Garcetti gets his party started

garcetti-swearing-in-gl.jpg
Photo by Gary Leonard.

Eric Garcetti took a ceremonial oath of office from Kenia Castillo, an 8th grader at Luther Burbank Magnet Middle School in Highland Park, on Sunday evening while his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland, looked on. Garcetti will become the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles at midnight tonight. The ceremony began with Moby singing "We Are All Made of Stars" and Jimmy Kimmel speaking, and included the ceremonial swearing in of new City Attorney Mike Feuer, new Controller Ron Galperin and new City Council members Mike Bonin, Gil Cedillo, Felipe Fuentes, Curren Price, Mitch O'Farrell and Bob Blumenfield. They all assume their offices on July 1 as well. Until the runoff election is held in the Valley's 6th council district and the winner is seated, there will be no women in elective office in City Hall
.

The Garcetti event was way understated compared to Antonio Villaraigosa's inaugural in 2005. Villaraigosa and his family and supporters took prayers at the cathedral then marched to City Hall during the work day, essentially closing down the machinery of city government for the day. Garcetti scheduled his event for 6 p.m. on Sunday and it was a pretty simple affair — a stage and a podium and a microphone — then the attendees retired to Grand Park for a small public fest.

Villaraigosa sat on stage during the ceremony and released a brief statement afterward: "Congratulations to LA's new Mayor, Eric Garcetti. Over his years as Council member for the 13th district and President of the Council, he's proven to be a true leader who will guide our City into its bright future. I look forward to the inauguration and embarking on my own new journey. Tonight at midnight, we will toast both."

Here are excerpts of Garcetti's prepared remarks. His people provided them in all-caps and I didn't take the time to fix it.

YOU SEE, MY FAMILY’S STORY IN LOS ANGELES BEGINS HUMBLY— ONE SIDE OF MY FAMILY CROSSING AN OCEAN AND A CONTINENT TO FLEE PERSECUTION IN POLAND AND RUSSIA, THE OTHER SIDE CROSSING A RIVER ESCAPING WAR IN MEXICO, LOOKING FOR A BETTER LIFE.

MY AND GREAT-GRANDPARENTS NEVER WOULD HAVE DREAMED THAT I’D BE
STANDING HERE TODAY – SOON TO BE THE 42ND MAYOR OF THE GREAT CITY OF
LOS ANGELES.

WHAT’S REMARKABLE ABOUT MY FAMILY’S STORY IS THAT IT’S YOURS TOO.

...


THESE TIMES DEMAND A BACK-TO-BASICS MAYOR – FOCUSED ABOVE ALL ELSE ON
OUR ECONOMY AND JOBS.

AND THAT’S WHAT I INTEND TO BE.

WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT THE DAYS OF SEEMINGLY SPONTANEOUS GROWTH IN
HUGE MEGA-INDUSTRIES ARE GONE, MAYBE FOR GOOD.

BUT WHAT REMAINS IS SOMETHING OF EVEN GREATER VALUE:
OUR HUMAN CAPITAL,
THE TALENT AND INNOVATION AND ENERGY THAT HAVE MADE
LOS ANGELES THE CREATIVE CAPITAL
OF THE WORLD.
...

WE HAVE TO START WITH THE MOST BASIC TASK OF ALL:
HANGING A BRIGHT NEON SIGN ON OUR CITY THAT SAYS...
LOS ANGELES IS
OPEN-FOR-BUSINESS.

WE NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE SEE OUR TRADITIONAL INDUSTRIES, SO
THEY CAN THRIVE AND GROW.

WE NEED TO MARKET LA, AGGRESSIVELY AND CREATIVELY,
TO THE WHOLE WORLD – AS THE GATEWAY TO THE PACIFIC RIM, AND THE
GATEWAY TO NEW IDEAS AND INNOVATIONS.

THAT’S WHAT I’LL DO AS LA’S SALESMAN-IN-CHIEF.

WE NEED TO NURTURE SMALL BUSINESSES – WHICH, AFTER ALL,
ARE THE GLOBAL
GAME-CHANGERS
OF THE FUTURE.

THAT MEANS CUTTING THROUGH A CLUTTER OF REGULATIONS AND RED TAPE, AND
SAYING TO SMALL BUSINESSES AND SCRAPPY START-UPS:
YOU’LL HAVE A LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT’S OFF YOUR BACK, AND ON YOUR SIDE.

...


WITH THE RIGHT FOCUS, WITH THE RIGHT TENACITY AND DRIVE, WE CAN MAKE
SILICON BEACH MORE THAN A PIPE DREAM –
WE CAN MAKE IT A PIPELINE TO THE FUTURE, WITH ENOUGH START-UPS AND
TEEMING TECH COMPANIES TO GIVE OUR NEIGHBORS TO THE NORTH A RUN FOR
THEIR BITCOIN.

AND WE CAN’T STOP AT NEW ECONOMY JOBS.

WITH THE RIGHT INDUSTRIAL POLICY,
WE CAN RECLAIM A CRITICAL PART OF OUR ECONOMIC HERITAGE,
LIKE HELPING LA’S AEROSPACE INDUSTRY TAKE FLIGHT AGAIN, LEADING A NEW
MANUFACTURING REVOLUTION, AND RETAINING AND GROWING OUR LEADERSHIP IN
INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND TOURISM.

WE MUST FOCUS ON THE HIGH-SKILLED,
HIGH-PAYING JOBS THAT TOGETHER BUILD STRONG NEIGHBORHOODS AND AN EVEN
STRONGER CITY.

I’LL FIGHT TO ATTRACT FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES AND STARTUPS ALIKE.

IN FACT, I’LL CHASE AFTER JOBS AND COMPANIES AROUND THE COUNTRY AND
AROUND THE WORLD.

...

GETTING BACK TO BASICS ALSO MEANS BRINGING HOLLYWOOD BACK HOME – AND
ENDING RUNAWAY TV AND FILM PRODUCTION FOR GOOD.

...

I’LL LOBBY HARD IN SACRAMENTO, AND AT THE COUNTY LEVEL –
AND I’LL SET AN EXAMPLE IN LA, BY WORKING TO ELIMINATE THE TANGLE OF
FEES AND RULES THAT MAKE FILMING HERE
FEEL MORE LIKE
“LES MISERABLES,” INSTEAD OF
“FAST AND FURIOUS”
LIKE IT OUGHT TO BE.

OF COURSE, TO BE ECONOMICALLY STRONG, WE’VE GOT TO MAKE OUR
COMMUNITIES THE SAFEST IN THE NATION.

...

THAT STARTS WITH SMART POLICING, INCREASED FOCUS ON STUBBORN POCKETS
OF GANG CRIME AND PROVIDING THE YOUTH SUMMER JOBS AND INTERVENTION
PROGRAMS THAT KEEP CRIME FROM HAPPENING IN THE FIRST PLACE.

WE CAN’T LEAD THE ECONOMY OF THE FUTURE UNLESS OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM
TRAINS AND RETRAINS US FOR THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE.

LET’S WORK WITH OUR VETERANS RETURNING HOME FROM WAR TO HELP THEM WIN
THEIR FUTURE WITH A GOOD JOB.

LET’S WORK WITH OUR DREAMERS AND OUR IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES AS WE
TRANSITION TO THE NEW IMMIGRATION LAW WE HOPE FOR –
ONE THAT SWINGS OPEN THE DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY,
AND MAKES IT CLEAR:
WE MAY NOT ALL SHARE A COMMON PAST,
BUT WE SURELY DO SHARE A COMMON FUTURE.

AS A BACK-TO-BASICS MAYOR, I’LL PRIORITIZE THE CITY SERVICES THAT MAKE
OUR NEIGHBORHOODS BEAUTIFUL AND OUR
CITY SHINE.

WE’LL FILL THE POTHOLES, PAVE THE STREETS,
FIX THE SIDEWALKS,
AND TRIM THE TREES.

AND WE’LL HAVE A CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT,
ONE YOU CAN ACTUALLY REACH ON THE PHONE.

IT’S NO USE PAINTING A LOFTY PICTURE IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE
BRASS TACKS TO
PIN IT ON THE WALL.

WE’LL WORK TO BRING WHAT IS TOO OFTEN A ROTARY-PHONE GOVERNMENT INTO
THE SMARTPHONE ERA.

SOME OF MY MOST GRATIFYING WORK ON THE CITY COUNCIL WAS APPLYING NEW
TECHNOLOGY TO THE OLDEST, MOST STUBBORN PROBLEMS.

LIKE THE SMARTPHONE APP, WHICH LETS ANGELENOS REPORT GRAFFITI AND
POTHOLES AS THEY SEE THEM.

OR THE PARKING APP WHICH SHOWS DRIVERS WHERE TO FIND EMPTY PARKING
SPACES ON THE STREET IN REAL-TIME.

AND WE’LL STREAMLINE BUSINESS PERMITTING — WITH ONE PORTAL THAT
REDUCES DECADES OF BUREAUCRACY TO A FEW CLICKS OF A MOUSE.

WE’LL WORK TO MAKE GOVERNMENT LEANER, AND MORE EFFICIENT – RESTORING
DEPLETED SERVICES IN A WAY THAT COSTS YOU LESS AND SERVES YOU MORE.

AND WE’LL START IN THE MAYOR’S OFFICE ITSELF.

TOMORROW MORNING,
I WILL ASK EVERY GENERAL MANAGER TO REAPPLY FOR
HIS OR HER JOB.

THEY’LL HAVE TO START BY GIVING ME THEIR IDEAS ABOUT WHERE WE CAN SAVE MONEY,
HOW CAN WE PROVIDE BETTER SERVICE,
AND WHAT THE FUNDAMENTAL MISSION OF THEIR OFFICE SHOULD BE.

AT THE END OF OUR EVALUATIONS,
WE’LL SPECIFY NUMERICAL GOALS FOR EVERY DEPARTMENT AND EVERY GENERAL MANAGER –
AND WE’LL MAKE THEM PUBLIC.

WE’LL TELL YOU WHEN SOMETHING IS WRONG.

WE’LL FIX THE THINGS THAT ARE BROKEN.

WE’LL DOUBLE DOWN ON THE THINGS THAT WORK.

WE’LL EXPERIMENT AND TAKE CALCULATED RISKS.

AND AT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, YOU, THE PEOPLE OF LOS ANGELES, CAN HOLD
OUR FEET TO THE FIRE, AND SEE THAT WE’RE MEETING OUR GOALS, AND MAKING
LA THE CITY YOU NEED AND DESERVE IT TO BE.

NONE OF THIS IS PUNITIVE.

I WANT TO DO WHAT ANY FORWARD-LOOKING COMPANY OR FOUNDATION DOES, AND
CONSTANTLY ASK:
IS THIS JOB OR RESPONSIBILITY NECESSARY?

AND HOW CAN WE DO IT BETTER?

YOU SEE, I BELIEVE IT’S IMPORTANT TO ASK BEFORE YOU ACT;
TO LISTEN AND LEARN BEFORE YOU LEAD.

THAT’S WHY,
TOMORROW MORNING,
I’LL START MY OWN ECONOMIC
ROUNDTABLE —
MEETING WITH NEIGHBORHOOD
BUSINESS LEADERS, SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, AND ENTREPRENEURS TO ASK WHAT
THEY NEED AND WANT TO CREATE JOBS AND GROW OUR ECONOMY.

I’LL EMPLOY THAT SAME LISTEN-THEN-LEAD STRATEGY ON THE WHOLE RANGE OF
ISSUES FACING OUR CITY AND OUR PEOPLE –
BY HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE HOURS, WHERE ANGELENOS CAN COME AND MEET WITH
ME, AND KEY MEMBERS OF MY ADMINISTRATION —
TO SHARE THEIR PROBLEMS,
AND THEIR IDEAS ON HOW WE CAN SOLVE THEM.

IN MY FIRST HUNDRED DAYS AS MAYOR,
I’LL ALSO MEET WITH FORTUNE 500 AND SILICON BEACH EXECUTIVES — AND
WITH LEADERS OF OUR TOP UNIVERSITIES, NON-PROFITS, PHILANTHROPIES, AND
OTHER MAJOR INSTITUTIONS.

THEY ALREADY PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN LEADING THIS CITY.

I WANT TO ENGAGE THEM AS PARTNERS, AND GET THEIR BEST THINKING ABOUT
HOW WE CAN MAKE LA THE BEST THAT IT
CAN BE.

NOW, THERE’S ONE MORE THING I CAN PROMISE YOU:

I WILL MAKE MY SHARE OF MISTAKES IN THIS JOB.

I WON’T BE A
PERFECT MAYOR;
FAR FROM IT.

BUT WE ARE A GREAT CITY.


More by Kevin Roderick:
Morning Buzz: Monday 7.1.13
Another photographer loves LA
'Star Wars' translated into Navajo language for Fourth of July
In honor of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (video)
Elisabeth Coleman, early Jerry Brown press secretary was 68
Recent City Hall stories on LA Observed:
Out of L.A.'s sweltering heat, a little fresh air
Garcetti gets his party started
Garcetti era about to begin
Photo moment: Mayoral transition
Garcetti takes oath at private gathering on Echo Park Lake

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