Striking a "back to basics" theme, Los Angeles Mayor
"I stand before you today to say that the state of our city is strong, but is in need of fundamental reform," he said.
In a 45-minute appearance at the
He also vowed to bring a rail transit connection to
The annual address came one day after a prominent commission delivered its own
for fixing the city, warning that without action Los Angeles could become "a city left behind in the 21st century."
The speech is being closely watched as a bellwether of what is ahead for the mayor, a soapbox for a man who promised to "listen, then lead."
Garcetti said his budget will eliminate a $242-million shortfall. That gap threatens to undercut efforts to improve municipal services, fix broken streets and possibly slow his push to improve L.A.'s business climate -- a major focus of his inaugural address last year.