Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eric Garcetti Wows 'Em in Tujunga!

The place was packed!
Candidate for Mayor Eric Garcetti made another visit to the Sunland-Tujunga area Saturday; this time it was a meet and greet at the legendary Joselito's Mexican Food in Tujunga. Organized by Council Member Garcetti's Foothills based staff led by Sunland resident, Christine Jerian Kharmandalian, the soiree was hosted by Joselito's owner/Executive Chef, Jose Grijalva.

A special guest at the event was former Mayoral candidate, Kevin James, who finished second in the primary in Sunland-Tujunga (and third overall) and who has endorsed his former opponent, Garcetti, for Mayor. Other former candidates in attendance included Krystee Clark and Jesse David Baron, both local Sunland-Tujunga residents who ran for the Council District 7 seat in the March primary as well as Monica Rodriguez, a former Richard Riordan staffer who ran for the CD7 seat in 2009 and is a key supporter of Garcetti. Several staff members from the office of retiring Council Member Richard Alarcon also showed up to support Garcetti.

Garcetti spoke for about 10-15 minutes and then spent the rest of hour chatting with residents one on one. During his opening remarks, Garcetti pledged support for Sunland-Tujunga's rural/equestrian lifestyle and to block development at the Verdugo Hills Golf Course. He also remarked on the business revival in Atwater Village in his Council District. That community has many similarities to Sunland-Tujunga and he believes it could be a model for small retail development along Foothill Boulevard and Commerce Avenue. Garcetti also promised to work with the community to bring retail to the former K-Mart site in Sunland, saying he has heard the call for "socks and underwear."

I was interested to see the huge turnout of Sunland-Tujunga community leaders who are supporting Garcetti for Mayor. At this point, it seems the overwhelming majority of the communities most prominent activists are in the Garcetti camp, despite the fact his opponent Wendy Greuel once represented the area on the City Council. While Greuel still has wide name recognition, in talking with many locals, I have found that at one point or another Wendy disappointed them on specific issues or matters.

The event also attracted some out of town press; KTLA was in attendance as was Los Angeles Times Pressmen's blogger, Ed Padgett and MayorSam anchor, Scott Johnson.

Some pics from the event are below:

Joselito's decked out in Garcetti signs
KTLA on the scene in Tujunga
Eric speaks to supporters
Yes, politicians do like to pose with kids.
Better than posing with out of town politicians.
Eric chats one on one with locals.