In her editor's note introducing the January issue of Los Angeles magazine, Mary Melton doesn't sound too wowed by the candidates who are running for mayor.
The next leader of Los Angeles needs to be more than a self-styled Mr. or Ms. Fiscal Fix-it. What we need is vision. Someone who will recognize this as a transformative era for L.A. Someone who can harness the energy of the Occupy generation yet also inspire their grandparents to invest in the city. Someone who will focus on the job at hand, not on what their next job will be.
I’m not looking for a superhero (like Newark mayor Cory Booker, who ran into a burning building to save a neighbor); I’m looking for a legacy builder. Say what you will about Michael Bloomberg’s heavy-handed regulations (no public smoking! no sodas!), but when he leaves office the man will have left his mark on New York City. I was disappointed when Rick Caruso opted out of our mayoral race because I’m confident that the developer of shopping centers like the Grove and the Americana at Brand would have spiced up the race and advanced the conversation. Even if you disagree with Caruso’s politics or aren’t a fan of malls, you can’t deny that he knows how to frame a vision and how to execute it, too.
At the moment the three front-runners in the race are Wendy Greuel, Eric Garcetti, and Jan Perry—each of whom came up through the city council. I don’t doubt their passion for the city, but all three have been criticized for doing a less-than-exemplary job of distinguishing their agendas....I hope their campaigns don’t reflect a council-person’s view of the office’s limitations. Forgive the cliché, but this is a city of dreamers. Our next mayor needs to think big.
This month the magazine looks at Kevin James, but the story is not yet online.
In the December issue, Mark Lacter of LA Biz Observed has a piece on Los Angeles as a hot spot for Chinese investors