Most Americans outside Los Angelenos who follow local politics have probably never heard of Eric Garcetti. 8 years ago at age 30, Eric was elected to the 13th city council district. He ran the race like the community organizer that he is-- as he puts it, he bought a pair of shoes and walked door to door in his district until there were literally holes in them-- and ended up winning a June run-off by 4%. Four years later Eric was re-elected without any opposition and then in 2006 became President of the LA City Council. This past Tuesday, he was just re-elected to his third and final term as Councilman with 72% of the vote. He's the most progressive member of the City Council, many think the most progressive politician in Los Angeles-- and not in a knee jerk way. A startlingly brilliant guy, Eric manages to look at problems that need to be solved and gets busy working on real-life solutions.
As councilman he's tripled the number of parks in his district; crime is down, graffiti has been reduced by 50% and Hollywood is back. He's also trained 1500 future leaders at his Neighborhood Leadership Academy and has made government more accessible and relevant to average citizens through his Government 101 workshops. Last year, Eric served as a California co-chair of the Obama campaign. As head of the LA City Council he's been a real champion for Los Angeles around the country and the world but is also a champion of cities as a crucial economic driver and progressive hub of our nation. He believes that with the right management and the right amount of local control, the stimulus money can be a boon not only for our cities but also for the progressive movement because it has the potential to radically change how people perceive government. This is the opportunity to really show people that government works and the only way to do that is to make sure this stimulus money is not wasted and works at the most local level.
Eric has been a passionate advocate for marriage equality, a champion of greening L.A. and encouraging alternate modes of transportation other than your car and has worked tirelessly to keep people in their homes through this devastating foreclosure crisis. John and I have been eager to introduce everyone to Eric and if you join us in "Comments" between 3 and 4 you'll have a chance to chat with Eric live, someone we think will eventually be deciding if he'd rather run for governor or senator.