Eric Garcetti has been making good on his campaign promises, one by one. Today I spent a couple hours at Van Nuys City Hall where the new mayor had his second ''office hours'' session. It's something he's done as a City Councilman for eight years, it worked for him and for his constituents, so he's continuing it.
People sign up, and either get a one on one with him for 20 minutes, or if not him, one of his senior staffers. As one Valley resident put it today, ''at least you get the sense that you're connecting with someone, that you have access to a real person.'' Media conscious of course, the Mayor's press staff arranged for us to ''sit in'' on one of the meetings, with the Bernsteins from Sylmar who were there to lobby more coordinated services for the autism community. The Mayor sat and talked and visited and suggested strategies for raising awareness and getting more out of existing programs. They left satisfied, not that they changed the world, but that they had a forum and were listened to and respected. Much the same with the others who were there to talk education, tree trimming, noise reduction, ride sharing, etc etc etc.
Garcetti is an interesting guy on Labor Day I was with him when he was talking immigration reform, a national issue that has Los Angeles at the forefront, and he knows it. Today it was how to get Ed's trees pruned. "All politics is local" Garcetti told me, an often repeated phrase. I add. ''except when it isn't. ''We'll plan to follow up on how well the ''customer service'' oriented Garcetti administration follows through on the services they're promising.