Reaction to appointment of Hispanic Mayor in Los Angeles

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Reaction to appointment of Hispanic Mayor in Los Angeles

(19 May 2005)
1. Antonio Villaraigosa greeting trade school students
2. Media at event
3. Villaraigosa at event
4. Trade school students and staff at event
5. Villaraigosa speaking at news conference
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Mayor-elect:
“I’m an American of Mexican descent and I’m proud of that. But I intend to be a mayor for all of Los Angeles. I intend to be a mayor for all of Los Angeles because in this, the most diverse city in the world, that’s the only way it can work.”
7. News conference
8. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Mayor-elect:
“I was born and raised on the East side (of Los Angeles). That’s the part of the city that has the largest population of Latinos in the city. And I know the issues that are important to that community. Issues of health care and education, and public safety. And I’ve never forgotten where I’ve come from and I understand that I have a responsibility to the Latino community as well as others to be someone who defends them and represents them.”
9. Latino business district in downtown Los Angeles
10. Newspaper front page
11. Photo of Villaraigosa on newspaper front page
12. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Voxpop, Villaraigosa supporter:
“He is an inspiration for Latinos, for Latino youth, those who only go to school to mess round, if you do what you have to do you can become like him, and hopefully it will make people recognise the talent of the Latino community in Los Angeles. There are more Latinos here than other group but they are divided and they need to be unified more, and I hope Villaraigosa does a good job, and does what he has to do.”
13. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Vox pop, Villaraigosa supporter:
“(I hope) that he helps the community unite, we can see that Latinos are divided, that’s their problem, they are not united as a group.”
14. Villaraigosa at news conference


Los Angeles City Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa is claiming victory in the race for mayor, becoming the city’s first Hispanic mayor elect in more than a century.

The Los Angeles native won a clear victory in a Tuesday election in which voters embraced the promise of change in a metropolis troubled by gridlock, gangs and failing schools.

Analysts and many Angelinos say the result confirms the rising political power of Latinos in the nation’s second-largest city.

Villaraigosa was out early on Wednesday in the predominantly African American south Los Angeles district to thank supporters in that community.

He drew on the support of blacks and suburban Los Angeles whites in winning the mayoral run-off by an unexpectedly wide margin, 59 percent to 41 percent, over Mayor James Hahn.

The 2005 election was a rematch between Villaraigosa and Hahn.

In 2001, Hahn was the victor, but this year’s election was a resounding defeat for the mayor, after a lack-luster term tainted by corruption allegations at City Hall.

When Villaraigosa is sworn in July 1, he will become the first Hispanic mayor of Los Angeles since 1872, back when the city was merely a dusty outpost of only about 5,000 residents.

Hahn, part of a prominent local political family, becomes the first Los Angeles mayor in 32 years to be bounced from office.

Now mayor-elect Villaraigosa must find solutions to the problems he pointed out during the campaign: gang crime that terrorises poor neighbourhoods, a lack of affordable housing, and worsening traffic congestion.

Villaraigosa says he wants to focus on being the mayor for all of the city of Los Angeles.

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