Mayor Eric Garcetti won’t run for President, citing “exciting work to finish” in LA

He faces growing homeless and affordable housing crises, and a brewing scandal at City Hall

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (Credit: Nikki Ritcher, and Wikipedia)
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (Credit: Nikki Ritcher, and Wikipedia)

The field of candidates for the 2020 Presidential election looks to be widening, but Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says he won’t join the fray.

The 47-year-old said at a news conference on Tuesday that he will not run for the highest office in the nation, following several trips around the country, where he seemed be gauging a run.

Garcetti said he decided after “reflecting on those travels and recognizing the incredible opportunity” he has as mayor of the city of L.A., according to Politico.

“I realized that this is what I am meant to do, this is where I want to be, this is a place where we have so much exciting work to finish,” Garcetti said.

That includes work on the housing front, namely addressing L.A.’s affordable housing and homelessness crises, which have grown since he first elected in 2013.

Garcetti wants to build 100,000 units of housing by 2021and city officials claim L.A. is ahead of that goal.

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But the mayor has taken heat for some of his other housing policies.

Affordable housing advocates have criticized him for supporting the development of high-priced housing and not doing enough to create affordable housing. In December, Garcetti was forced to leave a planned speech at the University of Southern California when protesters repeatedly interrupted him to accuse him of catering to real estate interests.

Earlier this month, one of his appointees at the Board of Public Works resigned after a search warrant revealed he was a possible subject in an FBI investigation into potential bribery, extortion and other crimes involving real estate developers and City Hall lawmakers.

His program to build temporary shelters citywide, called A Bridge Home, has met with mixed success. Some shelter openings have gone off without a hitch, while others have spurred fierce resistance, notably in Koreatown and Venice.

Garcetti was reelected in 2017 and his current term ends in 2022. [Politico] — Dennis Lynch