Sun, Jul

On MLK Day, the Story Remains Garcetti


MAILANDER’S LA-The very worst part of the Villaraigosa mayoralty was the use of photo-ops as a way to camouflage a lack of progress in...well, anything. 

I thought Eric Garcetti might break ranks with Villaraigosa's camera-crazed cratering of the Mayor's office.  No, he's doubled down. 

We've endured the dress ups on the LA River, the Washington, DC conference room photos, the images of the Mayor on an unspecified tarmac with the President, the Mayor getting huggy with be-shorted Mike Bonin, the holiday greetings of the Jewish Garcetti from a place in front of the Xmas tree.

But on MLK Day, Garcetti outdid himself.

Garcetti's folks released a photo of the Mayor on Facebook, walking the parade route of the MLK parade.  Neither photo nor caption indicated that MLK was in anyway involved.  The gladhanding Mayor in white shirt and "white" tie trailed two banners that said nothing about MLK: they said instead "Grand Marshall [sic] Mayor Eric Garcetti City of Los Angeles."

And the caption said this:
"Partway through the parade Mayor Garcetti ditched the car and walked the parade route on foot."

Yes, some aide in Garcetti's office wanted his Facebook faithful to know that he actually unlocked his doors and went outside of his car in an African American neighborhood.  No mention of MLK Jr., though.  Not in the photo, not in the caption. 

You can read this with some cynicism--I have read it with more than that--but do recall that Eric Garcetti lost every precinct along the parade route west of Vermont. 

Everyone in Leimert Park.  Everyone in Baldwin Hills and Crenshaw District.  And for good measure, every one that abutted Florence west of the Harbor Freeway. 

I suppose this is supposed to be intuitive: It's MLK Day, the Mayor's in a parade, his Facebook feed has been active with other MLK stuff.  Well, either someone did their very best to hide what parade and why, or someone in the Mayor's office just doesn't think too well about what the focus of MLK Day should be. 

To me, Garcetti has picked up Villaraigosa's worst trait and even fetishized it. To me, this is a mayoralty for show, where renters are to be happy with bike lanes rather than real infrastructure improvements.  To me, thus far, it's a Photoshopped Mayoralty, focused on government grants rather than growing neighborhoods.


(Joseph Mailander is a writer, an LA observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He is also the author of Days Change at Night: LA's Decade of Decline, 2003-2013. Mailander blogs here.







Vol 12 Issue 6

Pub: Jan 21, 2014




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