Eric Garcetti, who would be LA’s first Jewish mayor, defends his record at event in Hancock Park

RUNOFF: Eric Garcetti, candidate for mayor, reading The Boiling Point at a private fundraiser in Hancock Park in March. Election Day is next Tuesday.

Goldie Fields

RUNOFF: Eric Garcetti, candidate for mayor, reading The Boiling Point at a private fundraiser in Hancock Park in March. Election Day is next Tuesday.

Daniel Steinberg, Staff Writer

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“Wendy actually just blamed me for causing the recession,” mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti gibed to a laughing audience last Wednesday.

With only 41 days until the runoff election that will determine the next mayor of Los Angeles, Councilman Garcetti, who represents the 13th district, addressed a courtyard full of supporters at a fundraising event in Hancock Park.

For most of the 90-minute event, he emphasized his commitment to improve city schools and give underprivileged children better access to medical care.

But he also took the opportunity to respond to some of the accusations that opposing candidate Wendy Greuel, the city comptroller, has been directing at him in her latest campaign ads.

Anecdotally mentioning Greuel’s accusing him of lying, Garcetti assured that the statistics he uses come directly from the Chamber of Commerce’s records.

He added added that, contrary to Greuel’s accusations, he has clearly done a good job of managing his district, which encompasses the re-gentrified Hollywood area, Echo Park, and also Silverlake.

Silverlake, he noted, was recently named the No. 1 “hipster neighborhood” in the U.S. by Forbes Magazine. “The trendy community boasts some of the nation’s most lauded food trucks and farmers markets,” Forbes wrote, also giving it high marks for “walkability.” “Even the buildings exude an avant garde aesthetic a hipster could love.”

“The truth is,” Mr. Garcetti said, “that my district is undeniably better than it was eight years ago.”

Garcetti also briefly touched upon his Judaism.

“I would actually be the first Jewish mayor of Los Angeles if I’m elected,” the candidate said. “I don’t think most Jews will be voting for me on that basis, though.”

The 50-some attendees at the event included 4th District councilman Tom LaBonge, as well as prominent writers, attorneys, and entertainment industry figures. One name advertised on the event roster did not make an appearance, however. Apparently, Will Ferrell was needed on the set of Anchorman 2.

According to, Garcetti drives a Prius and grows most of his food in his yard.  He has been endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, which noted in a lengthy editorial Feb. 17 that he had “worked behind the scenes to awaken his colleagues to the depth of the city’s financial crisis and to take action they did not want to take.”

Two recent polls published by the LA Weekly show a very close race, with Garcetti leading very slightly.

The Boiling Point is in contact with the Greuel campaign but so far has not been scheduled to meet the candidate.