Former Vice President Al Gore was in Los Angeles Friday to celebrate a historic move for the city: plans are in place to eliminate LA's dependence on coal by 2025. "My kids and grandkids will be proud residents of a Los Angeles that is known for sustainability and not smog," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Whit Johnson reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on March 22, 2013.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is not going away quietly.
The departing Democrat whose term ends July 1 criticized the two candidates who could succeed him Tuesday for lacking substance in their plans for education.
The mayor did not refer to Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel by name, but said the candidates in the race failed to present comprehensive proposals to improve troubled schools.
Garcetti and Greuel are headed for a runoff next month to determine the city's next mayor. Both are Democrats.
Villaraigosa's comments came during his annual state of the city speech, which he usually reserves to discuss his work at City Hall.
Instead, he urged the next mayor to pick up where he left off on schools and the environment.
He also defended his sometimes bumpy tenure.
Villaraigosa, who will pass the mayoral torch July 1, got an early start celebrating his tenure last week, stressing during a news conference with Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck that his efforts to increase the size of the police department resulted in the reduction of violent crime by 50 percent since he took office.
He also urged the next mayor to maintain the progress made in the past eight years -- raising the the number of police officers from 9,284 in 2005 to more than 10,000, a theme likely to resurface in today's address.
Although the mayor has no formal role in education, Villaraigosa has made education one of his priorities since taking office in 2005.
Villaraigosa operates the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, an independent educational nonprofit group that partners with the Los Angeles Unified School District and oversees 22 schools in predominantly low-income neighborhoods in an effort to boost student performance.