Tuesday, November 29, 2005

President of the Los Angeles City Council

In a voice vote on the council floor today, I received the support of each of my colleagues on the Los Angeles City Council to become the next Council President.

Last week, my friend and colleague and the current Council President, Alex Padilla, joined with Council President Pro Tempore Wendy Greuel, to introduce a motion that allows Councilmember Padilla to step down and for me to replace him. We voted on the motion today, but it does not take effect until midnight, January 1, 2006.

I am deeply honored by my colleagues’ support. The challenges facing Los Angeles are enormous, but the body I will chair is one of incomparable talent and dedication. As Council President I will champion each member’s work in order to move an agenda of change and reform.

And you, my constituents, and all the people of Los Angeles are going to see real solutions.

As readers of the e-news and my blog, you know that my staff and I take on many projects, each larger than the one before. And I've been asked by more than one person, "How do you expect to be responsible for the whole city council and still take care of everything you're working on?"

The people of Council District 13 elected me, and my first responsibility is to you. I have always said you can't look to the stars if you don't keep an eye on the cracks in the sidewalk. (You trip.) My commitment to you is undiminished, and I intend to fix more potholes, open more parks, get more new housing put in at every affordability level and make the best public services in the world available to the neighborhoods of the 13th.

I will change my focus on legislative issues. My goal in becoming Council President is to promote the work of each of my colleagues in their specialties. I believe that as President, my role will be to unify the City Council around the most important initiatives brought by each member. My passion for the environment, for public safety, and for a vibrant and just local economy burns as bright as it ever did, and I'm going to continue championing those issues. But I hope to be able to do so by advancing the work of my colleagues and of the council as a whole.

Lastly, let me praise the work done by Alex Padilla. Under his leadership, the city fought back secession, repelled the state's attempts to take our local revenues to balance their budget, and passed Measure O to clean our waterways. The council opened itself up the public in more and better ways, and delivered four responsible, strong budgets in fiscally tenuous times.

I'm excited to get to work.