Mayoral candidates on black jobs

OW Staff | 5/15/2013, 5 p.m.

Eric Garcetti
How and what plans do you have to bring jobs and economic development to South Los Angeles?

I will build on my experience revitalizing some of L.A.'s most diverse and challenged neighborhoods, like Hollywood and Echo Park. Today, the L.A. Chamber ranks my Council district No. 1 in job growth. We did it by focusing on helping small businesses open and grow; with a new job training partnership with the local community college; and by making neighborhood improvements that attract customers and investment alike--safer streets, cleaner streets and streets in better repair. As mayor, I will fight for quality city services, job training and help for new businesses in every L.A. community.

I have put forward detailed solutions to create jobs that stand apart in this campaign:

* A specific plan to create tens of thousands of jobs in my first term through solar installation, increasing energy efficiency in our buildings, and cleaning our water. I have already led the way by authoring the nation's largest green building ordinance and spearheading L.A.'s solar rooftop initiative.

* A detailed agenda to reform L.A.'s cumbersome job training system to connect people with training and employers looking to hire skilled workers. I have already delivered results through the Healthcare Career Ladder at L.A. City College, which connects job-seekers with training and local hospital jobs, and worked to save LAUSD's Van Nuys aviation mechanic training program.

* Making sure that our schools increase STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) so that our students can compete for the increasingly technical jobs of today and tomorrow. This also helps make our business climate more competitive--companies will go where they can find workers with the skills they need.

* Establishing a new office to connect L.A. businesses with L.A.-area colleges and universities so L.A. benefits like the Silicon Valley does from Stanford and UC Berkeley.

* A commitment to local hiring and recruitment.
How will you ensure that African Americans get a proportionate share of those jobs?

I have been a leader on specific catalysts to create jobs in South L.A. and for African Americans and will continue to do so as mayor. I led the way on creating a local contracting policy for L.A., which is aimed at making sure City Hall invests L.A. tax dollars in our city. As mayor, I will combine this with a revamped and robust outreach system for contractors and businesses in underserved communities that's designed to grow businesses and create jobs in the communities that need them most.

I also believe the Crenshaw line is a vital economic development resource that can make a huge difference. I have been a leader on supporting a Leimert Park rail station, and I am proud that this isn't just an issue I've taken up on the campaign trail--it's long been an official policy imperative of my Council office.

I've also already started working with L.A. tech companies to explore the concept of "Silicon South." The Expo line, vacant office and industrial space, and other attributes in South L.A. can be used to attract startup companies with the help of our next mayor.

Wendy Greuel

How and what plans do you have to bring jobs and economic development to South Los Angeles?