He is the third Mexican American to have served as Los Angeles mayor and the first in more than 130 years.
That is fact.
The rest…is up for debate.
Many reports say people either love him or hate him…as with many politicians…there’s no in-between.
When Los Angeles magazine called him a “failure” years ago — he told me, ‘Hey, it comes with the territory.’
The head of the second largest city in the US is getting ready to say good-bye.
Antonio Villaraigosa is bound to two terms, by law, and he’s nearing the end of his eight-year run as mayor of Los Angeles.
Today he delivered his last ‘State of the City’ address.
“Eight years ago we dared to dream…to make Los Angeles a safer city, more mobile city…a city where every child has a desk in a good school,” Antonio Villaraigosa.
The mayor went on to say his administration delivered on those dreams and promises.
And he said more.
“There were bumps, detours, missteps and yes, failures. But we always kept our cool and our promises,” according to Villaraigosa.
Some people disagree.
Ed leibowitz, a self-described qualified critic, wrote the Los Angeles magazine cover story a few years ago which called the mayor a “failure.”
Leibowitz believes Villaraigosa always confused campaigning and self-promotion …with governing.
And the writer considers the tweeted picture with Hollywood bad boy – party boy Charlie Sheen in Cabo — a major example of poor judgment and missed opportunity.
“He was being considered very seriously as Secretary of Transportation and he would have done a great job…but after this he said he was no longer interested in the position but the consensus was he was no longer being considered for the position,” Ed Leibowitz, writer.
The Villaraigosa camp has released a new video touting his accomplishments…and critic Ed Leibowitz gives the mayor credit for building the police force and improving
transportation… however, education gets a poor grade.
“He spent the first 22 months in office trying to take over the LAUSD in clear violation of the state constitution and he wasted so much time,” Leibowitz contends.
“I like the diversity, diversity…the city is diverse,” says Villaraigosa.
“He was a talented communicator because of his background…and he could connect with Boyle Heights and he could connect with Beverly Hills…but he never really was the glue that could bring all of these different parts of the city together,” according to Leibowitz.
The mayor leaves office at the end of June.
– Chris Wolfe, KTLA News.