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Readers React: Dear Iowa voters: Before supporting Eric Garcetti in 2020, visit L.A.'s homeless encampments

Mayor Eric Garcetti visits with staff during a tour of a carpenters training facility in Altoona, Iowa, on April 13.
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

To the editor: Before voting for Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2020, I would advise those Iowa caucus voters to come to Los Angeles for a tour of our ever-growing homeless encampments. (“Eric Garcetti, presidential long shot, journeys to Iowa, the land of dreams,” April 15)

Garcetti’s intentions are good, but he has failed to address the problem effectively. He has taken to blaming the dissolution of California’s redevelopment agencies. This article says that Garcetti’s message is that “mayors like himself are doers — sleeves turned up, hands dirty.” I don’t see it. I see talk and little action.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in New York in the 1990s, had similar quality-of-life problems to deal with. While I was not a Giuliani fan, he did take clear action on many issues, and New York is a better place for his tenure. I don’t see the same toughness in Los Angeles right now.

If Garcetti cannot make a reasonable dent in homelessness here, how will he fix America and the rest of the world?

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Doug Jones, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I met Garcetti once at a meeting of the Harbor Area Neighborhood Council in 2016. He struck me as intelligent, energetic, genuine, warm and someone who loved the nuts and bolts of governance.

What a contrast to President Trump.

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The trek from the mayor’s office to the governor’s office to the Oval Office is not the only path to the presidency in this social media era. Our “Apprentice” president is, sadly, proof of that.

We live in a state where government is under the firm control of Democrats, which keeps Trumpism and the worst of Republican Party policy at bay. It allows the mayor to pursue policy goals and initiatives that would play well in a national campaign. As a native son, Garcetti would be a front-runner in the 2020 California primary.

The mayor may need to improve his foreign policy and national security credentials, but that knowledge can be acquired. He is a good campaigner, and with the right financial backers — of which California has many — he would not remain unknown to primary voters in Iowa and elsewhere.

Garcetti would be a long shot, but so was Obama.

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Carlos Garcia, San Pedro

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