Mr. Garcetti Goes to Washington: Mayor to Pitch LA Rail Projects to Obama, Congress

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, an early backer of then-Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, says he hopes to use that relationship to bring federal dollars to his city.

"I have advised him on issues such as immigration reform and rebuilding our cities. I haven't called in any favors, any 'chits,’ but I'm certainly going to make the case to the White House and to Congress why this is good for America."

Garcetti, who this week makes his first visit to Washington since taking office, made the comments during an interview Sunday on NBC4.

Priorities for Garcetti's visit include securing federal help for subway and light rail projects and funding for restoration of the Los Angeles River. Garcetti says he plans on meeting with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and highlighting to GOP leaders the local tax revenue that has already been earmarked for both transit and the river

"We are saying we have done our part, now we expect you to do your part with our tax dollars," he said on NBC 4's "News Conference.”

Garcetti also voiced support for embattled LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy who is reportedly considering leaving his post early next year. The Mayor appeared to blame the LA school board for Deasy's possible departure

"If you micro-manage the superintendent, whether it is John Deasy or anyone else, they are never going to be able to implement a vision."

Garcetti also discussed the search for a new Fire Chief, efforts at streamlining the city bureaucracy, homelessness and his MTA vote this week in opposition to a 710 tunnel below South Pasadena and Pasadena.

The complete interview can be seen here.

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