Politics

Watch: Garcetti tackles immigration at annual conference of mayors

File: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at the 81st annual U.S. Conference of Mayors at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on June 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
File: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at the 81st annual U.S. Conference of Mayors at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on June 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

More than two dozen Southern California mayors have gathered in the nation's capitol this week to discuss the successes and needs of their prospective cities.

One issue on the agenda at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors is immigration, particularly for cities with large populations of Latinos or immigrants. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, chair of the Latino Alliance for Mayors, led a special presentation on the topic Wednesday. 

Garcetti told KPCC he will look at how other cities have set up legal defense funds for immigrants and examine ways that they’ve been effective in protecting immigrant rights.

He said in many ways the yearly conference represents "the best of politics."

"It's not just about attack ads. It's not just about whether you're on FOX or NBC and needle at each other — it's really about practical things," Garcetti said. "I have to invest in traffic solutions. I have to make sure young people have jobs and good educations — and that's the work of mayors."

Garcetti said he's willing to engage with Congress and the new administration but is also ready to fight on controversial topics.

“We’re also prepared to stand up for the environment, for immigrants, for women’s right to choose — the things that I think are critical pieces of who we are in Los Angeles,” he added. 

You can watch Garcetti's presentation at the mayors' conference here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RviOuZLBSOA

Garcetti flies back to town Friday to speak at the Women's March in L.A.

For a full agenda and list of attending mayors, visit the conference's website.