Garcetti’s Pandering to Powerful Development Interests, Often to a Fault

Please see this fascinating article from renowned urban planning expert and authority on economic, political and social trends, Joel Kotkin. It discusses some of the maladies that have allowed a project as illegal and dangerous as Hollywood Center to fester for years.

Some highlights:

  • “Garcetti seemed even more determined than his predecessors not to offend powerful interests. He was particularly close to the real-estate speculators who sought to benefit from his fashionable commitment to density. A federal grand jury has indicted former City Councilman Jose Huizar, another key ally of real-estate developers, for bribe-taking. Others further down the City pecking order also face charges of taking bribes to back big new projects, including ones that violated zoning ordinances.”
  • Noting that Garcetti is “a cautious politician—often to a fault” [perhaps an earthquake fault, we might add] . . . . “He doesn’t take on things that would upset the power brokers and developers.”
  • “Taking a walk around downtown Los Angeles or Garcetti’s old district in Hollywood, one can see what such speculation has done. In the place of a thriving, blue-collar, largely immigrant economy, one sees many luxury buildings with vacancies, often surrounded by homeless encampments.”

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