Take Two for March 06, 2013

Eric Garcetti on campaigning, LA's biggest issues and his break dancing past (Video)

Eric Garcetti Feature

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti walks through the Chinese New Years celebration on February 16th, 2013. Garcetti has played a key role in revitalizing his district in Hollywood.

Come May 21st, there will be two names on the ballot to become the next mayor of Los Angeles: City Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel. Neither candidate captured a majority of the vote.

RELATED: View KPCC's election results and full coverage

Garcetti won 33 percent of the vote last night and Greuel won 29 percent.

Interview Highlights:

On how he feels about the election results:
“Quite frankly, I was surprised by the first-place showing. We won by four points in the midst of about $2 million in independent expenditures being spent on Ms. Greuel's campaign led by the DWP union. I think that people really stood up and said they wanted somebody independent, they didn’t want this election to be bought and paid for, and our message of traveling around the city and talking to people of the future of L.A. really resonated, but there’s a lot of work to be done in the next 77 days.”

On how his campaign differs from his opponent Wendy Greuel:
"I think for us it was really important to point out differences on issues...like pension reform. I've acted on that, Ms. Greuel hasn't. I'm very proud of my union support, but I brought that up not because it was an individual beef or something, but you look at one union coming in and being able to spend $1.7 million in the last few days of the campaign. I don't think that sat right with people and I hope we'll be able to elevate up and talk about the issues that are important and continue to focus on the average LA resident, the person who's looking at reducing traffic, who wants a better school in their neighborhood. I last night congratulated Ms. Greuel and said I hope we can elevate things up, unfortunately what we heard out of her mouth were things about trust and very personal attacks. I think that's what turns voters off, so we're going to continue to focus on who's backing us and what the issues are, because that I think really makes a clear choice in this race."

On the low voter turnout this election:
"I think people have to remember how important the mayor is in their daily lives. When fewer than half of the voters who came out to vote for the Presidential election come to vote for mayor, it is more important to you each day who the Mayor of Los Angeles is than even who the President of the United States is. Don't be surprised if I show up at your door or call you on the phone...making sure we have a great neighborhood and transportation for everybody."

On how he would work to fix the city's budget issues:
"What I see as the most important route forward is that we don’t have this shrinking pie, where businesses are fleeing L.A., where jobs aren’t available, and I come to this with that track record of having done that. Hollywood has had a turn around economically, to be number-one in job growth in the midst of a recession speaks volumes. The cuts, if we need to make them, if times don't come back, I've been able to do that, to sit down at the table, to sit down with the unions in a very respectful way but in a tenacious way...If we don't cut costs, we're going to have to cut services, and I don't want to do that. People here pay their taxes and deserve to have those services."

On his youth passion of break dancing:
"They may not know that I used to break dance in 7th through 9th grade, but nobody wants to see a guy in a suit break dancing."

Just in case someone does, see the video below:


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