Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti is preaching a gospel of civic rebirth in appearances across Los Angeles while gently lowering expectations about how much City Hall, and he himself, can do to bring about change.
Join us at 9 a.m. when we talk with Times reporter Catherine Saillant about the balance Garcetti is aiming to strike with audiences hopeful after a campaign filled with promises of change, while acknowledging the tough reality of chronic ills like clogged freeways and underperforming schools.
In a city of 4 million, "I can't be everywhere, I won't be everywhere and do a good job," Garcetti told a crowd of about 250 at Cal State Northridge on Wednesday, one in a series of "Back to Basics" forums in the weeks before he replaces outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on July 1.
Garcetti is telling audiences that his administration will be engaged and visible in neighborhoods and that he will focus on bringing them jobs, restoring services and making City Hall a more user-friendly place.
But he's also warning Angelenos that addressing those challenges, as well as long-term issues like clogged freeways and underperforming schools, will take sustained and cooperative efforts.
"Don't look for the mayor to do it all," he said. "Don't look for the mayor's staff to do it all. Don't look for our city employees to do it all. Because I need you all to be part of doing it."
Raphael Sonenshein of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles said the tour is a smart move for Garcetti, who is still defining himself to a city that largely still does not know him.