(ATR) Eric Garcetti, one of the main faces of the Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid, begins his second term in office.
In his inaugural address July 1, Garcetti focused on the key policy points of his campaign, along with the Olympic bid. He said that securing the 2024 Olympics will help make "Los Angeles the healthiest city in America."
"We fight for the Olympics not just to watch its torch blaze a third trail through our city, but because we know that torch will call our children out of their homes and into our parks and our playfields," Garcetti said. " We know that playing a sport may make the difference between a dropout form and a diploma in our children’s hands."
Garcetti will serve his second term for just over five years due to a change in LA’s electoral calendar, according to local reports. That means Garcetti will actually be out of office if the city were to secure the 2024 Games.
An extraordinary IOC Session has been called for July 11-12 to vote on a measure that would see both Los Angeles and its competitor Paris awarded the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. Los Angeles has positioned itself to be open to accepting either Games after negotiations. Garcetti spoke previously of the IOC funding youth sports in the city in exchange for hosting the 2028 Games.
In his address Garcetti spoke of needing to tackle rising housing costs and homelessness in the city. Garcetti ran on a progressive economic platform that included spending for transit expansions and a $15 per hour minimum wage.
"We want every unhoused Angeleno to have a home where they are healthy and safe and where they can pursue their dreams," Garcetti said, as quoted by local reports.
"Every person living on our streets — they have dreams, too. And if that means new laws or reforming the laws that we have so that we can build the homes this city needs, let us start that work today."
Garcetti has positioned himself as a counterbalance to U.S. President Donald Trump. Garcetti, for example, is one of the leading advocates for sanctuary cities, which Trump opposes. Still Garcetti did arrange a phone call between Trump and IOC President Thomas Bach last December.
Bryant Joins LA Boards
Two-time Olympic champion Kobe Bryant has joined the Los Angeles 2024 bid.
Bryant will serve on the bid’s board of directors and athletes’ advisory committee. Bryant’s addition announcement came during an interview with veteran Olympic broadcaster Al Michaels.
Bryant played 20 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers, and is the franchise’s all time leading scorer. LA 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman called the five-time champion an "icon for millions of sports fans."
The announcement of Bryant was part of the bid’s 20 announcements in 20 days for Olympic Agenda 2020. Highlighting Bryant showed how LA 2024 puts "athletes’ experience at the heart of the Games."
Written by Aaron Bauer
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