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Garcetti offers ‘longer view’ as second term begins

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti was sworn in for a second term during a ceremony outside City Hall July 1, along with other city officials who were victorious in recent elections.

“Most days of most weeks, we toil away inside this hall behind me,” Garcetti said from a lectern in front of the City Hall steps. “We count our progress in tallied votes and measured gains. We mark our plans by the week and the month.

“But the gardener takes a longer view at the start of the year than in the days of the harvest. So today, let us set our eyes on a farther horizon. Today, we stand outside the hall. We can see a good deal more. We can see our city.”

Garcetti used his inaugural address to outline his first-term efforts to battle crime, raise the minimum wage, upgrade public transportation and repair crumbling neighborhoods and infrastructure.

“We got things done,” he said. “The city is changing. It hasn’t happened overnight, but it is happening, as slowly and surely, the light gets in.

“We changed the culture of City Hall. We got back to work, one street tree, one  sidewalk, one pothole at a time.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks after taking the oath of office July 1 at City Hall. Garcetti said "We changed the culture of City Hall. We got back to work, one street tree, one sidewalk, one pothole at a time.” (Courtesy photo)

Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks after taking the oath of office July 1 at City Hall. Garcetti said “We changed the culture of City Hall. We got back to work, one street tree, one sidewalk, one pothole at a time.” (Courtesy photo)

He also discussed his initiatives to improve graduation rates, aid the homeless, encourage the arts, attract more conventions, improve the business climate, and the push to bring an upcoming Summer Olympics to Los Angeles.

“Even as we rise to  face it, homelessness rises faster, every tent and blanket calling on our deepest reserves of courage, creativity and compassion,” Garcetti added. “Behind that harrowing scene on our streets, our housing crisis grows. Climbing rents warn us of a city without a middle, the rich and the poor drifting apart as if split by an earthquake whose early warnings could not have been any louder.”

“The work of solving our problems is the work of building our city,” Garcetti said. “And Los Angeles — we are builders. We have begun that work, and we mean to keep at it.”

Sworn in with Garcetti were City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Controller Ron Galperin and City Council members Gil Cedillo, Bob Blumenfield, Paul Koretz, Monica Rodriguez, Curren Price, Mike Bonin, Mitch O’Farrell and Joe Buscaino.

A crowd estimated at about 2,500 people attended the ceremony, which was preceded by “L.A.-centric performances” featuring actor George Takei, radio music director and host Jason Bentley, opera and concert singer Angel Joy Blue, UCLA’s Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Garcetti’s oath of office was administered by his mother, Sukey Garcetti, who was introduced by his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland.

His father — former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti — was in the audience, camera in hand.

The mayor faced 10 opponents in his re-election bid, but none with any significant name recognition or financial resources, and he won in a March primary landslide.

Incumbents Feuer, Galperin and Blumenfield ran unopposed as well, while Koretz, Price, Buscaino and O’Farrell bested challengers in the March primary election.

Cedillo was forced into a May runoff but easily defeated challenger Joe Bray-Ali.

Rodriguez, a former member of the Board of Public Works, beat Karo Torossian, a staffer for Councilman Paul Krekorian, in the 7th Council District election in the May runoff.

Garcetti’s second term will be 5 1/2 years instead of the standard four years because of a change in election dates approved by voters in 2015.

 

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