While the Los Angeles mayoral candidate field is crowded, it’s clear Eric Garcetti is the king of the hill. And Los Angeles voters would be remiss not to give him a second term.
This board endorses Garcetti for mayor because of his innovative outlook, his accomplishments as the current mayor of LA and – most importantly – his experience.
Back in 2013, Garcetti assured voters, among many things, that he would fix potholes on the streets, help improve LA’s rampant traffic congestion, work towards more affordable housing and restructure the LA Department of Water and Power. And over the past four years, he has accomplished – or at least started to address – these very issues.
For example, Garcetti helped launch a data collection and mapping system that allows citizens to request a multitude of city services, such as graffiti removal, pothole repair and bulky-item pickup. He helped author and pass Measure M in November, which provides funding for LA to revitalize and revolutionize its transportation system to meet the city’s growing transit needs. And he has pledged to build 100,000 new affordable housing units by 2021 and put a referendum on November’s ballot to overhaul the LADWP to allow for more community oversight.
There is undoubtedly no better choice for mayor than Garcetti. None of his opponents come close to competing with his qualifications and track record.
However, this accolade is not without reservations about his governing style. Throughout his tenure, Garcetti has had trouble consistently making difficult political decisions. Be it attempting to overhaul the LADWP or protecting his vision of LA’s housing, Garcetti has tended to ride the coattails of city propositions instead of taking the initiative himself as mayor to lead major citywide efforts. The measures have been doing the heavy lifting over the past four years – not the mayor’s office itself.
Certainly, the city has been blessed with an economic boom and improved infrastructure these past four years, and Garcetti can be thanked for some of that. But the mayor needs to be willing to take more creative risks to solve LA’s long-lasting problems, like crime and homelessness.
LA deserves a mayor with qualifications and ideas. Garcetti is the clear winner for the first criterion and the only candidate showing the aptitude for the second.