Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: “Be a Change Agent!”


“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.”

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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