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Villaraigosa Names Gang Czar, a Reverend, as Chief of Staff

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On September 19th, Reverend Jeff Carr, the City’s Director of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, will become Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's new Chief of Staff. Carr, who has been charged with the successful (or not?) anti-gang Summer Night Lights program, has been at the city for two years after years of service in the nonprofit sector. "Insiders say Carr will likely have a more demanding style than [current Chief of Staff Robin] Kramer, who is widely respected and well-liked among City Council members and has been considered a major influence in helping the mayor get his policy initiatives approved," notes Rick Orlov at the Daily News. "Kramer's departure and the ascension of Carr gives Villaraigosa an opportunity to reinvigorate his mayoral agenda - and his political future - now that he has decided against running for governor in 2010." Full info from Villaraigosa's office is below.

MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA ANNOUNCES NEW CHIEF OF STAFF AND CHIEF DEPUTY MAYOR, USHERING IN A NEW ERA FOR CITY HALL

Names Reverend Jeff Carr Chief of Staff and Jay Carson Chief Deputy
Mayor

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LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced today changes in
his administration naming Reverend Jeff Carr, the City’s Director of
Gang Reduction and Youth Development, as Chief of Staff and Jay Carson,
former senior staffer for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign, as
Chief Deputy Mayor.

“Today is about the future and I am confident that this new
leadership team will help lead the City in a new direction and bring a
tenacious demand for results,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “As Director
of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, Rev. Jeff Carr led the creation
of the first comprehensive, results-based anti-gang strategy in city
history, and brought hope and opportunity to some of L.A.’s most
high-crime neighborhoods through the Summer Night Lights program. Jay
Carson has served in key positions at the highest levels national and
municipal government, including working as Traveling Press Secretary for
presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Communications Director for
the William J. Clinton Foundation.”

Rev. Carr has extensive experience in implementing youth development
programs with unique expertise in the development and implementation of
organizational, administrative, and fundraising strategies for
non-profit organizations.

Prior to his work as the Director for Gang Reduction and Youth
Development, Rev. Carr served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief
of Staff of Sojourners/Call to Renewal in Washington, DC, a progressive
Christian social justice organization where he managed the 50-employee,
$5.5 million non-profit and led the finance, personnel, and marketing
and development components of the organization.

“Jeff Carr is one of the most capable leaders I have ever worked
with,” said Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners. “He combines great
political skills with a clear moral compass - a rarity in public life
these days. With his deep concerns for the well-being of the youth of
the city of Los Angeles, he begins his new and important
responsibilities with exactly the right focus. I wish him well.”

Prior to this, Rev. Carr spent 16 years at the Bresee Foundation, a Los
Angeles based non-profit organization serving one of the poorest and
most densely populated communities in Los Angeles County.

While at the Bresee Foundation, Rev. Carr successfully facilitated and
managed the growth of the organization’s budget from $450,000 to
$1.8million.

Rev. Carr organized and managed the development, construction, and
capital campaign for the $2.7 million Bresee Community Center which was
completed in January 2001. He established a pediatric medical clinic
from scratch, negotiating a contract with a community health provider
for delivery of services to children 0-18 years of age.

“While Robin Kramer's departure leaves a big void in the Mayor's
staffing, Reverend Jeff Carr's appointment to fill that void is an
outstanding choice,” said Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton.
“His selection clearly demonstrates the Mayor's continued
commitment to public safety, and further elevates public safety as an
even higher priority.”

Carson, the new Chief Deputy Mayor, brings more than 10 years of
government and political experience to City Hall.

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“Jay Carson is a proven problem solver and manager,” said Service
Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern. “He brings
years of thoughtful experience in the public and private sector.”

Carson served as the Traveling Press Secretary for Hillary Clinton’s
Presidential campaign where, in addition to serving as the main
spokesperson for the campaign, he was a senior advisor to then-Senator
Clinton providing day-to-day counsel. Carson was also a member of the
senior leadership staff for Senator Daschle in the US Senate.

Additionally, Carson worked for former President Clinton and his global
foundation. He was a key part of the senior leadership team at the
Foundation, which has 1,400 staff and volunteers working in more than 40
countries. During his years at the Clinton Foundation, Jay helped launch
some of the foundation’s signature programs including the Clinton
Global Initiative, which to-date has inspired more than 1,400
commitments to action valued at $46 billion and improved more than 200
million lives around the world; and the Clinton Climate Initiative,
which works with governments and businesses throughout the world on a
holistic approach to addressing the growing threat of climate change.

“Jay was a key member of my Senate team when I was Leader,” said
former Senator Tom Daschle. “He has a sharp strategic mind, and is a
great problem solver. He worked for me during an intense period in the
United States Senate including the attacks of September 11th; the
anthrax attack on my office; and the unprecedented 2000 presidential
election. He always showed poise well beyond his years.”

As part of the announcement, Mayor Villaraigosa outlined the
responsibilities of Rev. Carr and Carson. “Jeff will bring his many
years of stellar management experience to the position of Chief of Staff
and will make sure the City government works for the millions of
citizens who count on it. Jay brings his strategic and political acumen
to help drive my major policy initiatives.”

Homeland Security & Public Safety, Gang Reduction & Youth Development,
Budget & Finance, and Strategic Partnerships will report directly to
Rev. Carr and Education, Housing & Economic Development, Transportation,
Energy & Environment, and Commercial & Residential Development will
report to Carson.

Rev. Carr and Carson will share oversight of Legislative and
Intergovernmental Relations and Communications.

The new structure will be effective September 19, 2009.

Rev. Carr replaces Robin Kramer, who is leaving after more than 16
years of service to the City of Los Angeles.

“I thank Robin Kramer for her service to the City of Los Angeles,”
the Mayor said. “Over these last four years, she has given everything
she has to the City of Los Angeles. Robin has been a tremendous asset to
me, to our team and to advancing our work, and I will always be deeply
appreciative for her partnership and creative leadership.”