LOS ANGELES - This week, a very special "The Issue Is:," a journey through Los Angeles with Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Over the course of one day, Garcetti and host Elex Michaelson hit the road, Garcetti behind the wheel, to explore the construction projects, landmarks, and favorite spots of the outgoing Mayor, who has been in office since 2013.
In a wide-ranging conversation, the two talk openly about homelessness, rising crime, the city’s COVID response, and questions over whether Garcetti lied to Congress during his confirmation hearing for U.S. Ambassador to India.
There are also lighter moments, as Garcetti talks about his love of music, lessons he learned from his father, former District Attorney Gil Garcetti, and what he hopes his legacy will be.
THE ISSUE IS: HOMELESSNESS IN LOS ANGELES
MAYOR GARCETTI’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I think you've had four decades of failure, and I think most politicians ran away from this... This wasn't two years of bad things in the making, This was 40 years of no mental health care, of not enough housing being built.... I won't take blame for homelessness, that is way beyond Eric Garcetti, and I'm very proud of the work that I've done as a Council Member and as Mayor…"
THE ISSUE IS: LA’S APPROACH TO COVID
MAYOR GARCETTI’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I'm so proud L.A. led the way. When people were saying don't test people that don't have symptoms, we did. When they said cities aren't supposed to be testing, we did... I think the Los Angeles was not just the leader in the United States, but in the world. And I think there are people on the streets today who wouldn't be here otherwise…"
THE ISSUE IS: AN AMBASSADORSHIP TO INDIA IN JEOPARDY?
MAYOR GARCETTI’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Repeating an untruth doesn't make it any less untrue - I think it's been very clear, you've seen even a 30-part investigation that interviewed everybody who's been around me and just says there's no corroboration. Now that needs to be adjudicated elsewhere, but I will say it 100,000 times, because it is the truth. My father, my mother raised me, all you have is your word, that I did not see any of this alleged behavior - if I had, I would have taken action to stop it…"
THE ISSUE IS: RISING CRIME IN LOS ANGELES
MAYOR GARCETTI’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Public safety is job number one, always has been. Luckily, in the last decade, in the eight years that I've been Mayor, it's the safest decade of our lives. We saw across the country homicides and shootings go up - we've been very aggressive this year, it's already down 18% just this year alone, and we're just a few months into this year. So I think that everybody in the pandemic, saw folks that were no longer locked up, guns being readily available, and we're being very surgical…"
THE ISSUE IS: WHAT PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT ERIC GARCETTI
MAYOR GARCETTI’S CENTRAL TAKE: "People haven't seen me with my hair down, so to speak, that I'm a musician, love comedy, did comedy-improv, my oldest friends are my best friends still from the seventh grade. My greatest joy for my wife and me is our daughter and our foster children that we've had in the past that we keep in touch with. I think people forget that elected officials sometimes are human beings - they think of us as the title…"
THE ISSUE IS: ERIC GARCETTI’S LEGACY AS MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES
MAYOR GARCETTI’S CENTRAL TAKE: "What I've tried to do is two things: get us back to the basics, which is just basic city services... The second half was, I hope, the legacy is stuff that people probably don't see and feel now, but just as a guy who loves L.A., build that city of the future - make sure that there's less poverty, a stronger economy, that we can cut traffic, that we can deal with the drought and with earthquakes... The things that we're building and the things that are coming, from the Olympics, to the new rail system, to the airport, will happen after I'm gone, but I think it's our collective legacy in these last few years…."
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.
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