Los Angeles chose Eric Garcetti as its first elected Jewish mayor in a number of political contests on Tuesday that reflected the city’s diversity, as well as its numerous variations of Jewishness. (In a historical footnote, one Bernard Cohn served as the appointed mayor of Los Angeles for a few weeks in 1878.)
The Los Angeles mayoralty race seems to have devolved into a contest to see which of the candidates can rack up more endorsements.
Los Angeles’ next mayor will oversee a city with thousands of miles of streets in need of repair. The mayor will inherit a budget with a $216 million shortfall and similar-sized gaps expected on into the future. The next mayor will almost certainly have to renegotiate public employees’ pay and pension packages with those employees’ powerful unions.
Before delivering an extended policy speech on Feb. 5 at Los Angeles Trade Tech College, Emanuel Pleitez walked around a carpentry classroom meeting students. Pleitez (pronounced play-TEZ), 30, is the youngest and least-known of the leading candidates running for Los Angeles mayor; he is also a former management consultant and analyst at Goldman Sachs, but as he chatted with students about where they were from, he offered up anecdotes about his own childhood, growing up poor in South and East Los Angeles.
During a recent candidates’ forum at Sinai Temple, Los Angeles City Councilman and mayoral hopeful Eric Garcetti began his opening statement by thanking his hosts, the audience, and the moderator, Rabbi David Wolpe.
Following a recent televised debate featuring the five top candidates running for mayor of Los Angeles, some campaign watchers wondered why the candidates weren’t being grilled more intensely. “It was genteel, for the most part, but I don’t want genteel,” Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez wrote in a blog on Jan. 29. “I want hardball, not softball.”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined West Coast Chabad, city officials and community leaders on Friday to usher in the Festival of Lights by illuminating the historic Katowitz Menorah at LA City Hall.
I asked City Council member Jan Perry, a candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, if she was on a spiritual quest when she converted to Judaism. “Right,” she replied. “Your question is a good way to put it.”
The annual California high school debate tournament traditionally attracts more than 800 contestants to its weekend-long event, many of them Jewish and all of them students who have worked long and hard to prepare for the intense competition.
So whaddaya know? The election is over, we've got a new mayor, and no sign yet of the apocalypse the other candidates promised would befall this city, no matter who won. Newly minted 9th District Councilwoman Jan Perry knew it was a new day when, shortly after her own election, Jim Hahn called to extend his own congratulations.