LOS ANGELES - L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti used some of his harshest words when reacting to the administration's plan to open federal offshore oil leases off 90 percent of the nation's coastlines, but exempted Florida because it could have a negative impact on tourism.
Speaking on Eyewitness Newsmakers "Ask the Mayor," Garcetti said the proposed drilling is "pure insanity and hypocrisy." This, after the mayor just announced that tourism in L.A. was at a record high last year, with more than 48 million visitors.
Garcetti said he hopes the administration takes West Coast tourism into account as well and stops the oil leasing. He hinted at legal action.
In response to viewer questions, Garcetti more openly discussed his interest in the 2020 presidential election. He said he is disturbed by what's happening in Washington. He's not running, but he's thinking about it, he said.
The mayor talked about the deadly mudslides in Montecito and the LAFD response with not only Urban Search and Rescue, but a battalion chief and five engine companies.
The mayor said last month's small fire in Sunland-Tujunga as well as the much larger Bel Air Fire were both started by homeless campfires. In response, LAFD has completed two-thirds of its canyon survey to move homeless out, for their own safety as well as for the safety of surrounding residents. Garcetti said social service workers will give the homeless a place to move, but they will be moved out for trespassing.
Viewers asked about veterans, both for housing and employment.
The program ended on a lighter note, with the mayor liking a viewer's suggestion to start a Beatles Day in Los Angeles on February 4th-#feb4fab4. The viewer suggested an event at the Capitol Records Building.