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Letters to the Editor: Why Eric Garcetti was exactly the wrong mayor for L.A. during a crisis

A homeless person sleeps on a Venice sidewalk on July 9.
Mayor Eric Garcetti is leaving Los Angeles for India as the city is in a years-long homelessness crisis. Above, a person sleeps on a Venice sidewalk on July 9.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The front page of The Times’ July 10 print edition had the two most important faces of Los Angeles on it. On top, there was a smiling Mayor Eric Garcetti talking about his nomination by President Biden to be the U.S. ambassador to India; below him there was a homeless person asleep with their face resting on hard cement in Venice.

Garcetti’s own ambitions are many and grand; sadly his commitment Los Angeles is less so. He’s moving on, with promises left unmet and important work left unfinished.

One man cannot solve a crisis like homelessness, yet his tepid rhetoric and weak efforts on this issue did not do much to find the answers so desperately needed. In his eight-year tenure as mayor, there never seemed to be any urgency or sense of empathy in his hollow messages.

People were depending on a concerned and committed leader, and Garcetti simply could not deliver. Just look at our city, packed with homeless and forgotten people in such desperate need of help. This is our other epidemic, and it too can be solved. Los Angeles needs caring and innovative thinking, not politicians spouting useless platitudes and tedious nonsense that no one has time to listen to.

Mr. Mayor, don’t forget to pack your rose-colored glasses. You’ll need them on your next assignment.

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Frances Terrell Lippman, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: Garcetti is a lucky man. He might just be on the other side of the planet when the bills for the 2028 Olympics start coming due.

Garcetti’s Olympics will be seven years from now and 11 years from when he agreed to host them. A lot can happen in this time, but this is the Olympics. What could go wrong?

Thomas Butterworth, Tustin

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To the editor: The Times writes that “except for [Tom] Bradley and [Antonio] Villaraigosa, former mayors have not reflected the city’s increasing diversity.” (“‘We need to fix this city’: Post-Garcetti Los Angeles at a crossroads,” July 11)

Those men were two of the five mayors elected since 1973, together serving 28 of the 48 years since that time. How much more “diverse” would mayors over the past 48 years have to be to qualify as reflecting the city’s increasing diversity?

How much longer should Los Angeles’ lack of mayoral diversity before 1973 be considered as evidence that previous mayors have not reflected the city’s current diversity?

Gerry Swider, Sherman Oaks


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