angeles in the next 17 months and stated that he would not accept that "veterans live in our city without a place of their own." Garcetti's pledge came during an appearance in Century City with First Lady Michelle Obama. She mentioned the Obama administration would help Los Angeles, but not specify. The mayor's office had been in conversations with the White House to obtain more veteran rent vouchers, caseworkers and other resources and Garcetti reiterated his earlier promise to secure 10,000 jobs for veterans by 2017.[32][61][62][63][64][65] On August 5, 2014, Garcetti announced he would begin his annual review of every city general manager as part of his commitment to improve accountability among Los Angeles officials.[34] On August 13, 2014, Garcetti reported that Governor Jerry Brown had agreed to support an expansion of California's tax credit. Despite it being a high-profile effort to keep production jobs in the state, it was unclear at the time of Garcetti's announcement how large the expansion would be. Garcetti wanted $420 million, equal to New York's credit. The amount was also four times the size of California's current $100 million offering.[66]

On April 8, 2015, Garcetti released a long-range plan aimed at making the city more economically and environmentally sustainable. The city's first-ever Sustainable City Plan consists of both short term (by 2017) and long term (by 2025 and 2035) goals in 14 categories related to our environment, our economy, and equity encompassing water conservation, clean energy, waste, green jobs, transportation, housing, and neighborhood livability.[67][68]

Department of Water and Power

On August 22, 2013, Garcetti said he would sign off on a proposed four-year contract with Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers. Officials estimated the contract would save $6.1 billon over 30 years.[69] In large part, the deal was expected to save money by cutting the pension benefits of new hires and workers going without raises in pay for three years.[70] The deal was largely worked out before Garcetti took office the previous month. Garcetti initially balked at the contract and argued that it did not go far enough to address the utility's "work rules." He came around when negotiators tweaked the proposal to allow for further talks on the issue. Following advice from Fred Pickel, the utility's ratepayer advocate, Garcetti turned his focus to the utility's work rules.[71] Garcetti accepted the agreement the previous day because of provisions, which included a labor-management council to review work rules that add to DWP workers' salaries, a modified health care system and an added pension tier for new workers and a broadened effort to reduce the disparity in pay with other city workers.[69]

On January 30, 2014, Garcetti nominated Marcie Edwards to head the Department of Water and Power. At the time of her nomination, Edwards was the Anaheim City Manager and prior to that, ran Anaheim Public Utilities for 13 years. "Marcie Edwards has the toughness and expertise necessary to take on the status quo at the DWP and deliver real, lasting change for DWP customers," Garcetti said in a statement.[72]

On February 21, 2014, Marcie Edwards was confirmed as the new General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. She is the first woman to hold the position. Following her confirmation, Garcetti stated: "I'd like to thank the City Council for confirming Marcie Edwards to lead the DWP. I chose Ms. Edwards because her leadership rests on a comprehensive knowledge of the business of water and power, having risen through the ranks at the DWP, and amassing more than 35 years of experience in utility operations inside and outside L.A. She's savvy and tough, and I'm confident she will continue our efforts to reform the DWP and save money for ratepayers."[73]

In July 2014, it was announced that Guy Lipa, one of Garcetti's aides, would be chief of staff within the Office of the General Manager. For the past year, he acted as a liaison between the mayor's office and DWP. Lipa previously worked in Garcetti's council office as a senior legislative deputy. "Guy's experience as my point person on DWP policy will be a great asset for the department. He's been a valuable member of my team for five years, and we're sorry to see him go, but are proud that Marcie Edwards recognized his talent and convinced him to join her team," Garcetti said in a statement.[74]

Fire Department hiring system

On March 20, 2014, Garcetti responded to criticism of a Fire Department hiring system that eliminated thousands of qualified applicants by announcing he was canceling the process. Garcetti said that he had "determined that the Fire Department's recruiting process is fatally flawed".[75] The mayor's office said the next scheduled Fire Academy class of 70 cadets would not be held, as well as that no more hiring would be made from the current civil service list.[76] Nearly 25% of the 70 recruits that were eventually hired were related to LAFD firefighters.[77] Mayor Garcetti stated that he had asked the RAND Corporation to assist in reforming the recruiting process.[78] Reception to Garcetti's choice was mixed. Mitchell Englander, chair of the City Council's Public Safety Committee, said he supported Garcetti's decision. Frank Lima, president of the firefighters union, expressed his disappointment in the mayor's decision to halt the upcoming recruit training classes and stated the classes were needed to address staffing shortages. Lima also said the department had not hired a new firefighter in five years.[79]

Budget proposal

On April 14, 2014, Garcetti unveiled a "hold-the-line" budget for the coming fiscal year, which proposed modest increases in a number of city services and zero reduction in the business tax. Garcetti's financial proposal of $8.1 billion required approval from the City Council and closed the $242 million gap "in part by relying on increased tax revenue projections and reductions in vacant positions." The financial plan assumed the city's workforce, which included police officers and firefighters, would not receive raises in the coming year. A notable proposed change was to merge the city's police and fire dispatch centers in an attempt to streamline and improve response time to 911 calls for emergencies and fires. Mayoral aids said such a change would take multiple years to implement.[80] Garcetti hoped to increase funding for the Los Angeles Police Department, the department making up nearly 44 percent of the fund already and most of the increase would go towards new technology for officers.[81]

The plan would go into effect on July 1, adding eight hours per week to the city's branch library operations. The number of code enforcement officers assigned to look for unpermitted construction and other neighborhood issues, would jump from 25 to 38. Garcetti also announced other changes, including creation of a $1.4 million innovation fund to transform city services, breaking the command structure at the Fire Department into four geographic regions and the hiring of 140 firefighters to cope with attrition.[80]

Sterling remarks

On April 29, 2014, Garcetti was joined by current and former NBA players to praise the disciplinary actions by the NBA against Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his publicized racist remarks. The same day, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that Sterling had been banned from the NBA for his remarks. Garcetti said his remarks "do not represent Los Angeles" and added that the city's fans should support the Clippers in their playoff run.[82]

The following day, April 30, Garcetti stated during an interview that the Sterling controversy was "a defining issue" for Los Angeles and required a strong response from elected leaders. Garcetti expressed his wishes to still be involved with the Clippers and their future. He offered to help the NBA in completing a change of ownership, which included encouraging other team owners to support a sale of the franchise. Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute of Public Affairs, said the Sterling controversy may have provided Garcetti "something of a mayoral moment".[83]

On May 4, 2014, Garcetti stated that he expected Sterling to put up a "long, protracted fight" to retain ownership of the team and said Sterling's continued ownership could prove harmful to the Clippers, given their advancing to the second round of the NBA playoffs the previous day and their further success would profit Sterling.[84] Garcetti also said Sterling "believes in his heart that he's a very good person" and is proud of his accomplishments.[85] He recalled having spoken to Sterling, encouraging him to sell the Clippers team so Sterling could be "part of the healing" and to apologize for his remarks.[86]

On May 9, 2014, Garcetti stated during a City Hall meeting with reporters that the Sterling family's continued ownership of the Clippers could mean ongoing "chaos" for the franchise. He also suggested that Donald Sterling's wife, Shelly Sterling, should not continue on as a co-owner. “We need to make a clean break, I think,” Garcetti said. “It’s clear to me that we need to have ownership that reflects the values of Los Angeles. As long as there is ownership in the Sterling family, there are fans, sponsors and players who will stay away.” Garcetti's remarks came days after Shelly Sterling announced she would retain a stake in the Clippers.[87]

Endorsements

On May 17, 2014, Garcetti endorsed [88]

On May 28, 2014, Garcetti endorsed John Duran for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors seat held by Zev Yaroslavsky. Garcetti referred to Duran as an "innovative and thoughtful problem solver." Duran had previously endorsed Garcetti for mayor.[89][90] The following day, May 29, Garcetti endorsed Ted Lieu in the primary for the 33rd Congressional District race to succeed retiring Henry Waxman,[91][92] who announced his choice to not seek reelection on January 30, 2014.[93] On June 6, 2014, Garcetti joined Darrell Steinberg and Kevin de Leon to support a plan to invest the state's cap-and-trade revenue in mass transit and affordable housing. Garcetti stated the legislation was "smart" and reasoned "it would spend cap-and-trade funding where it naturally should be spent -- in those communities that face pollution, but in those communities that are making those choices to reduce pollution."[94] In September 2014, Garcetti endorsed Jim McDonnell for Los Angeles County Sheriff.[95]

Profanity incident

On June 16, 2014, while speaking at the championship celebration for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, Garcetti cautioned, "There are two rules in politics – never be pictured with a drink in your hand, and never swear." He then held up an empty beer bottle and said, "But this is a big fucking day," prompting a standing ovation from the Kings players and the crowd.[96] The incident attracted some controversy, but when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! later that evening, Mayor Garcetti told the late night TV host, "It was hockey; it wasn't a match of lawn bowls." The following day, on June 17, Garcetti spoke at a Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce lunch at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. He apologized to those who found what he said offensive and suggested they lighten up. He argued that it was "something that plenty of people have heard in their lives for sure.”[97]

LAPD contract and meetings

On July 22, 2014, Garcetti stated that he would not back down and planned to speak to officers about the proposed one-year contract that was rejected despite the legal actions threatened against him. The proposal provided $70 million in overtime for that year and $50 million to buy back some of the $120 million in banked overtime while also containing no cost-of-living increase. The Los Angeles Police Protective League stated its plans to file an unfair labor practices complaint with the city Employee Relations Board to block Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck from discussing the matter directly with officers. Protective League President Tyler Izen said the union understood the mayor's intentions but believed his speaking directly to the officers could be a violation of fair bargaining rules.[98] Garcetti found a way around the legal threats by posting a video on YouTube on July 24, where he noted that under the proposed contract, salaries for officers hired during the recession would be increased and overtime would no longer be given as time off, instead paid in cash. "The sacrifices you made on overtime were emergency measures -- never intended to be permanent. And I understand the toll these emergency measures have taken. Not just on your pocketbook but on the LAPD as a whole," Garcetti said.[99][100][101]

Minimum wage

On September 1, 2014, Garcetti led a rally at a park in South Los Angeles. He proposed creating a minimum wage in Los Angeles that could reach $13.25 after three years. He was supported by billionaire businessman Eli Broad, County Federation of Labor chief Maria Elena Durazo, along with several members of the Los Angeles City Council, who would have to approve of the increase. He released an economic analysis, which was prepared by academics at UC Berkeley, that stated an "L.A. wage of $13.25 -- $4.25 more than the state minimum of $9 -- would significantly improve the lot of low-income workers and impose minimal burdens on business."[102] Garcetti wanted to balance the demands of the Los Angeles labor community against the demands of business leaders. The business leaders warned that boosting pay too quickly could stifle the slowly rebounding local economy. California state minimum is $9, having increased from $8 on July 1, but Garcetti's ordinance required businesses to increase workers' pay from the state minimum to at least $10.25 in 2015, $11.75 in 2016 and $13.25 in 2017. Beginning in 2018, additional adjustments in Los Angeles would be automatically tied to an inflation index.[103]

On September 19, Garcetti expressed his support for the Los Angeles City Council to vote on a new citywide law requiring large hotels to pay $15.37 an hour, adding that it would not conflict with his drive to raise the city's minimum wage.[104]

Public Transportation and the Great Streets Initiative

On June 20, 2014, Garcetti picked Seleta Reynolds to run the city's Department of Transportation. Reynolds had been assigned to the "Livable Streets" office of San Francisco's transportation agency, which played a major role in the city's Vision Zero project, which sought to cut the number of traffic fatalities to zero by 2024. She also helped launch a program that introduced 35 bike rental stations in different parts of the city. These initiatives were referred to by Janette Sadik-Khan, who advised Garcetti during the selection process. Reynolds will replace Jon Kirk Mukri, who had been running the department on a temporary basis since last year.[105]

Promoting the Great Streets Initiative, Garcetti said the effort represents "a shift from the way that our neighborhoods have been planned in Los Angeles," with a new focus on"walkability and transit." Seeking to bolster the street-level health of the city, he encouraged the development of plans to make several dozen boulevards more hospitable to pedestrians, cyclists and small businesses. A pedestrian-friendly project in downtown on Broadway finished up in December 2014 that widened the sidewalks and replaced the parking lane with planters, chairs and round cafe tables with bright-red umbrellas.[106]

Personal life

Garcetti is an avid photographer, jazz pianist and composer. In January 2009, he married Amy Elaine Wakeland,[10] also a Rhodes scholar whom he met while at Oxford.[107] They have a daughter, Maya Juanita.[108] Wakeland was brought up in small towns in Indiana and her mother worked three jobs to support Wakeland, her younger brother and sister and stepbrother and stepsister. The family's frequent moving caused Wakeland to attend 12 schools and live in 15 homes. Wakeland's mother took in two runaways and all four of her grandparents were active in raising her. Garcetti and his wife have fostered over seven children in their years of marriage.[109] He also serves as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve Information Dominance Corps.[110] He attends services at IKAR, a post-denominational Jewish congregation founded by Rabbi Sharon Brous, a charismatic figure in L.A.’s Jewish community.[111][112]

Awards

On May 15, 2014, Garcetti was honored as "Person of the Year" by the NAACP, along with Al Sharpton.[113]

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  25. ^ "After 100 Days In Office, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Gets High Marks" (10/07/2013) Los Angeles Daily News (via The Huffington Post)
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Taking Education in Los Angeles Personally" (April 11, 2013) Los Angeles Times Pressmens' Club
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  29. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1553568/
  30. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1562725/
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  106. ^ Hawthorne, Christopher (December 6, 2014) "'LATINO URBANISM' INFLUENCES A LOS ANGELES IN FLUX" Los Angeles Times
  107. ^ The Jewish Journal: "Eric Garcetti: up close" By Bill Boyarsky December 19, 2012 | "Garcetti’s wife, whom he met at Oxford when they were Rhodes scholars, is not Jewish"
  108. ^
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  112. ^ The Jewish Journal: "Eric Garcetti: up close" By Bill Boyarsky December 19, 2012 | "My parents aren’t practicing, either of them...We celebrated Passover and Chanukah. I went to Jewish camp. I think I have become more of a practicing Jew or observant later in life. I came to my faith in college."
  113. ^

External links

  • Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Eric Garcetti's Homepage
  • Eric Garcetti Kennedy New Frontier Award Winner
  • Garcetti Fined for Ethics Violation
  • Eric Garcetti's guest DJ project at KCRW
Civic offices
Preceded by
Jackie Goldberg
Member of the Los Angeles City Council
from the 13th district

2001–2013
Succeeded by
Mitch O'Farrell
Preceded by
Alex Padilla
President of the Los Angeles City Council
2006–2012
Succeeded by
Herb Wesson
Political offices
Preceded by
Antonio Villaraigosa
Mayor of Los Angeles
2013–present
Incumbent
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