Mayor-elect Garcetti holds South Los Angeles town hall

South L.A. Town hall

Breakout session aimed at tackling problems in the city. Photo by Susan Fitzpatrick.

By Susan Fitzpatrick

About 150 people gathered at the Holman United Methodist Church in South Los Angeles on Saturday to strategize on how to improve the city as it welcomes in a new mayor.

The town hall started at 3:00 pm with roughly 10 breakout groups of 15 – 20 people each addressing the broad topics of:  “neighborhoods, economic development, and making city hall work.”  All of the participants were supposed to identify a problem related to these topics and offer a specific solution.

The discussions lasted about an hour with two moderators for each group collecting yellow stickies with abbreviated responses and giving all members of each group an opportunity to explain their problem and solution.

Eric Garcetti

Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti at town hall meeting at Holman United Methodist Church. Photo by Susan Fitzpatrick.

The themes included efforts to get people to use local businesses, working for to get an underground station for Metro at 11th and 42nd (?), hiring local people for projects and using specific diversity language in hiring calls.

A woman from the Black workers Center cited a statistic that the labor for the utility relocation contract of the Expo Line included 93% Latino workers, 7% White workers and no Black workers.

Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti was supposed to go to every breakout group and listen to their top three issues and solutions.  But he did not arrive until 4:15 pm and did not have time to listen to the conclusions of any of the breakout groups.  He spoke briefly to the participants, telling them that he is having these town hall meetings before he takes office.

“You are the transition team, you are the city,” said Garcetti.  Though he did not listen to their conclusions, he did note that the important part of the meeting was that it allowed “people to listen to each other” which he said happens too infrequently.

Click here to see upcoming locations for other town halls across the city.

Town hall in South L.A.

Participants at breakout session at South L.A. town hall meeting. Photo by Susan Fitzpatrick.

South L.A. town hall

Photo by Susan Fitzpatrick.

Photo by Susan Fitzpatrick.
Photo by Susan Fitzpatrick.


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