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Where's Antonio? Lunching at the Getty, Talking Immigration at a Private Club

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was light on public events this week, which may be a good thing if he was rolling up the sleeves and working instead.


Then again, maybe not -- read more about the recent fruits of his labor in an L.A. Weekly story by news editor Jill Stewart, titled "City Hall's 2010 DWP Debacle."

Villaraigosa, however, still made sure to take time out of his schedule to lunch with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and various local business and entertainment leaders at the Getty Center.

On Monday, April 12, the mayor's week started predictably enough with a 10 a.m. groundbreaking of a $45-million, so-called "environmentally friendly and transit-oriented housing and retail development" -- also known as mixed use.

L.A. City Councilman Ed Reyes and Metro Board chair Ara Najarian and other "officials," according to City News Service, gathered at the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro Rail Station to "celebrate" the MacArthur Park Metro Apartments.

The project is one more example of Metro, a transportation agency with its hands full and counts Villaraigosa as one of its board members, turning into a real estate developer.

On Tuesday, we have no idea what the mayor was up to -- City News Service did not post any public events.

But Villaraigosa may have been putting the screws to members of the Los Angeles City Council, who voted and passed a 4.5 percent DWP rate hike on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the mayor spoke to "more than 1,000 workers" at the "Rally for Jobs" organized by labor unions from Los Angeles and Orange counties. Villaraigosa speechified about the importance of building a subway to the sea -- his legacy project -- sooner rather than later.

From there, Villaraigosa left a blue collar crowd in his chauffeured SUV for a decidedly white collar one and lunched with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and business and entertainment industry leaders -- also known as "fat cats" in some labor union circles -- at the Getty Center.

On Thursday, Villaraigosa spoke at a "Campaign to Reform Immigration for America" event at, believe it or not, the swanky City Club at the Wells Fargo Center in downtown -- one of the "premier private business" clubs in L.A., according to its Web site.

Wonder how many newly arrived immigrants are allowed to join the City Club? Or have the big bucks to pay for dues and dinners? Probably not many.

On Friday, the mayor wraps up his week by speaking at the 8 p.m. welcoming reception of the California Democratic Party Convention in Los Angeles.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.


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