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In The Arena

Jun 13, 2018

On the heals of the 86th annual meeting of the US Conference of Mayors in Boston over the weekend, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says mayors have what America wants. Garcetti, 47, has been testing the waters for a potential presidential bid in 2020.  Even if he doesn't run, he hopes other mayors will. As the chief executives of cities, Garcetti says mayors are "practical, results-oriented, inclusive and decent." In a veiled reference to the current administration, Garcetti laments the current climate, "We have a lot of division, we have a lot of impracticality, we have a lack of experience in government."

"You never win by talking," says Garecetti, 47, a fourth generation Angeleno and self-described accidental public servant, the "highest calling" he says is fundamentally about listening.

He says the mayor's job is to "knit together a narrative" that explains a city to itself.  Garcetti thinks technology can help if mayors strike the right balance, saying too many are either "future phobic" or "future passive." He views himself as "future guiding" as evidenced by the city's recent recognition for its use of data in planning and operations by Bloomberberg Philanthropies' What Works Cities, and Equipt to Innovate, a joint initiative of Governing and the non-profit Living Cities.