Los Angeles News
Mayor Villaraigosa: Los Angeles is 'Resilient and Resourceful'
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa delivered his annual State of the City address Wednesday from Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
"The state of our city is resilient and resourceful. Angelenos remain creative and confident. We will make the decisions and promote the policies that will generate jobs and grow our economy. We will think big and we will be bold," said Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa asked voters to make a half-cent sales tax increase approved in 2008 permanent. The tax boost funds 12 major transit projects in the county.
"The successful passage of Measure R taught us something about Los Angeles. This is a city willing to invest in itself. This is a city willing to lead and to chart a new path. And that is why today I am announcing that we will be asking voters to continue Measure R until the voters themselves decide to end it," said Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa talked about investment at Los Angeles International Airport, as well as improvements to public transit systems throughout the city.
"Extending Measure R will not only benefit our rail system. It will facilitate the acceleration of key highway projects. It will create jobs and boost our economy," said Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa touted new jobs brought to the city over the past year from such companies as Google, Lucky Jeans, Farmers Insurance, and two new electric car manufacturers.
"We have created the Mayor's Office of Small Business to develop sound and strategic policies for the nation's epicenter for small business. Each year, our city signs over 2,000 contracts for goods and services worth nearly $2 billion," said the mayor.
"The budget I will release on Friday will be balanced. I promise you this: This budget is prudent, this budget is responsible, it will protect vital services that Angelenos rely on, and it will ensure that the City stays on a trajectory of long-term fiscal stability," said Villaraigosa.
The mayor compared Los Angeles in 2012 to the 1992 riots, citing improvements in Los Angeles Police Department community relations and diversity. Crime has dropped significantly in the city over the period.
"We are a better city not just because we are a safer city. We are a better city because we have also learned to celebrate our diversity," said Villaraigosa. "We are proud of it."
"In the last seven years, despite devastating budget cuts, the number of LAUSD schools meeting the state goal of 800 API has more than doubled while low scoring schools -- those with an API below 650 -- have been reduced from one in three to one in 10," said Villaraigosa.
"From tangible improvements in transportation that have connected people to jobs and jobs to people, to economic development that has breathed new life into our city, we are headed in the right direction. But this is only the beginning, and it is not enough.
"I don't want you to think just of what we have accomplished. I want you to imagine how much more we can do -- together. Los Angeles is a city where people make miracles happen every day, and this is why Los Angeles has always been the destination of so many dreamers around the world. We can do anything we put our minds to, and we know what we need to do.
"Angelenos, we can build our future today. We can put our people back to work. We can make the promise of a free quality public education real in the second largest city in the United States. We can overcome our city's tragic legacy of discrimination. We can be safer than ever. We can be a closer city. We can be a more connected city."
antonio villaraigosa, los angeles news
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