Take Two for March 06, 2013

Wendy Greuel on the mayor race, labor support and education policy

Grant Slater/KPCC

City Controller Wendy Greuel speaks to her supporters after moving forward to a runoff against Councilman Eric Garcetti in the race for Los Angeles mayor.

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

RELATED: View KPCC's election results and full coverage

Greuel joins the show to tell us about how she's different from her opponent Eric Garcetti, her views on education policy and gaining the campaign support of labor groups.

Interview Highlights:

On what differentiates her from her opponent, Eric Garcetti:
"I have a broad base of support, business and labor, the major organizations in Los Angeles, and people in the communities that I've talked to...somebody who's been in the entertainment industry and now been the fiscal watchdog, I think there are some clear difference between me and my opponent, particularly in the ability to lead the city in a tough economic time."

On being only a handful of points behind Eric Garcetti:
"It was between three and four points, it was what I expected as we looked at the number of individuals in the race, many of which I know, their voters are excited about changing Los Angeles. We'll be reaching out to all of those voters to tell them that I'm going to be the next mayor that's going to focus on jobs and creating an education opportunity for all of our kids and be a mayor for all of Los Angeles. It's also about getting our fiscal house in order. As the city's top fiscal watchdog, that's what I've been saying to the mayor and council. We need to do better, we need to make sure we're using the dollars we have in a way that's going to provide the services to the residents of Los Angeles."

On whether large support from labor will make her not appear to be independent:
“I had more than 7,000 donors that supported me. And these were individuals that more than half of them gave me less than $250. What is unique about my candidacy is that I've been endorsed by the major business organizations in LA, the chamber of commerce, Bizfed and the Valley Industry Commerce Association, and, yes, labor groups. What they know is I'm going to be the person who stands up and says exactly what I mean. I'll be able to have those tough conversations and ultimately solve the problems that face Los Angeles. I have this broad base that really is a coalition on how we're going to get LA back on track."

On her views on education policy:
"I'm coming from a unique perspective as a parent of a child in LAUSD and a graduate of LA Unified. My son is in fourth grade, I live it every day. It's personal about making sure we have the dollars in our classrooms, that we have local control that's focused in our neighborhoods. I'm going to be the advocate that I have been for many years. I started a program with Mayor Tom Bradley, L.A.'s Best, in 1988. Recognizing the role of schools in our future, that a city like Los Angeles can't be a world-class city without a world-class education system. So I'm going to fight to make sure the money gets into those classrooms. That we have principals and teachers that are going to be able to make the best decisions for our children and not the bureaucracy."

On gaining endorsements from other mayoral candidates:
"My opponents sent out many mailers at the beginning, including Ms. Perry, and what I want to do is set the record straight. This is an important issue for L.A. about (getting) our fiscal house in order and let the voters decide about those issues. I'm going to go after every single candidate who ran for mayor and talk to them about why I'm going to be able to lead this city...as you may remember when I ran against Tony Cardenas in 2002 I won by 225 votes. Tony Cardenas endorsed me for mayor of Los Angeles. That's the kind of person I'm going to be is a coalition builder."


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