Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti to Speak on DNC Closing Night

The mayor's speech is among several that will precede Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party presidential nomination acceptance speech

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will take the Democratic National Convention stage in Philadelphia Thursday to speak at the event's closing night.

Garcetti is scheduled to speak at 4 p.m. His speech is among several that will precede Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party presidential nomination acceptance speech.

Garcetti said earlier this week he wants to use his speech to help steer conversations from just responding to Republican candidate Donald Trump to addressing what the candidates will actually do if elected. He also said last week that he plans to address the feeling of alienation that many Americans feel toward their government.

"My message is that I think Americans right now feel shut out by government," he said. "They feel like Washington won't vote on immigration reform, won't take up infrastructure to rebuild our crumbling streets, won't do the things that the majority of Americans would want."

Garcetti said he plans to represent mayors and other city officials who do not have the luxury "to play politics."

"We actually have to do things here, so that's why we have tens of thousands of people who we are making citizens," he said. "That's why we're rebuilding our port, our airport, paving our streets and our sidewalks. And for me, you know, that's what we need in our next leader, not somebody who is going to find a common enemy, but find a common purpose."

Garcetti is one of several major-city mayors invited to speak at the event. The mayors of Atlanta, New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit and Tallahassee have also been invited to address DNC attendees.

Garcetti, who has been at the convention since Monday, said during a Tuesday panel discussion on Latino political participation that recognizing the power of the Latino vote is not enough, and that Latinos need to be appointed to top-level positions in the next presidential administration, and not just to positions focusing on immigration and labor.

With appointments made under the recent two Democratic presidential administrations, "there's like this ceiling," he said.

"We have to figure out a way to make that very clear ... when President Clinton, the next President Clinton is in place, that you know, a cabinet position or two isn't enough."

Garcetti added that those who have the power to make the appointments often complain there are not enough qualified Latinos for the positions, but he feels they are not searching hard enough.

"I think they're looking for Latinos with big names," said Garcetti, whose paternal grandfather was born in Mexico. "Latinos don't have big names, and so it becomes a vicious cycle."

Garcetti on Monday also took part in a news conference with labor groups to promote raising the minimum wage. He also joined a luncheon of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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