Critics Continue Daily Protest Against A Washington Job For Garcetti
Political life outside of L.A. could be coming for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Garcetti’s name is reportedly in the mix for jobs ranging from transportation secretary to environmental envoy.
The past week has further placed him in the spotlight. Garcetti was named co-chair of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration committee and he helped to represent the U.S. at an international climate change summit.
But his harshest critics in L.A. say the mayor has failed in his approach on housing, homelessness and police violence, and shouldn’t be elevated to a federal post. For 20 straight days, hundreds have been protesting outside the mayor’s official residence, the Getty House in Hancock Park, to draw attention to his record.
Baba Akili, a veteran activist with Black Lives Matter-LA, said the plan is to keep demonstrating until Biden fills his cabinet or Garcetti removes his name from consideration.
“We don’t think he should be appointed secretary of transportation or any position in the cabinet,” Akili said. “We are prepared to be here for as long as it takes.”
One major criticism is that homelessness has risen under Garcetti, by 14% this year— and that was before the pandemic took hold.
Housing activists at Sunday’s #BlockGarcetti protest said more renters are at risk of falling into homelessness unless city or county leaders allow for rent forgiveness.
“We have our seniors, our families who fear the next day that they’re going to be evicted, that they’re going to lose their home,” said Kris Chan of Chinatown Community for Equitable Development.
There was no visible police presence on Sunday, in sharp contrast to a week ago when police attempted to arrest a protester who had been using a bullhorn. In the chaos that ensued, a different person was arrested and people were struck with batons.
Protesters said the officers’ use of force — condemned by a handful of L.A. elected officials — was another example of how Garcetti has failed to stand up to police violence.
After that protest, Garcetti said he appreciated both free speech rights and the “difficult job” police have.
More photos from since the protest began: