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L.A. County Supervisor Solis, Mayor Garcetti press for economic recovery at Democratic convention

L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti sought to bolster Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s image as someone who can bring back jobs erased by the coronavirus pandemic during the third night of the Democratic National Convention.

“American workers need a fighter now more than ever,” said Solis, who served as secretary of Labor under President Obama. “And Joe Biden is that person, because he has done it before. I’ve seen it firsthand.”

Southern California is facing high unemployment numbers, shuttered storefronts and alarming homelessness count figures amid the pandemic, and Democrats locally and nationally are hoping voters will seize on criticism of President Trump’s management of the health crisis.

Economists said earlier this summer that California is unlikely to recover its pre-coronavirus prosperity over the next three years even as the state claws back from its strict restrictions.

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On a night when Kamala Harris accepted the nomination to be vice president, former President Obama delivered his harshest attack in years against President Trump.

Solis’ district, which extends from northeast Los Angeles to Claremont, takes in communities hardest hit by the pandemic, including Black and Latino residents and those living in lower-income neighborhoods, which are among the most ravaged by the virus in Los Angeles County.

She contrasted gains on jobs she said were won under Obama and Biden to now, telling viewers that “because of Donald Trump’s failures, we must once again rescue a sinking economy.”

“Millions of Americans are out of work, and communities of color are the hardest hit. Millions of essential workers are putting their lives at risk with little protections. And millions more are just plain tired,” Solis said.

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Solis said that Biden and vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris have a recovery plan, one that “will build back better.”

Along with job creation and the economy, other themes Wednesday night included gun control, equal pay and health protections for women and climate change.

Both Solis and Garcetti spoke during the economy portion, with the L.A. mayor appearing alongside Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Cindy Axne from Iowa.

Garcetti, who serves as a national co-chair for Biden’s campaign, warned about the loss of Main Street as he spoke with L.A. restaurant owner Lien Ta. Ta’s popular Koreatown eatery, Here’s Looking at You, announced last month that it would close for the foreseeable future, and she’s struggling to keep another restaurant in Silverlake open.

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“At this point I don’t even see myself in business next month,” Ta said in the taped segment.

“Restaurants are among the hardest businesses to succeed at, but I was going to do it in a way that was going to provide a successful career for not only myself but 100 employees,” Ta said, talking about having to furlough her workers.

“We don’t ask for much from government, but catch us when we’re falling,” Garcetti told Ta. “And I know that it must feel like you’re falling right now without a net.”


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