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“Has Mayor Eric Garcetti Ever Met with You?” LA Organizer Edition

The LA Mayor says we’re “in this together” but remains disconnected from community organizers.

California State University LA professor and Black Lives Matter Los Angeles co-founder Dr. Melina Abdullah discussing the community destruction that comes with the Olympics at a 2017 public forum about LA’s 2028 Olympics. The seat reserved for Mayor Garcetti remained empty. (PHOTO: Nolympics LA)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is currently on President-elect Joe Biden’s short list for a position, likely as a Cabinet member as Secretary of Transportation or another “significant role,” as a climate change or Mexico-US liaison of sorts. Despite the ongoing protests outside Garcetti’s home, President-elect Biden recently named the LA Mayor as a one of five Inauguration co-chairs, which has community organizers laser-focused on keeping him out of DC. Garcetti has yet to acknowledge protestors’ concerns, instead offering nebulous platitudes about the “safety of demonstrators and police officers.” His office “hope[s] the situation will deescalate,” but offers no solution.

Despite trying many times over the last few years, I have never been able to get a meeting with him (he did reply to a comment I left on an Instagram post of his last year that he would be willing to talk on the phone, but never responded to my DM about it). I have not been able to recall anyone I know ever having actually met him, so I interviewed a few community organizers here in LA to see if any of them have.

The question asked to each organizer: “Has Mayor Eric Garcetti ever met with you?”

Dr. Melina Abdullah, Black Lives Matter LA (BLMLA), 7 years (20+ years organizing in LA): Once in 2015.

Pete White, Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), 25 years: Once as mayor. Several times as council member. Only after applying a lot of political pressure to do so though.

Hamid Khan, Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, 10 years (30 total organizing in LA): A couple times while doing taxi workers organizing in 2008 when he was on city council. Once while he was running for mayor. Never since he’s been mayor.

Dahlia Ferlito, White People For Black Lives, 6 years (12 years organizing in LA): No

Bill Przylucki, People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER), 13 years: One time around 2009 when he was on city council. Never since he’s been mayor.

Walker Foley, Food and Water Watch, 7 years (6 of them in LA): No

Alex Nagy, Food and Water Watch, 8 years: Once in 2015 during the Aliso Canyon Gas Blowout. Once while on hunger strike outside of city hall with Fight for 15.

Killa Choi, Ground Game LA, 4 years: No.

Wendy Barranco, About Face: Veterans Against The War/POWER, 13 years organizing in LA: No.

Trinidad Ruiz, LA Tenants Union (VyBe local) 5 years/People’s City Council, about a year (7 years total organizing in LA): No.

Jane Nguyen, Ktown For All, 2+ years: No.

Lydia Ponce, American Indian Movement, 5 years (41 years organizing in LA): No.

Damien Goodman, Crenshaw Subway Coalition, 14 years: Once in a group setting in 2017.

Jed Parriott, Street Watch LA, 3+ years: No, but his staff did offer once to bring him into meetings with the Services Not Sweeps coalition after we threatened a lawsuit.

KNOCK.LA called the Mayor’s office to confirm whether or not Garcetti has met with these community organizers, but staffers were unsure of how to direct our call.