Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Antonio Villaraigosa on his hopes for LA's next mayor

by Take Two®

57085 full
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks during a luncheon at the National Press Club ON January 14, 2013 in Washington. Villaraigosa spoke about immigration reform, gun laws and other issues. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

This morning we continue our discussion about the legacy of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who leaves office on June 30. 

RELATED: See all of KPCC's coverage of Villaraigosa's legacy

Even before stepping into the Mayor's office, Villaraigosa was deeply entrenched in Los Angeles politics. He's been the Democratic leader and the Speaker of the California State Assembly and a member of the Los Angeles City Council.

KPCC's Patt Morrison sat down with Mayor Villaraigosa to talk about what surprised him about his time in office and what he hopes to see in the next mayor. 

RELATED: See/hear part I of Patt Morrison's interview with Mayor Villaraigosa

But she started out by asking him why most Angelenos didn't bother voting in the mayoral runoff:
"I think people have a responsibility, no matter how frustrated they are, in fact, if they really are that frustrated, then they have a bigger responsibility to vote. And we've all got to look within all of those people, the 86 percent who didn't vote and we've got to say shame on you. We've all got to vote."

On which qualities he think are important in the next mayor:
"Courage, risk taking, but there's no question that the next mayor has to continue to set the bar high. We can't be afraid to dream and set bold standards, so the next mayor should be a risk taker, should have courage to be able to challenge their own interests, the people that supported them. The next mayor's got to be able to herd the cats in a city where you don't have the kind of power other mayors do, and the next mayor needs to set their own path. It's not going to be my path, it's going to be their path and they can't be afraid to chart that path."

On whether he feels like the job has worn on him:
"I don't feel tired, but I see the wear on my face, you see it on President Obama, I think you see it on Governor Brown. These are big jobs, they're tough jobs, you feel the strain of the job, but I still wake up every morning, for one, thanking God that I'm alive, and two, thanking him and the people of the city for giving me this job."

On not reaching all the goals he set for himself:
"I'm going to continue to set the bar high, from my vantage point, I think it is important to set high goals. Sometimes you make them, sometimes you don't, but when you set goals that are easily attainable, yeah you get to say you did it, but did you really? There are a lot of times when we've understated, and sometimes when we overstated, but I think it is important to set a high goal."

On the L.A. Times and his hopes for business in the city:
"I hope that whoever buys the next paper, when this paper gets out of bankruptcy is going to be from LA. I would have liked that the owners of The Dodgers were from LA. The new owners, Guggenheim, have been good LA partners, there's no question about it, but it's great to have owners that were here, live here, have a stake here. I'd like to see more fortune 500 companies, but I'll tell you something, the reason why I'm so passionate about immigration reform, 44 percent of all the new businesses that are started are started by immigrants."

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy Take Two®? Try KPCC’s other programs.

What's popular now on KPCC