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How To Get Involved: 4 Ways As Told By Eric Garcetti

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Last week after receiving the Hottest Politician award from Downtown News, 13th District Councilman Eric Garcetti headed up to the Valley where he grew up. "You can the kid out of the Valley, but you can't take the Valley out of the kid," he told a the San Fernando Valley Jaycees at their monthly membership meeting. Garcetti, a Jaycee alumnus himself, spoke eloquently about the history of Los Angeles and how we got to where we are today (it was such a good speech, we are kicking ourselves for not having our digital recorder on us).

One Jaycee member asked what people can do to start getting involved and Garcetti gave four tips:

  1. Be Positive: So often it is the bad-mouthing and the crass attitudes that are found during public comment in public meetings. People are against this, against that. But when something is good, public comment is a field of crickets. A good example was this past Wednesday at the medical marijuana hearings where every comment was positive.
  2. Replace Your Light Bulbs: If everyone in the City of Los Angeles replaced their regular light bulbs with compact fluorescents (which you should get free from your city council office), then the City could rid itself of one coal fire plant. Simple enough, right?
  3. Take Charge Of Your Block: Become a block captain, just for your block. If one person per block in Los Angeles took charge, we would be graffiti tag free. See for more info. (Author's note: from personal experience as block captain for my street, it works. It is a rarity to see tags anymore.)
  4. Public Transit: Commit to one trip a week using an alternative transportation method. Buses, trains, bikes, walk? Your choice. Then measure the carbon offset and car trip/miles saved.

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist