Eric Garcetti says he'll be a 'back to basics' LA mayor

July 1, 2013 at 7:32 AM
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LOS ANGELES, July 1 (UPI) -- Longtime City Council member Eric Garcetti was sworn in as Los Angeles' mayor, pledging to be a "back-to-basics" leader of the city's economic recovery.

During his swearing-in ceremony Sunday, Garcetti vowed to focus on the city's economy, from cutting business taxes to keeping film production from fleeing to encouraging high-tech jobs.

"These times demand a back-to-basics mayor, focused above all else on our economy and jobs," Garcetti said as he outlined his plans for "a customer-friendly government, one you can actually reach on the phone."

Garcetti, 42, thanked outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for leaving Los Angeles "safer, greener and stronger" through an economic crisis.

Garcetti pledged to "fix the potholes and pave the streets, pick up the litter, fix the sidewalks and trim the trees."

"It's no use painting a lofty picture if you don't have the brass tacks to pin it up on the wall," Garcetti said at the swearing-in ceremony outside of City Hall.

Garcetti's inauguration marked the most dramatic shift of the city's political leadership since 2001, with nine of its 18 elected offices changing hands, the Times said.

Garcetti was to begin setting up his Cabinet Monday, with a review of dozens of top agency officials among his first planned moves, the Times said. Garcetti said he expected general managers to reapply for their positions and show how to cut costs and set performance benchmarks, the report said.

On a visit to South Los Angeles church Sunday, Garcetti said he selected Kenia Castillo, a 13-year-old daughter of a janitor, to swear him in rather than "some big elected official or my father," former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti.

"I wanted this city to understand that I know the power comes from you, from the least among us, from the most humble, from the forgotten, from those voices and those faces who aren't even in the pews today," he told the congregation.

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