EXPOSITION PARK (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti gave his inaugural State of the City address on Thursday, discussing challenges for the city as well as potential solutions.
Several hundred supporters, residents and neighborhood council members listened to the speech, given at the California Science Center in Exposition Park, as Garcetti declared a “Back to Basics” campaign to deal with the city’s core issues.
“I stand before you today, to say that the state of our city is strong, but it is in need of fundamental reform,” Garcetti declared.
Garcetti expanded on the “Back to Basics” plan, suggesting that the best strategy in solving the city’s issues is to meet matters with step-by-step approach.
“In just nine months, we’re changing the landscape,” Garcetti stated. “One summer job, one red button, one film production, one balanced budget at a time. We’re about getting results, not about getting headlines.”
Among points made during the speech, Garcetti, who took a strong stance against DWP waste and political influence in his election campaign, claimed that there will be no Department of Water and Power rate increases in 2014. Garcetti further acknowledged that to raise DWP rates, at a time when the department had difficulty resolving the issue of just how much their customers owed, would be unconscionable.
“We can’t ask you to pay more for your water and power when the DWP screws up your bill,” Garcetti proclaimed to applause. “So today, I am announcing that I will not allow the DWP to raise rates this year. This department must earn back your trust.”
Additionally, as part of the Back to Basics campaign, the construction to add another lane to the 405 freeway, along the Sepulveda Pass, would be completed in the near future, far ahead of current schedule.
“And so today, I am proud to announce that the new lane on the 405 freeway will not open in October, it will open next month,” the mayor said.
While Mayor Garcetti also touched on the goal of bringing more television and satellite programs back to Los Angeles to shoot their shows, tax rates in the city continue to keep some producers away.
“Shooting here in LA is really not much of an option for me, because, you know, the tax incentive is just not there, and it doesn’t help support the independent filmmaker,” independent producer Amberr Washington said. “You know, I’m happy for the bigger corporations, but us little people, we’re still waiting.”