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Mayor Garcetti to convention: 'California Democrats get things done'

March 08, 2014|By Michael Finnegan

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti opened the state’s Democratic convention on Saturday with a tribute to the party’s dominance in California, saying it has ensured progress on climate change, immigration, public transit and civil rights.

Garcetti ran down a list of laws enacted on Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s watch, including one that increases the minimum wage and another that grants driver’s licenses to immigrants in the country without documentation.

“While Washington dithers, here in California Democrats get things done,” Garcetti told Democrats gathered at the L.A. Convention Center.

The mayor praised Democratic lawmakers for pressing ahead with the party’s agenda and confounding pundits who “predicted the worst after our party won supermajorities in the state Capitol.”

For Garcetti, who took office eight months ago, the weekend convention offered a platform to introduce himself to thousands of Democrats whose support he might need one day in a bid for higher office.

The top focus of the annual convention is Brown’s run for an unprecedented fourth term as governor. But the gathering also showcases a younger generation of Democrats who are likely to compete in the years ahead for jobs that Brown, 75, and U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, 80, and Barbara Boxer, 73, will eventually vacate.

Chief among them are Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Garcetti and former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

In a recent interview, Garcetti, 43, said that he and Brown were both “pragmatic idealists,” but that he had given no consideration to running for his job.

“Not being coy -- not a single thought about it, honestly,” he said. He quickly added, however: “I don’t shut the door to things.”

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michael.finnegan@latimes.com

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