As we get closer to the election of a new mayor for the City of Los Angeles, NBC4 Southern California, Telemundo52, 89.3 KPCC-FM and USC Sol Price School of Public Policy joined together to co-host a mayoral debate between City Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel.
The debate aired live and commercial-free on Monday, April 22 on NBC4, Telemundo52 and KPCC from 7-8 p.m. It was also streamed live on www.nbclosangeles.com.
In advance of the debate, NBC4 organized a series of town hall meetings to capture the questions Angelenos have for the candidates. What do they want the next mayor to address upon taking office? What are the most pressing issues for them?
NBC4 and Telemundo52 news crews visited the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, Mar Vista Neighborhood Association and the Central City Association to get a diverse range of voters and ideas.
The issues ranged widely – everything from homelessness, economic development and immigration to transportation, crime and graffiti, to name a few.
Residents say they want the next mayor to address key city services and develop a seamless infrastructure that responds to neighborhood needs.
One voter asked what the candidates’ specific plans are for the first six months. Others suggested L.A. use New York City as a model, referencing former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to turn that city around by lowering crime rates, reducing city regulations and becoming more business-friendly.
Nearly all town hall participants voiced concerns about increased traffic congestion and streets in need of paving, as well as the request for a more modern infrastructure that better meets transportation demands.
Key questions from the meetings will help shape the dialogue on debate night.
NBC4’s long-time Chief Political Reporter Conan Nolan moderated the debate, and was joined by panelists from Telemundo52, KPCC and USC. Nolan, who covers state and local politics, is well known for his interviews with top political leaders as the host of "News Conference," the longest running political/public affairs television program in Southern California, which airs Sundays at 9 a.m.
Look to NBC4 and www.nbclosangeles.com for continued coverage of the Los Angeles mayoral race leading right up to election night.