Los Angeles’ newly inaugurated mayor, Eric Garcetti, pledged to be a “salesman-in-chief” for the city, including “ending runaway film and TV production for good.”
After being sworn in at a ceremony on the steps of City Hall on Sunday evening, Garcetti announced a series of goals for his term, much of them focusing on the city’s business climate. The flight of production from the Los Angeles area — from major feature films to NBC’s “Tonight Show” — was part of his focus during the campaign for mayor.
“I’ll lobby hard in Sacramento, and at the county level … and I’ll set an example in L.A., by working to eliminate the tangle of fees and rules that make filming here more like ‘Les Miserables,’ instead of ‘Fast and Furious’ like it ought to be,” Garcetti said, before quipping about the showbiz references in his prepared speech, “We were going to go with ‘Happy Feet,’ but, you know.”
Garcetti also said that he would hire a “film czar” at City Hall to streamline the process. A challenge will be convincing Sacramento lawmakers that expanded tax credits would be worth it, or as he said, that giving “meaningful tax credits isn’t just a boondoggle.” Part of it will also be conveying a sense of urgency, as “other cities and states are tripping over themselves to get” California’s production, he noted.
“We need to market L.A. aggressively and creatively, to the whole world, as the gateway to the Pacific Rim, and the gateway to new ideas and innovations,” he said.
Also sworn in was Mike Feuer as city attorney and Ron Galperin as city controller, along with several new council members, including Mike Bonin, whose district includes L.A.’s Westside, and Mitch O’Farrell, whose district includes the Hollywood area.
Appearing at the event were two of Garcetti’s supporters during the campaign: Moby, who sang “We Are All Made of Stars,” and Jimmy Kimmel, who quipped to the crowd, many fanning themselves off in the sun, “I’d just like to point out that the heat today is the responsibility of the previous administration.”