“We can all be change agents,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti at Stephen S. Wise Temple on February 10, 2015. Rabbi David Woznica was a fantastic interviewer and the two spoke about our city of Los Angeles, immigration and security as well as Garcetti’s personal life.
Garcetti said, “I am half Mexican, half Jewish with an Italian last name.” He has been called a “kosher burrito.” His humor and wit came through in all his answers and I was proud that he is our mayor of the second largest city in the United States. Our first elected Jewish Mayor is also a Naval Intelligence Officer and Rhodes Scholar. He is inspired to connect this city and all its communities. The son of District Attorney Gil Garcetti learned the importance of family at home and he and his wife have served as foster parents.
When Garcetti said, “I love this city and I want it to be right,” I knew he is working to make changes to improve Los Angeles. On the issue of the worst traffic in America, Garcetti said that in Los Angeles there is an average of 1.1 passengers in a car. If there were 1.6, we would have no traffic. He is working hard to add public transportation options which include being able to access the airport by rail line. What can you do? Can you travel one day a week with a friend? Can you work one day a week from home? Can you take the bus? The ideas of smart housing and living near where you work are being discussed and plans are in progress for these issues.
Garcetti has implemented the entrepreneur in residence at City Hall which is in association with Ernst & Young LLP. Krisztina “Z” Holly and Amir Tehrani are the Entrepreneur in Residence this year. Los Angeles is the most entrepreneurial city in the world with 1 out of 172 residents creating their dreams. Garcetti wants more people to find a success path in this great city. This “City of Second Chances” is going through the largest normalization process with over 550,000 people involved. Garcetti implores us to “find our humanity again” as immigration is the most important civil rights issue of 2015.
What can you do to make Los Angeles a better place? Garcetti says this is “the most diverse city on the planet.” He invites you to sign up at http://www.lamayor.org/volunteer_corps
Mayor @ericgarcetti shares what citizens can do to make #LosAngeles better @wiselosangeles A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on
If everyone in our city would commit to helping in three service activities a year, there would be great changes. Garcetti said: “Take a risk and get outside your comfort zone.” He also asks you to publicly say what you love about Los Angeles. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.
Garcetti asked: “Can you give up one single car ride this week? Can you connect to a school in your neighborhood through Donors Choice and help a teacher? Can you go to an organizing meeting about minimum wage or a 1/2 cent sales tax?” Garcetti plans to raise one million people out of poverty. Are you willing to help? Can you be part of the immigrations volunteer core? Can you help a student apply for financial aid?
“Get engaged! If the four million people of Los Angeles march together, we can inspire, listen, amplify and lead to a better Los Angeles.”