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Huizar, Wesson take office

first_imgThe Los Angeles City Council began a new era Tuesday, swearing in two members and signaling a change in leadership to become more aggressive in the coming year. Councilmen Herb Wesson and Jose Huizar took the oath of office in a packed council chamber described as a modern temple of democracy. The council also voted to set the stage for a transition in its leadership, selecting Councilman Eric Garcetti to take over the presidency Jan. 1 from Alex Padilla. For Huizar and Wesson, the swearing-in ceremonies served to remind both of their backgrounds in the city. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “Seventy-five years ago, my grandfather came from Zacatecas, Mexico, to work on the foundation of this building,” said Huizar, who will fill out the term of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “Today, 75 years later, his grandson took the oath of office to serve in this building. I think that shows the American dream is alive and well in Los Angeles.” Wesson, elected to complete the term of former Councilman Martin Ludlow – who was tapped earlier this year to lead the Federation of Labor – said his election marked something of a homecoming. “They once said, you can’t go home again. Well, I think I proved that wrong,” said Wesson, whose first job in public service was working at City Hall for former Councilman Nate Holden. “Winning this seat is coming home again.” Wesson, a former speaker of the state Assembly, called on the council to be more aggressive in ensuring residents get the city services they deserve and to be prepared to live with those who might oppose them. “We can give people the services they want and deserve,” Wesson said. “We all know there will be critics out there. They will criticize our actions. They will criticize what we say and do. I say to you, in all my days, I’ve never seen a statue erected for a critic. So let’s do the job.” Villaraigosa, who served on the council for two years after six years in the state Assembly, congratulated the two and offered to work with them. Both have proven themselves, and Wesson, with his ties to Sacramento, should be able to help the city get more state money, Villaraigosa said. In the transfer of power from Padilla to Garcetti, the mayor offered praise. “You have done this in a classy manner,” he said. Padilla, first elected council president in 2001, said he was giving up the post to concentrate on his campaign for the state Senate and said the council deserved someone who could devote all full time to the job. In reflecting on his years as president, Padilla said he was proud of his work after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, his efforts battling secession and his push for measures to help pay for an expanded library system and police facilities. He noted that because of term limits since his election in 1999, he has served with three mayors – Richard Riordan, James Hahn and Villaraigosa – and 30 council members. Garcetti said he hoped to lead the council in a new direction and would meet with members over the next several weeks to see how he can help them. “What I want to do is find the two or three things that are most important to them and see what we can do to elevate them,” he said. “I also want to meet with the mayor to see how we, in the council, can work more closely with him to get things done.” Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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