LA Mayor Garcetti starts second term, acknowledges challenges

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was sworn in for his second term late Saturday. Speaking to supporters outside City Hall, he acknowledged the challenges facing the city.
"Crime remains a challenge, so does moving through our city," Garcetti said. "Even as we rise to face it, homelessness rises faster. Every tent and blanket calling on our deepest reserves of courage, creativity and compassion."

Garcetti was re-elected in March by a wide margin. About 80 percent of voters backed him, although turnout was extremely low.

During his oath of office, Garcetti was interrupted by a small group of Black Lives Matter protesters in the audience. They held up signs and chanted as he took his oath, which was administered by his mother Sukey Roth.

The protesters continued to gather after the ceremony, calling for the firing of LAPD police chief Charlie Beck.

24-year-old Michael Williams says he was among five protesters who were asked to leave the event. Williams says he was there to push back against the view that Garcetti is a symbol of progressive values.

He says he chanted the names of local victims of police brutality while Garcetti was on stage. 

"It’s not just all sunshine and rainbows. It's some things are going on here that are not right. And people of color are paying for it. We’re paying for the silence and we’re paying for the people who are up at the top who are not addressing the issues," Williams tells KPCC. 

Garcetti has repeatedly clashed with members of Black Lives Matter in the past. In his speech, he promised to build a "united and connected" city.

In all, 11 elected officials were sworn in this weekend.

They include Monica Rodriguez, a newly elected city council member, who is filling the Valley seat left vacant by former councilman Felipe Fuentes. Rodriguez becomes the second woman on the 15-member city council.

City officials estimate the inauguration event cost just over $350,000. Several corporate sponsors contributed to the cost. 

Garcetti becomes Los Angeles’ 42nd mayor. He’s set to serve a five-and-a-half year term due to a change in election scheduling.

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