Tuesday, July 2, 2013

High-Profile L.A. Mayor Exits

A great, quick exploration of Mayor Villaraigosa's legacy in the WSJ. A few quotes by yours truly.  

Here is an excerpt:

Mr. Villaraigosa's tenure has "been a total mixed bag," said Jessica Levinson, a professor and government-reform expert at Loyola Law School. "Good things have happened in the city, but I'm not sure how many the mayor can take credit for," she added.
Los Angeles mayors operate with less power than their counterparts in many cities—notably having no direct control over city schools. Mr. Villaraigosa tried, and failed, to win some direct control over schools through state legislation. But over the years he pushed successfully to expand the number of charter schools in the city and battled publicly with the teachers union. He also formed a group that took over some low-performing schools from the district and ran them as charter schools, raising millions in private funding and raising graduation rates.
During Mr. Villaraigosa's tenure, the city expanded its public transportation system, increased bike lanes and reduced violent crime.
But Mr. Villaraigosa "also failed to do a lot of things," Ms. Levinson said. "We have more traffic. We're still not the nation's beacon when it comes to public transportation or green-tech jobs."

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