Echoing his campaign themes of leading a 21st century city brimming with technology and innovation and making it one of the most business-friendly environs in the nation, Eric Garcetti was sworn in as the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles Sunday night.
The ceremony — bathed in sweltering heat — which saw the adjacent Grand Park turned into a free festival and the City Council steps on Spring Street flanked by bleachers, also saw the swearing in of the new City Attorney Mike Feuer, new City Controller Ron Galperin and collectively the new members of the City Council.
Among the new council members are former members of the state Legislature Curren Price, who replaces Jan Perry in the Ninth District; and Gil Cedillo, who replaces Ed Reyes in the First District.
County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said: “This is another momentous day in the city of Los Angeles. I’m proud to be here in wishing the new mayor all the best.”
Meanwhile, former Rep. Diane Watson told a reporter: “It’s very exciting to bring new blood into the leadership of this city. I’m confident we’re going to make tremendous progress and congrats to Mayor Eric Garcetti.”
Adding some Hollywood and contemporary music glamor, singer and DJ Moby performed and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel fired off a couple of zingers.
In a break with tradition, Kenia Castillo, an eighth grader at Luther Burbank Magnet Middle School, administered Garcetti’s oath of office.
According to the public address announcer, Castillo encountered Garcetti when she was 4 outside City Hall at a Justice for Janitors rally. She attended the event with her mother, Lilly, a janitor and more recently volunteered for his mayoral campaign.
“Kenia and Lilly represent the hope in our city,” Garcetti said. “This is a city of idealists and innovators who find a horizon as open and wide as the human mind itself. This is a place where opportunity practically hangs from the trees and hard work and enterprise are all you need to share its fruits. It’s a place where you can’t be pessimistic even if you wanted to be.”
Gary McCarthy/Los Angeles Independent