Garcetti takes reins as mayor of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — Eric Garcetti took the oath of office Sunday to become Los Angeles’s 42d mayor, with a promise to do the basic things right while getting the city’s economy rolling again.

The 42-year-old Ivy Leaguer, who often talks of the simple pleasures of growing up in the city’s San Fernando Valley, will lead a sprawling city of nearly 4 million people on July 1.

He replaces fellow Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, 60, who exits after two terms during which he pushed to improve schools and expand rail lines in a city notoriously choked by cars.


The early evening inaugural included some celebrity sparkle, with Jimmy Kimmel and musician Moby taking part.

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The new mayor takes charge of a city with problems all too familiar: knotted freeways, an unemployment rate hovering around double digits, many struggling schools, battered roadways.

Garcetti has said he will focus on the economy ‘‘like a laser beam’’ and try to recover jobs lost in the recession. His goals range from getting all city workers to contribute to costly health care to dealing with longstanding gripes about potholes and cracked sidewalks.

‘‘We have to fix the basic things,’’ he said.

He will be the city’s first elected Jewish mayor, and his background reflects the city’s diversity: He often refers to his Italian and Mexican roots. Garcetti has a temperate, wonky style — he was a Rhodes Scholar, after attending Columbia University — that will be a change from Villaraigosa, who was known for his outsized personality and ability to make headlines about his nightlife and dating.


It also will be a generational change. Garcetti is just a few years older than Villaraigosa’s eldest daughter.

Associated Press