Mayor Tom Bradley has presided over 12 years of change in the City of Los Angeles--change in the city skyline, in its police force, in its finances and above all in its people. He has not always made the right choices; no one can. But he has kept this growing city on an even keel. He has guided its affairs with a firm, fair hand, creating a climate enabling Los Angeles to move clearly into the front rank of American cities economically and culturally. There is more to do. He is the man to do it. We endorse his bid for reelection as mayor.
Last year was a glorious one for Los Angeles. The pageantry of the Olympic Games gave the city a festive air and brought visitors from around the world. The Olympic Arts Festival showed visitor and resident alike that the city has a vision of creativity. That the Olympics came at all and went in harmony was due in no small measure to Bradley's leadership.
Bradley has worked for the improvement of the city.
He has aggressively sought to bring trade to Los Angeles, helping it become both a financial center for the West Coast and a gateway to the Far East. He has also sought federal dollars for training programs, and has encouraged local business people and unions to undertake such programs.
Bradley has supported improvement in mass transit even when mass-transit money seems to be going out of fashion in Washington. A new mayoral committee is looking at the limits that transportation might put on development, and at the means to handle the increasing numbers of people working downtown.
The homeless are an increasing problem for Los Angeles. Others might simply have ignored the people who sleep in doorways and under bridges, moving them out of the path of development. Bradley has undertaken to find temporary shelter for the homeless and to develop more permanent, affordable housing--especially in the Skid Row area.
On crime, the mayor endorsed the 8,500 plan four years ago under which the voters were asked to finance more police officers. That failed at the polls. Now he backs the June ballot measure that asks voters to pay an average of about $5 a month per household for 1,000 additional officers. The mayor has also pledged support to the United Neighborhood Organizations of East Los Angeles and to the South-Central Organizing Committee as they seek to mobilize community cooperation to fight crime.
Even as he seeks ways to find more money for more police, the mayor understands the need for civilian control over the Los Angeles Police Department. These efforts have not always been politically popular, and certainly weren't favored by the department's top brass, but Bradley has never flinched.
Bradley's style often makes him hard to read. He is not a raucous politician. He doesn't even tell his management executives what to do much of the time. But if he doesn't like what they do, they hear about it even if the public does not.
His principal opponent, City Councilman John Ferraro, is a hard-working candidate and a decent man. He has raised valid issues, criticizing the delays in clamping down on the illegal disposal of toxic materials at Capri dump and questioning the mayor's unwillingness or inability to fire aides such as Planning Department head Calvin Hamilton, who used his city office to promote private business deals. Ferraro performs a public service, because no candidate, no matter how popular, deserves a free ride.
Under Tom Bradley, Los Angeles works. And it works together, with business being encouraged to look beyond its balance sheets and civic groups beyond their neighborhoods to the needs of the entire city. The commitment to the whole city has grown in Bradley's 12 years in office. Because it must continue to grow, we urge the reelection of Tom Bradley as mayor of Los Angeles.