Tom Bradley, facing investigations that threaten his political career, became Los Angeles' first five-term mayor today with a pledge to make his city "more prosperous, more livable and more just." There was no mention of the probes of his personal finances in his speech prepared for an inaugural ceremony on the sunny First Street steps of City Hall.
Rather, he sought to look beyond the immediate future, mapping out an agenda for the city for the next four years designed to funnel more municipal resources into programs for the poor.
"The headlines will come and go," he said. "The 30-second sound bites will be heard and then fade away and be forgotten; what will remain long after we are gone, what will count in the ultimate balance, are the doors of opportunity that have been opened, the air that has been cleaned, the neighborhoods that have been given new life, a generation that has been given new hope."
Strongly implying that he believes that his place in history will be determined by his handling of such issues rather than the current investigations, Bradley said, "All of this--and more--will be the real test of our success or failure, and in meeting that need, nothing will be permitted to distract our attention or sap our energy."