Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan spent Monday on Capitol Hill in Washington, seeking tax breaks and anti-crime money that could be increasingly difficult to wring out of a budget-conscious federal government.
The mayor met with California lawmakers and other officials. His presence seemed an effort to reverse the city's luck after the embarrassing failure to obtain empowerment zone status, once thought to be a given for Los Angeles. The designation would have pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into communities from Watts to Pacoima.
The Riordan Administration is also working on plans to apply for at least $50 million in grants available from the federal crime bill passed last summer.
"We can't afford to let this thing rest," a Los Angeles official in Washington said of the tax credits the city seeks for inner-city revitalization, suggesting city leaders would take nothing for granted this time.
The mayor met with Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas), head of the new California Task Force, and Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach), among others. Riordan will continue making rounds on the Hill today, along with City Council President John Ferraro.