Victory tour, the eastern swing *

Antonio Villaraigosa's Washington trip went well, with the mayor-elect being asked to sign copies of his Newsweek cover and getting good reviews. He spoke to a Latino Leadership lunch ("attended by 200 influential Latinos," the Times says), attended the grand opening of a new headquarters for the National Council of La Raza, met with the city's DC lobbyists and gave a pep talk at the Take Back America conference.

"He represents the future of progressive politics in America," said Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, as he introduced Villaraigosa to an audience of more than 1,000 activists who gave him three standing ovations...

"I think we need to look long and hard within our movement," Villaraigosa told the largely white group. "You look at this room today, and you don't see the kind of diversity we need to build a strong movement in America. We are not reaching out enough."

The Times sent City Hall reporter Patrick McGreevy along. Lisa Friedman of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group picked it up for the Daily News. Toby Eckert of Copley News Service filed for the Daily Breeze. (* New: Video of Villaraigosa's speech and behind the scenes.

Also: David Friedman of the New America Foundation is a new contributing editor and columnist at the Downtown News. This week, he opines that "Villaraigosa cannot hope to lead Los Angeles forward unless he builds a city that works as well for the working and middle classes as it does for cocktail-party progressives." (What is it with pundits and wine? Talk show wingnuts seem to hate Chardonnay drinkers more than terrorists, and Friedman refers repeatedly to "Chablis liberals.")

And: The Daily News reports today on anonymous pre-recorded phone calls received Sunday in numerous homes in the northwest Valley, blasting councilman Greig Smith and his chief of staff, Mitchell Englander, over the Sunshine Canyon landfill. An anonymous tip about the calls was emailed to selected websites, including L.A. Observed, but I couldn't confirm it so didn't post anything.

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