LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated his first year in office touring Los Angeles and addressing the progress he’s made on his campaign promises.
The mayor made several stops Tuesday, including LAX, Union Station, Koreatown, Crenshaw District and Boyle Heights.
Garcetti’s supporters say he’s accomplished quite a bit during the past year, making progress on the L.A. River restoration project, the LAX people-mover and the Earthquake Retrofit Survey.
But there are some who say there are just as many major projects that the mayor hasn’t yet addressed.
Gary Kynard, executive vice president of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce, says the mayor still needs to make good on his campaign promise to look into the gross receipts tax.
“The gross receipts tax is a business killer, it really is. We’re hopeful to see a lot more action a lot faster,” Kynard said.
He says Garcetti is the first mayor in 80 years to visit the Crenshaw District to speak to the Chamber.
At LAX, the mayor talked about the successes of his first year in office, speaking at an LAX news conference to announce a new contract agreement with 2,500 airport works.
“In my first year in office, we’ve seen the unemployment rate in Los Angeles fall by more than three points. We’ve seen stronger job growth here than the national average, adding more than 36,000 jobs to the city. And we’ve been a part of that at City Hall, focusing on key industries like tourism, like aerospace, like the filming industry.”
In an interview at Union Station, CBS2/KCAL9 political reporter pointed out to Garcetti that while LA’s jobless rate is falling, it’s still higher than the national average. Critics charge not enough has been done to change that.
“The good news is not only is unemployment coming, it’s the key industries that we focused on…I can boost tourism in the next two or three years. We already did this year with a record number of visitors. I established a goal of going from 42 million to 50 million visitors in 2020, and we can quantify how many jobs can come out of that.
But some say that while tourism is an important part of L.A.’s economy, many of the jobs associated with it are not high-paying, middle-class jobs.
Garcetti also made time to change into his World Cup outfit and watched the televised game between the U.S. and Belgium. He sat at a table with armed forces recruiters based in Culver City.