Skip to comments.Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa challenges L.A.: 'Dream with me'
Posted on 07/02/2005 9:58:12 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
Calling on Los Angeles to renew its dreams and work with him to meet the challenges of making the streets safer, the schools better and the air cleaner, Antonio Ramo Villaraigosa was sworn in Friday as the city's 41st mayor and the first Latino mayor since 1872. With more than 5,000 officials and residents packed onto the South Lawn of City Hall, Villaraigosa promised to work to bring the city together and urged the public to think big about how the city can become a world leader.
"Let's swear a common oath today. Let's make Los Angeles a city of purpose."
"... I am asking you to dream with me. Dream with me of a Los Angeles where our kids can walk to school in safety and where they receive an education that gives them a genuine opportunity to pursue their own dreams.
"Dream with me of a Los Angeles that is the leading economic and cultural center in the world ..."
"Dream with me of a Los Angeles where it doesn't matter whether you're African-American, Latino, Caucasian or Asian. Whether you're Jewish or Muslim, Protestant or Catholic. Whether you're from Watts or Westwood. Where every Angeleno is an equal stakeholder in our city's future."
In a 40-minute speech that included a passage in Spanish in recognition of his own heritage and that of the city's largest population group, Villaraigosa recalled the sacrifices of those who came before him and his own background as a high school dropout raised by a single mother who was the victim of domestic abuse.
"I will never forget where I came from," Villaraigosa said from a red-carpeted stage under a white canopy. "It may be a short way from City Terrace to City Hall, but, fellow Angelenos, we all know what a vast distance it truly is ... It's a distance that can't be measured in miles or calculated in the achievements of one man."
The day of lavish ceremony and pomp began for Villaraigosa, 52, and his wife, Corina, and their four children with an interfaith service at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and a three-block procession to City Hall.
The day demonstrated Villaraigosa's intensity and commitment to inclusiveness, as he went from the inaugural to a reception for elected officials, dignitaries and others in a jammed City Hall tower suite.
Later he went back down to Main Street to sing and dance a little salsa, holding up a teddy bear before diving into the crowd, which had been celebrating and eating an international variety of free food, to clasp dozens of outstretched hands.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver were at the inauguration, along with such political figures as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Oakland Mayor Edmund G. Brown Jr., former U.S. Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros and a host of congressional, county and city officials.
Singer Natalie Cole performed for the audience, which then went out to Main Street for a food and entertainment festival.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who has known Villaraigosa for decades, administered the oath of office, saying he has not been as moved since he performed the same duty for former Mayor Tom Bradley, the city's first black mayor.
And Villaraigosa made clear he wanted the day to go off without a hint of controversy.
When members of the audience booed Schwarzenegger as he introduced the new mayor, Villaraigosa raised his hands and quieted them: "This will be a day of civility."
Villaraigosa talked in broad terms of his goals as well as to lay out an agenda of major areas he hopes to address.
Among these are expanding the Los Angeles Police Department, and working on traffic and environmental issues but with his highest priority on education.
"I can't say it more clearly: Reforming our public schools is the central challenge facing Los Angeles. And it will be a central priority of my administration," Villaraigosa said.
"I'm a proud progressive. But it's time for those of us who call ourselves progressives to do more than just defend existing government programs. We need to be passionate advocates for change."
Even though he has called for having the mayor be given the power to appoint school board members, Villaraigosa said he will be convening a council of education advisers to develop specific proposals he will advance to change the Los Angeles Unified School District. He said he expects their report by September.
The new mayor also talked of the dichotomy of Los Angeles -- a city of immense wealth with the largest homeless population, a city with vast commercial and cultural opportunities while one-third of its public school students drop out before graduation.
"We need to start thinking big again and facing up to our biggest challenges,' Villaraigosa said.
Among these is to fulfill his promise to hire 1,000 more police officers, and improve traffic and the environment.
"Join me in making L.A. the greenest big city in America," Villaraigosa said, offering criticism of the Bush administration's policies. 'Let's provide the national leadership that's lacking on conservation and recycling. Let's show the nation that we can light a city with green power."
And Villaraigosa said he wanted to work to bring the city together.
"We need to come together as a city to meet those challenges. We won't succeed if people north of the Hollywood Hills feel like they are not equal partners in our civic life. And we can't truly prosper if those living south of the Santa Monica Freeway don't feel fully invested in our economic success."
The speech drew wide praise from those in attendance.
Police Chief William Bratton called it "a new day, a new dawning."
Bratton said he and the new mayor are on the same page when it comes to hiring new cops, as well as focusing on such issues as counterterrorism, which he said both feel should be a top priority.
Bloomberg said he came at Villaraigosa's invitation on his way to Asia because he wanted to recognize him as a "trailblazer."
Steven Lavine, president of California Institute of the Arts in Valencia and an Encino resident, said Villaraigosa has been on the college's board, where he has always been pushing to do better.
"I loved every minute of the speech. Maybe we will be a city of purpose."
Linda Pruett, vice president of the West Van Nuys/Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council, called Villaraigosa's speech "inspiring."
"I have a lot of faith he's going to bring us all together," Pruett said. "I love his emphasis on education."
Valley civic leader and former police commissioner Bert Boeckmann, a supporter of former Mayor James Hahn, gave high marks to Villaraigosa, saying he hit key themes, including education and transportation.
"I thought it was really a 100 percent speech."
Mariano Diaz of East Los Angeles, a student at California State University, Los Angeles, said he came to the inauguration to share a "historic moment."
"People will support him ... if he does a good job."
Alma Lurry, a resident of Ladera Heights and a retired LAUSD teacher, said Los Angeles needed to hear and act on what Villaraigosa had to say.
"It's a theme we need: To be united with a purpose and goal."
For James Scriven, who lives on the Eastside, Villaraigosa evoked memories of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King.
"He brought back dreams. You can have dreams and make the impossible possible."
Councilman Bernard Parks, who was among city officials with Villaraigosa on the podium, said the diversity of those in attendance matched the themes in the speech.
"Looking at the crowd was a great reflection of how the city looks. There's a lot of work to be done, but he has the energy to do it."
His actual program is one of higher taxes, bigger government and more limited liberty.
"Birds singing in the sycamore trees, have a little dream...whoops, sorry, that's dream a little a little dream OF ME...nevermind"
Maybe he thought nobody would remember the "I have a dream" speech? Does he also do a Neil Kinnock knock-off?
His dreams will create a nightmare of new taxes.
And its all hot air.
"Antonio Villaraigosa (then, Tony Villar) leading a protest to include the Communist organization "Committee to Free Los Tres" on the Steering Committee of the Chicano Studies Center." --UCLA campus, May 23, 1974.
Read all about how a radical socialist/communist named Tony Villar cut his hair, changed his name and became a MEChA mole HERE.
This radical was a founding member of the UCLA MEChA chapter. Their official logo is below. It sports an eagle clutching a dynamite bomb with a lit fuse. (Mecha means fuse in Spanish.) The other talon holds an Aztec sword, with razor sharp obsidian flake blades, for chopping the heads off of enemies.
The declared goal of MEChA is the creation of the "Republica del Norte," AKA "Aztlan," carved out of the Southwest USA. Tony Villar sees himself not as an American, but as a "founding father" of a future separate "Republica del Norte."
It's hard for them to claim otherwise, when their logo is holding a head chopper and a lit terrorist bomb.
Yet they do.
Starve the beast ! Valley Secession !
Same story as yeasterday, from a different source? I think so.
Figure it can't hurt to remind folks of Villaraigosa's past!
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
Protect our borders and coastlines from all foreign invaders!
Be Ever Vigilant!
Minutemen Patriots ~ Bump!
Plan A. Name LA the capital of the emerging nation of Aztalan! Now the mayor (new el presidente), can apply for massive amts. of US aid!
Raise taxes to the sky. And use eminent domain to steal property for resale.
Dream on, Tony. Too many gangsters out there shooting at random, so most kids can't walk to school in safety. They're not even safe once they get to school, because the gangsters are there too.
Education? California spends more money per student than most other states, still half of the kids can't even speak or read English.
Nice words, Tony, but until the Mexican invasion is stopped, none of them will mean a thing.
Judge STEPHEN REINHARDT:
Friend of Mayor VILLARALGOSA (D)
Mastermind of the 9th Circuit's "No Under GOD" Pledge of Allegiance Ruling
Friend of the CLINTONS who were both on the side of our Terrorist Enemy, Communist North Vietnam Leader HO CHI MINH, and against us American Freedom Fighters during the Vietnam War
The Enemy is now Within...
and always has been,
...but especially now in L.A.
Mayor BRADLEY (D) ended up bringing us the L.A. Riots
Mayor VILLARALGOSA (D) will end up bringing us a L.A. Valley that has to secede
The more any idiot speaks of "diversity" the more the divisions rise to the surface.
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