Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti threw a big, music-filled inaugural bash Saturday, marking the beginning of his second term with pomp, circumstance and a display of Los Angeles’ easygoing style.
The evening got off to a swingy start with a set by the UCLA Thelonious Monk Jazz Institute Ensemble, followed by fencers and table tennis players showing off their prowess — and underlining Los Angeles’ bid to host the Olympics — as the swelling strains of the international athletic competition’s theme played.
Soon, elected city officials, accompanied by a spouse or family member, emerged pair by pair through City Hall’s pillars and descended its steps. The lineup was capped off by the appearance of Garcetti and his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland, with the pair taking a stroll down a blue carpet to greet the applauding audience, before returning to their seats.
Following a rousing rendition of the national anthem by opera singer Angel Joy Blue, Rabbi Sharon Brous delivered a fiery invocation urging Angelenos to “create sanctuaries to drive a spoke into the wheels of injustice, to step into the fray” and asked for the city to be blessed with “holy chutzpah.”
Actor and activist George Takei, who has spoken out against President Donald Trump, spoke of pushing forward on challenges that still face the city and the nation, saying “we stand today on the edge of a new frontier, a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.”
In remarks following his swearing-in, Garcetti spoke about progress for the city. He said “the work of solving our problems,” such as homelessness and crime, is how Los Angeles can be built into a strong city.
“Los Angeles, we are builders,” he said. “We have begun that work, and we need to keep at it.”
He also painted an immediate future for Los Angeles in which the metropolis will be a “city transformed.”
By the time the next inauguration comes around, there will be new Metro rail routes, a Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and a renovated Convention Center, he said.
Garcetti also promised that Los Angeles will have more affordable housing, cleaner air and water, and its citizens will enjoy more economic security.
During the election, he sidestepped questions as to whether he would remain for his full second term, which thanks to a quirk having to do with a shift in election years in Los Angeles, is 51/2 years, rather than the usual four. Despite his talk of Los Angeles’ future, Garcetti has done little in recent months to dispel rumors that he may be looking to run for governor or senator.
The swearing-in swearing ceremony also launched the 51/2 year terms of 10 other elected officials.
City Attorney Mike Feuer, Controller Ron Galperin and eight City Council members were also sworn in Saturday. All but one were returning for a second or third term. Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez will be stepping into a new role as the representative of District 7 in the northeast San Fernando Valley. Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents Council District 3 in the west Valley, was sworn in for a second term.