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Mayoral candidates on black jobs


Eric Garcetti
How and what plans do you have to bring jobs and economic development to South Los Angeles?

I will build on my experience revitalizing some of L.A.’s most diverse and challenged neighborhoods, like Hollywood and Echo Park. Today, the L.A. Chamber ranks my Council district No. 1 in job growth. We did it by focusing on helping small businesses open and grow; with a new job training partnership with the local community college; and by making neighborhood improvements that attract customers and investment alike–safer streets, cleaner streets and streets in better repair. As mayor, I will fight for quality city services, job training and help for new businesses in every L.A. community.

I have put forward detailed solutions to create jobs that stand apart in this campaign:

* A specific plan to create tens of thousands of jobs in my first term through solar installation, increasing energy efficiency in our buildings, and cleaning our water. I have already led the way by authoring the nation’s largest green building ordinance and spearheading L.A.’s solar rooftop initiative.

* A detailed agenda to reform L.A.’s cumbersome job training system to connect people with training and employers looking to hire skilled workers. I have already delivered results through the Healthcare Career Ladder at L.A. City College, which connects job-seekers with training and local hospital jobs, and worked to save LAUSD’s Van Nuys aviation mechanic training program.

* Making sure that our schools increase STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) so that our students can compete for the increasingly technical jobs of today and tomorrow. This also helps make our business climate more competitive–companies will go where they can find workers with the skills they need.

* Establishing a new office to connect L.A. businesses with L.A.-area colleges and universities so L.A. benefits like the Silicon Valley does from Stanford and UC Berkeley.

* A commitment to local hiring and recruitment.
How will you ensure that African Americans get a proportionate share of those jobs?

I have been a leader on specific catalysts to create jobs in South L.A. and for African Americans and will continue to do so as mayor. I led the way on creating a local contracting policy for L.A., which is aimed at making sure City Hall invests L.A. tax dollars in our city. As mayor, I will combine this with a revamped and robust outreach system for contractors and businesses in underserved communities that’s designed to grow businesses and create jobs in the communities that need them most.

I also believe the Crenshaw line is a vital economic development resource that can make a huge difference. I have been a leader on supporting a Leimert Park rail station, and I am proud that this isn’t just an issue I’ve taken up on the campaign trail–it’s long been an official policy imperative of my Council office.

I’ve also already started working with L.A. tech companies to explore the concept of “Silicon South.” The Expo line, vacant office and industrial space, and other attributes in South L.A. can be used to attract startup companies with the help of our next mayor.

Wendy Greuel
How and what plans do you have to bring jobs and economic development to South Los Angeles?

I have been fighting to create jobs and economic activity in South Los Angeles, keep neighborhoods safe, and increase access to healthcare and housing since my very first job working for Mayor Tom Bradley.

Mayor Bradley became my mentor and my inspiration to pursue a career in public service. He taught me the importance of empowering communities and the values I hold dear today: equality, justice, and expanding opportunity.

I have never stopped fighting for South Los Angeles. At DreamWorks Studios, I helped create job-training partnerships with churches in South L.A. And as city controller, I have worked to make sure minority-owned businesses get their fair shot at city contracts.

But South L.A. and the entire city continue to face significant challenges. Our unemployment rate is far too high, while we graduate too few of our students.

I have a plan to create jobs across the city and I have worked with Magic Johnson, who endorsed me, on a five-point plan for getting South L.A. residents back to work.

First, we’ll focus on linking economic development with work-force training. We must invest in job-training programs and ensure we are partnering with our community colleges to prepare workers for the jobs of today.

Second, we’ll look at development block-by-block, supporting the businesses that are already here. That means making sure L.A. businesses get the first crack at doing business with the city.

Third, we must improve our technology infrastructure. Every neighborhood should have the infrastructure to support innovative businesses, and innovation hubs throughout the city will help businesses expand to new areas like South L.A.

Fourth, we must reinvest Community Redevelopment Agency dollars in the community. The city is receiving tens of millions of dollars from the state from the dissolution of the Community Redevelopment Agency. These dollars ought to be devoted to communities like South L.A., where the economic stimulus is most needed.

Fifth, we will identify ways to increase neighborhood retail opportunities to create more jobs. We need to create incentives to encourage national retailers to move into underserved communities. This is something that Magic has focused so much on, and I’ll make it a priority for my administration.

As I run to be the next mayor of Los Angeles, I am humbled by the support I have received from influential leaders in this community like Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Magic Johnson, and the endorsement of faith and civic leaders like Bishop Charles E. Blake, Bishop Kenneth T. Ulmer, and the Rev. Chip Murray,
These leaders understand that Los Angeles voters have an important choice before them on May 21.

They can either choose the paralysis and failed leadership that has left us with record unemployment, budget deficits, and depleted core services–or they can choose to make progress.

This choice is critical for South Los Angeles, a region that cannot afford to be ignored or neglected.
How will you ensure that African Americans get a proportionate share of those jobs?
As your mayor, you have my commitment that I will always fight on your behalf.

Together we’ll build a better city that dedicates itself to ensuring opportunity and equality for all.