Garcetti's Vision for LA Includes Jobs and Reformed City Hall
LOS ANGELES — Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti outlined his "vision" for Los Angeles that includes creating jobs and reforming City Hall at Los Angeles City College.
If elected as mayor, the former City Council President who represents Council District 13 that includes Historic Filipinotown, said job creation would be his top priority and to fix a "broken" City Hall.
"The number one job for the next mayor of Los Angeles must be jobs," said Garcetti in front of about 200 people at LACC's Camino Theater on Thursday night. "I am running for mayor to get our city working. I mean this in two senses — Los Angeles needs jobs and Los Angeles deserves a City Hall that works for the people."
Garcetti is one of at least three major candidates running to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as head of LA in next year's election.
Garcetti, who served three terms on the City Council, spoke for about 20 minutes highlighting his achievements as a councilman and his goals as mayor.
Garcetti said he would introduce computer-programming education as a possible requirement in schools, partner with the local community colleges and universities "to keep homegrown talent in the city," and dedicate a team to win EB5 Investments (foreigners starting businesses in LA).
"Our schools must teach our kids the languages of the current and future economy, an economy in which both foreign languages and computer programming languages are essential," he said. "As mayor, I will offer assistance and engage the private sector — companies that currently spend millions of dollars importing workers from overseas — to make computer programming education in LA schools a reality."
City Hall must also be fixed to work for residents and businesses, he said.
He said as mayor he would require all current department heads to "reapply for their positions" and create new performance metrics to hold managers accountable for the number of jobs they create.
He also plans to hire a Chief Technology Officer "to put City Hall on the cutting edge."
Garcetti made no concrete proposals on how exactly he would address the city's struggling economy, only saying the priorities in City Hall are cuts and taxes, "what to cut and how much to tax people."
"That's wrong," he said. "That dynamic must change. We must launch a fundamental shift at city hall. The priority must be creating jobs and growing our economy. That's what I will lead from the top as Los Angeles' CEO."
Filipinos for Garcetti
"He's been there for the Filipino community since day 1," said Joseph Bernardo, who heads Filipinos-for-Garcetti.
A former staffer for the councilman and current volunteer in the campaign, Bernardo said throughout Garcetti's terms in office he has given "Filipinos a voice" they never had in City Hall.
"Look at his track record. Garcetti was instrumental in establishing Historic Filipinotown, [he] helped erect the first Filipino World War II veterans memorial, and has supported Filipino organizations like SIPA, FASGI and others," said Bernardo.
When Fil-Am George Villanueva's brother Joselito Villanueva passed away during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, it was Garcetti who helped honor him.
"He was definitely one of the most supportive," said Villanueva.
With Mayor Villaraigosa having such a strong business relationship with China and Korea, Villanueva believes Garcetti as mayor will not only continue those partnerships but may also expand it to other countries like the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
Joseph Pimentel is a writer for Asian Journal.
Photo from Asian Journal.
This article originally appeared in Asian Journal.
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