Eric Garcetti: 'We Need Jobs And We Need Them Now'
"Ladies and gentlemen: the number one job for the next mayor of Los Angeles must be jobs," Garcetti told the audience.
"We need jobs, and we need them now," he continued.
Garcetti arrived in the room and was greeted with a standing ovation. Under the backdrop of blue drapes and giant white spotlights, he hashed out ideas to bolster job growth.
Among the ideas outlined in in his address: revamping the city's school curriculum to focus more on foreign languages and computer proficiency, partnering with universities to foster hi-tech growth, making the city safer to protect local businesses and creating a team to draw foreign investors to the city.
He also proposed requiring city department heads to reapply for their jobs in a bid to free up a stymied City Hall.
"I am running for mayor to get this city working," Garcetti said. "I mean this in two senses -- Los Angeles needs jobs and Los Angeles deserves a City Hall that works for the people."
Garcetti is among a handful of candidates running for mayor. The city councilman has described himself in the past as a "pothole politician" that looks to "fix the cracks in the road" before "shooting for the stars."
The former Rhodes Scholar hails from a political family -- his father, Gil Garcetti, served as the city's district attorney during the 90s.
His competitors include fellow council member Jan Perry and City Controller Wendy Greuel. Incumbent Antonio Villaraigosa is ineligible to run this year.
Reaction to his speech was overwhelmingly positive.
"I think he's ambitious," said Jose Antonio Angeles. "He's proven to the rest of the community that when you have the right stuff, anything's possible."
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