The Summit of the Americas opened this week in Los Angeles, the first time a U.S. city has hosted the event since 1994 when the inaugural conference was in Miami.
The conference convenes once every three or four years and is expected to address issues including immigration, climate, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attendance of several countries is in doubt after the Biden administration declined to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the conference. It led to Mexico’s president announcing he was boycotting the Summit of the Americas on Monday. Mexico president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would send Mexico’s foreign minister in his place.
President Joe Biden arrived for the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday hosted a roundtable discussion with faith leaders on reproductive health care at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor headquarters. Harris also participated in a tour of the Summit of the Americas Civil Society Forum Initiatives Fair at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles where she engaged with civic leaders from the Western Hemisphere focused on women’s empowerment, democratic governance and women in government.
On Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Kenneth Salazar, Consul General of Mexico in L.A. Ambassador Marcela Celorio and Councilwoman Nithya Raman for the installation of the Wings of Mexico at Griffith Park.
The summit will continue through Friday with a focus on “Building a Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Future” in the Americas.
The summit is organized by the White House and the U.S. Department of State. The Los Angeles Police Department estimated that it’ll cost an additional $3.1 million per day to provide extra staffing during the event, totaling about $15.5 million for the five-day event.
According to Garcetti’s office, traffic in and around downtown Los Angeles and LAX will likely be impacted through noon Saturday. The summit will be based primarily at the Los Angeles Convention Center.