By Kate Stephanus
Eric Garcetti's victory party last night at the Hollywood Palladium drew hipsters, activists and campaign pros -- along with a few people who had, shall we say, more unusual reasons for lending their support.
Some of these partygoers had a lot to say about the issues they were concerned with, which they were convinced Garcetti would pay particular attention to if elected. Others had more personal reasons. All had complete confidence that Garcetti will go above and beyond expectations, doing everything from generating jobs to providing pot for all who need it.
Here are the five most interesting reasons people gave us last night for their Garcetti vote.
Reason #5: He knows how to wow the waitstaff. Adam Boardman, a waiter at Pizzeria Mozza, started donating his time after he happened to work a private party for Garcetti and a few others at the popular restaurant. "I was really impressed with how [...] intelligent he was, and his ability to synthesize information," he told us. Boardman had a friend at the restaurant working on the campaign, he hooked Boardman up with Garcetti, and the rest is history. So there you go. Be nice to the help, and you just could end up mayor of Los Angeles.
Reason #4: He'll commemorate one of L.A.'s finest private investigators. Jan Tucker, a private investigator from Torrance, is not even an L.A. city resident, but he was still as dedicated to the race as the average Angeleno. (Maybe more so, judging by yesterday's turnout.)
Tucker is convinced that Garcetti will bring recognition to a man who's long overdue it. Emil Harris, Los Angeles' first private investigator, was at the site of the Chinatown Massacre of 1871. "He's in essence a hero to Jews as the only Jew that ever headed the L.A. Police[...], he's a hero to the Chinese community for standing up for immigrant rights, and he's a hero to the Latino community," Tucker explained. He said he'd discussed the issue with the candidate and shared his concerns about "[changing] the perception of the history of L.A."
Reason #3: He'll let you toke up. One of the most vocal Garcetti supporters at the event was Richard Eastman, a longtime marijuana activist who's labored to get good old Mary Jane recognized as a medicinal drug that helps victims of depression, anxiety and HIV/AIDS.
Last night, Eastman was with his friend Pirate (apparently named after the eye patch and thick handlebar mustache he was sporting). Eastman explained that their support for Garcetti stemmed from his willingness to support efforts to reclassify cannabis on the federal level. According to his Reddit AMA early this year, Garcetti professed to have "publicly and repeatedly stated the best thing that the federal government could do is reclassify cannabis so that we can actually get folks the medicine that they need."
"The city of Long Beach doesn't know the difference between a good pot shop and a bad pot shop," Eastman said. But now that Garcetti is elected, he'll clarify the differences. Now that Garcetti's in office, Eastman said, it's time to take a hit.
Reason #2: He'll make street car racing safe. Clustered in between the suits and bowties at the party was a group of about five clad in grungy racing vests adorned with decals of racing cars. They're from the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, and they're a sector of LAPD created in 1962 to monitor illegal street racing.
Donald Galaz, a representative of the group, said already five people this year have been killed in Los Angeles due to illegal street racing and more have been injured. He spoke to both Garcetti and Greuel about the issue. Garcetti gave some of his time to speak with him, he said. Garcetti was "more receptive" than Greuel, and while he doesn't want to "bash the lady," Galaz thought Garcetti would work more actively on this issue than Greuel. Who knew?
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Reason #1: He's part of the family. One of the most popular guests last night was Gil Garcetti, the former L.A. County district attorney and, yes, Eric Garcetti's dad.
Gil Garcetti explained that one of the hardest things for him to watch were the "outright lies" slung at his son from every angle: For example, the allegation that he owned an oil well that's causing cancer in children. But Eric took it in stride. "I'm just very proud of how he handled the entire election," Garcetti Sr. said.
According to his father, Eric Garcetti was calm and collected and seriously concerned about the issues above all else. He was the stronger candidate.
And Dad was definitely not biased on this one!