Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Garcetti and 2020 Commission: At odds over state of the city?

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti gave his State of the City address Thursday night, but he conspicuously left out any mention of the blue ribbon commission that released a set of recommendations just one day prior on how to address some of the city's problems. 

The 2020 Commission was formed last year, just before Garcetti was elected mayor. He didn't mention the group's report during his speech at the California Science Center. Unless you count this: "The challenges we face are not new. We don't need a new diagnosis."

It was hard to ignore the timing of the commission's report, on the eve of the mayor's first State of the City address. One of the group's co-chairs, Austin Beutner, said the timing was a coincidence, and that he wasn't surprised by the mayor's inattention.

"Well, it's early," said Beutner, the city's jobs czar under former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "[The report's] a little superficial ... 20 pages. Some of the ideas take a little time to digest." 

Beutner said the mayor and city council were briefed on the report in the past week or two, adding it will take some time for the commission's suggestions to be vetted. Those ideas include merging the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, reforming the city's election system, and establishing an Office of Transparency and Accountability.

City Council President Herb Wesson convened the 2020 Commission. He says he wasn't bothered that the panel was left out of the mayor's speech.

"He and I have had discussions and we're both going to make sure that there's conversations about recommendations that came out in the report," Wesson said. 

The city council is expected to discuss the commission's recommendations in two weeks.

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