With local elections drawing near, Los Angeles mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti addressed Pierce College and the community with a question-and-answer forum on Thursday, April 18 as part of Day of Politics 2.
Stepping into the Great Hall with an unorthodox disposition, LA city council member Garcetti attempted to condense his campaign goals for the study body audience.
Garcetti discussed his plans to restore poor neighborhoods, give health care to the mentally unstable,and provide support for returning veterans as key points.
He also encouraged students to get more involved with politics, regardless of their political background.
“Everyone’s a part of this race,” Garcetti said. “Make sure you get out there and vote. Make it happen.”
The event, organized by Assistant Political Science Professor Denise Robb, was meant to be a debate but due to time restrictions Garcetti was only able to take a few choice questions from students and other attendees curious about his campaign.
Although his answers were short and concise, Garcetti did his best to respond to the diverse questions from the audience.
Taxes, healthcare, city restoration, job growth and homelessness were the main points conversed between the mayoral candidate and the crowd.
He also spoke about trying to reignite the electric car industry in LA for a better environment and reducing the amount of fossil fuels and coal to preserve the planets integrity.
Garcetti said he has worked to revitalize the Hollywood tourist scene in 2006, as well as reduce and reform the city business tax in 2010.
One of the most urgent issues currently effecting LA is the growing homeless population. When asked about how to handle the situation, Garcetti said he had a full-proof plan to end the problem for good.
“We know how to end homelessness and I’ve said as a candidate that we will end homelessness in Los Angeles,” Garcetti said. “It costs [you] more money to keep homeless [people] on the street.”
Dante Johnson, a political science major, was concerned about what the Los Angeles Police Department was doing to prevent innocent civilians from getting caught in the cross-fire of police cases.
“The act of a trained police officer opening fire on citizens who do not at all fit the description I feel is a crime and it should not go unnoticed,” Johnson said. “It’s very insulting and upsetting to me.”
Garcetti is set to face off with LA City Controller Wendy Greuel for the position of city mayor on May 21.