Los Angeles mayoral candidate Emanuel Pleitez rolled out a "seven-point" policy plan yesterday at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College near downtown, with more details to come during a citywide "policy tour" between now and the March 5 primary.
Pleitez said too many city services have been cut "because our politicians made bad deals based on numbers they didn't understand" and have come up with "nothing but Band Aid solutions." He added, "They're temporary. They won't fix anything."
An underdog candidate who's polled behind rivals Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel, Jan Perry, and Kevin James, Pleitez, a 30-year-old business man and technology expert, is undoubtedly looking to stand out in the race. But will the policy tour and his proposals win over more voters?
Former Los Angeles Daily News editor and blogger Ron Kaye says any underdog candidate needs to lay out a clear agenda, which would help Pleitez stand apart from the rest of the crowd, especially frontrunners Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel.
"Wendy and Eric have yet to say a word about the real issues," says Kaye.
At the heart of Pleitez's seven-point plan is pension reform.
"Only fixing our pension system gives us enough money for the services we need and deserve," said Pleitez on Tuesday.
Pleitez said other areas that need to be addressed are the city's high unemployment rate and creating job growth, spending over $1 billion over 10 years on designated "economic development zones," and improving the student drop-out rate.
He also wants to fix gridlock traffic through dedicated bus lanes and better synchronized signals, eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 2030, empower citizens and create a larger "public safety force" to make streets safer (see correction below), and have city departments more effectively use data and technology to provide better services.
An ambitious agenda for sure, with much spending. With Los Angeles facing huge budget shortfalls year after year, Pleitez acknowledges the cash-strapped city must create more revenue. He appears to believe pension reform will be key.
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"Today, and over the next month," Pleitez said. "I'm going to propose solutions to the problems we've found in this city. Not the baby steps that our politicians are so fond of, but bold ideas that will solve these problems for good, and make L.A. the world-class city you deserve."
In the most recent Survey USA poll, Pleitez got 7 percent of likely voters while Garcetti and Greuel received 24 and 20 percent, respectively. He needs to make up major ground so he can land a spot in the top two after the March 5 primary and move forward to the May runoff.
Correction: In his prepared statement on Tuesday, Pleitez said he wanted to increase the size of the city's "public safety force" by "empowering everyday citizens to protect their communities," not by hiring more police officers, which was stated previously in this post.
Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.