This week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Gracie delivered his final state of the nation address, concluding his second and final term. His speech came amid elections in the city, in which 12 people are vying to take his place and become the 43rd mayor of LA.
The mayor marked his achievements and set priorities vigorously. But Gracie, who may not leave office before the end of his term if his troubled candidacy for ambassador to India is undermined, will replace a candidate who faces acute urban problems, public discomfort and unanswered challenges.
Candidates who want to inherit it have their own opinions about the state of the city and they have packed these opinions in campaign ads, speeches and answers to questions in discussions and forums. The question for voters is, who can best deal with these scary issues?
We asked each of the 12 Los Angeles mayoral candidates to give us their opinion on how they think the city is doing, what they think should happen and what gives them hope for Los Angeles. We received responses from 10 of the candidates.
None of the candidates – who summoned descriptions of the city as a “ticking time bomb” surrounded by a “meeting of crises” – gave a rosy opinion like the departing mayor, who himself admitted there was work to be done.
Here is what the 10 candidates had to say:
Representative of Karen BassA congresswoman said the city was “in the middle of unprecedented crises,” including a shortage of affordable housing and job opportunities, and a sense of insecurity.
“Young people out of town are priced they love, our non-deported neighbors are dying on our streets, and families are worried about the safety of their children going home from school,” she explained.
To address these concerns, Bass called for a “comprehensive” approach that addresses immediate problems and root causes. She believes Los Angeles has the ability to fix her problems.
“We have an opportunity to change the direction of Los Angeles by an association to end the rampant inequality, care for and house the homeless, and invest in communities to prevent crime before it happens,” she said.
Joe BoscainoCity Councilman praised Mayor Eric Gracie for the “impressive accomplishments” he highlighted this week in his state of the nation address, but said the city is in a “difficult moment.”
“A lot of people are scared, many are struggling to afford to live here, and almost everyone is worried about the growing state of emergency of the homeless,” he said.
To deal with the crisis of the homeless, Busquino said temporary shelters would do the job: “We can no longer continue to use our public spaces as an emergency waiting room. … Enough transitional housing will clean up Los Angeles immediately.”
Whether the statistics show crime is rising or falling, Angelanos “live in their own city when their guard is up,” he said. “We have over-corrected the police and made ourselves criminals by eliminating the consequences.” .
Rick collapsed, A businessman described the situation in the city as “painful”.
“It hurts, and it’s heartbreaking,” he said. Crasso pointed to homelessness, crime and corruption in the Los Angeles City Hall as problems that needed to be addressed urgently. In order to put an end to the homelessness on the street, Carasso wants to create 30,000 shelter beds a year, restrict sleep in public areas and stop the formation of new tents.
He will also hire another 1,500 police officers and return the police budget. To deal with corruption, Caruso says he will appoint an ethical tsar.
“I love LA,” he said. “It’s the biggest city in the world. The way we are can not go on. I know we can turn it around. I’m always hopeful because I believe in the people of Los Angeles and our ability to change.”
Kevin Delon, A Los Angeles City Council member, said the city has many working families struggling to pay rent and put food on the table. These people are “left behind,” he said.
Meanwhile, others live on estates and can afford not only groceries but also food from upscale marketers.
He sees a “meeting of crises” in Los Angeles that requires a good leader. And he pointed to the “doing” mentality displayed by the “workers” of the city, which gives him hope that Angelanus will be able to overcome these challenges.
Mike FoyerThe current Los Angeles City Attorney said, “The city is in crisis.”
Angelanus is facing a convergence of crises, he said, which include the homeless, the lack of affordable housing, crime concerns, economic challenges facing small businesses and climate change.
Among his ideas for dealing with the homeless crisis is to create an emergency fund to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.
“We housed thousands of people, but still more people got stuck in homelessness than housed. That needs to change.”
Craig GriveA businessman, said the city is a “walking disaster area,” and the problem is not in Los Angeles, but in its elected officials, including some of those running for mayor who are currently in public office.
“I think Los Angeles can and should be the largest city in America,” he said. “The resources at our disposal, and our carpet of people and industry and diversity are unprecedented. The fact that this city is a walking disaster area is a complete and total failure of leadership.”
He said he would bring some fighting skills, and coalition-building skills, to the table, and would fire city officials “sitting at their desks and doing nothing for decades.”
Alex Greenfelder SmithSupports social justice, believes the city’s situation will worsen, arguing that city officials are coming up with short-term strategies to deal with the homeless crisis.
While city leaders are introducing short-term fixes like actions aimed at evacuating tents, Greenfelder says more substantial changes are needed.
The current system is “broken,” he said, noting that many Angelos are struggling with the cost of living, housing costs, drug addiction and mental illness. The method of dealing with these issues is “broken,” he said, and that is “the reason we have homeless people like today.”
But he said there was hope, because Angelanus felt sorry for “other people living on the street.” According to him, the residents of the city agree much more than they do not agree.
Ramit and RamaThe founder of education technology, said that although Los Angeles is a vibrant place, it is in a downward spiral, whose symptoms are its unequal wealth and the increase in crime.
“I do not think we are in the city of Gotham – it is not a disaster,” he said. “But we are definitely in a state of decline.” He believes there is still time to stop the decline by choosing a good leader, who he says may seem like a “weird” thing to say. “But leadership is really important,” he said. “Character really matters.”
And Rama offered a scathing appreciation to Mayor Garcy, who he accused of throwing money at problems without thinking of innovative ways to use it. “He had nine years in the job,” Verma said. “He was driven, I would say, by 80% of his personal ambition.”
Gina Viola, A community activist, said Los Angeles can be a great place to live, but only for some. “The distribution of wealth and income inequality in the city is a ticking time bomb,” she said.
But she believes allowing more angels to get information about how the city spends its money – through a collaborative budgeting process – will help ensure the city’s resources are more evenly distributed among its residents.
Despite her harsh prediction, she sees hope in the younger generation and the resilience of people who have the least.
“When we have community days for unoccupied neighbors, those are happy,” she said. “We bring food, we have art, we have legal aid.”
Mel WilsonA mediator and former member of the Los Angeles County Department of Transportation said the city is “in trouble,” many residents are stressed about becoming homeless themselves, and there is widespread concern about safety.
Not only that, Wilson said, residents do not trust current elected officials to keep their promises.
But he also finds there is hope in Los Angeles, with progress in areas like public transportation. The San Fernando Valley is finally getting a train line that will travel from north to south along Van Noise Boulevard.