There were plenty of new faces inside Los Angeles City Hall on Tuesday as the City Council held its first meeting with its newly-elected members. New Mayor Eric Garcetti made an appearance, encouraging the council to "put LA back on track." Conan Nolan reports from Downtown LA for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 2, 2013.
With six new members and encouragement from a new mayor, the 15-member Los Angeles City Council set off a new course on Tuesday.
"Let us take this next session of these next two years to put LA back on track," Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Leading the group is Council President Herb Wesson, re-elected to the position by a unanimous vote.
"What's important to me is that I help put you in a position so that you can deliver on the promises that you made to the people who elected you to this office," Wesson told the group.
Wesson offered a gift of socks to each member, part of the whimsy that gave the meeting and subsequent reception a "first day of school" feeling.
Roughly half of the new council is now made up of former state lawmakers termed out of office.
"It's a very different job. Obviously, a much more local focus, but I think the experience in Sacramento is helpful," said Councilman and former State Assemblyman Bob Bloomfield.
Some critics have labeled this a "Mad Men" city hall after the popular TV series set in the 1960s where men dominate and women are secretaries and mistresses. For the first time since the 1960s, there's not one woman in elected office in the city.
"Perhaps we're forgetting about the issues that matter to women and children," said Ana Cubas, who lost her bid for council.
"We are at a disadvantage without having women on the council," admits Wesson, saying it's an issue the council will try to address in the next election in two years.
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