Politics, government and public life for Southern California

#DearMayor Live from Eagle Rock: What should the next mayor do first?

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Dear Mayor landing page2:12 p.m. Thanks for coming out everyone! We're ending this one on a sweet note! 

1:54 p.m. We want to feel safe when biking around town. 

Glassell Park resident Jennifer Campbell frequently rides her bicycle along the L.A. River but would love to feel safer in certain parts of town like Silverlake and Pasadena.

"There is a will; there just needs to be leadership," she said. 

And she wasn't the only one who wanted the next mayor of L.A. to focus on this issue. There were lots of folks today who shared that same sentiment. 

1:09 p.m. Bring on the healthy food, please. 

Katie Kildow, Highland Park resident and owner of Lemon Poppy Kitchen in Glassell Park, wants the next mayor to work to make healthy food accessible to all. 

She also mentioned the need for cleaner streets around areas in the city such as MacArthur Park. 

Noon: Support the arts in Northeast Los Angeles —and stop calling me! 

Mark Reitman of Highland Park is a member of NELAart; he says his community has a "vibrant artists' history" that he'd like to see continue.

"It facilitates a higher profile all around," he said of the arts. 

Reitman is voting for Eric Garcetti because he feels a stronger connection with the candidate. 

Reitman says still getting calls from both camps even though he's decided how he'll vote. "I've been getting plenty of calls from everyone. I don't know how they got my phone number."

11:42 a.m. Celestina Castillo of Highland Park wants the Music LA program protected. 

Her son has been involved with its song and dance courses for three years. She says he and many other local students benefit from its teachings.  

10:37 a.m. Keep visual effects jobs in L.A. 

David Valdez, 56, of Mt. Washington hasn't been following the mayoral race, but that doesn't mean he won't vote come Tuesday. 

"I'll cram a few days before the election," he told KPCC reporter Frank Stoltze. 

As a visual effects artist, Valdez says he'd like the next mayor to make sure entertainment jobs stay local. 

"Up until a couple years ago, the industry seemed pretty stable but not so much anymore," he said. "I don't know what can be done, but I'd sure like to find out how that trend can be reversed." 

Listen to his full interview here: 

10:15 a.m. Croissant break! 

David McKeever, technical director of KPCC's Crawford Family Forum, is loving Auntie Em's delicious treats. 

9:40 a.m. We need good jobs for people in the city, less negative attacks from candidates. 

Mt. Washington resident Jessica Goodheart, 45, wants candidates to address building jobs and safer communities.

"Overall I'm disappointed that there has been such a focus on negative attacks. I don't think its entirely the fault of candidates; it's also the way media covers the race," she said. 

"We have thousands of people coming out of the criminal justice system, and they need to be given a chance to work and provide for their families and to heal and there's not really a plan for them," she said.  

Listen to Goodheart talk with KPCC's political reporter Frank Stolze here: 

9:24 a.m. Glendale resident John Zuker wants mayor to spend education funds in a smart way.

8:34 a.m.: Please focus on marginalized communities and address poverty

Mt. Washington resident Noah Wolf, 29, has been following the mayoral race since the preliminary election, but he's still undecided on who he'll vote for Tuesday. 

"It's been a hard time financially in last couple of years and people are focused on taking care of their families," he said. "In that context, marginalized communities get pushed to the fringes."

Wolf says both candidates say a lot about the issue, but he hasn't seen much done. He's worried that folks in "up-and-coming" parts of town will be pushed out of their homes due to skyrocketing rent. 

 7:30 a.m.: We chat with head chef, she wants new mayor to focus on education

Today's menu includes braised pork and drunken bean stew; grilled cheese with toma cheese; and individual ricotta pies, says Auntie Em's head chef Donna Coppola. 

As for the mayoral race, Coppola says she's undecided. 

"Lately, there's been a lot of mud slinging. It's not my favorite way of campaigning," she said. "I have a good friend who worked for [Garcetti] for a long time, and I know he's a good guy. He cares about his constituents; he really wants to work and improve things for everybody." 

Here's what she had to say on the possibility of L.A. electing its first female mayor: 

Regardless of who she votes for on May 21, she wants education to be at the forefront: "being educated prevents a lot of problems in the future."  

7:15 am: Join us at Auntie Em's Kitchen! 

With the mayoral race Tuesday, the KPCC  team is with political reporter Frank Stoltze at Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock to hear from you. 

What do you think the next mayor should address first? We've already been compiling your priorities online and in person at cafes around Los Angeles. There's even a map that illustrates your suggestions according to topic and location. 

We'll be here in Eagle Rock from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday gathering YOUR  thoughts. Come by to chat with us or tweet us @KPCC using the #DearMayor hashtag. Your thoughts will shape out political coverage. 

Auntie Em's Kitchen
4616 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041

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