BOYLE HEIGHTS ( — Mayor Eric Garcetti took City Hall on the road Friday by setting up a curbside “Mayor’s Help Desk” in East Los Angeles.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports the mayor answered questions and complaints from Boyle Heights constituents.

Garcetti aides set up the makeshift office – complete with a sofa, tables, chairs, and a desk with the mayor’s laptop and smart phone – on small patch of grass near 1st and State streets in an effort to give residents an outlet to discuss local issues.

“You can’t just do this behind closed doors,” Garcetti said. “There’s eight doors between the public and me at City Hall. I wanted to have no doors today.”

The mayor was one of the higher-profile participants in the city’s 8th annual “PARK(ing) Day” event, in which artists commandeered metered parking spots to make them look more like parks.

Some residents were surprised to see Garcetti, while others didn’t hesitate to bring a host of issues to his attention, including tree planting, skateboarding and art class expansion, and gentrification.

Garcetti said he welcomes the opportunity to “talk about the trees, for instance, that are being replaced…that people were worried were being cut and lost forever.”

“It allows me to talk about this main street that we’ve been trying to do a lot near the Gold Line to make sure Mariachi Plaza is a vibrant, economic community,” he added.

Garcetti plans to set up the help desk about once a month throughout the city. Residents can either email the mayor’s office to request an appointment or simply show up at the location.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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