As part of a six-stop (and one online) community town hall tour to meet with Angelenos before being sworn in June 30, Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti visited California State University, Northridge last Wednesday. All San Fernando Valley residents were invited to attend.
More than 300 people attended the event, held in the Grand Salon of CSUN’s University Student Union.
CSUN alumnus and community advocate Filiberto Gonzalez ’97 (Chicana/o Studies), introduced California State University, Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison, who offered opening remarks.
“I hope having CSUN as the location for this community dialogue is a reminder of what a resource this university is, and will continue to be, for the San Fernando Valley and the greater Los Angeles region as a whole,” said Harrison.
Harrison welcomed the new perspective Garcetti will bring to the region, highlighting the need for him to continue to support the San Fernando Valley and keep it a visible part of his tenure.
Addressing attendees, Harrison highlighted CSUN’s relationship with the Valley. “As you discuss issues this evening that we all care so much about—such as jobs, making City Hall and neighborhoods work better, transportation, the environment and, of course, education—please keep in mind that CSUN is dedicated to doing our part through our commitment to research, scholarship and community engagement,” she said. “Thank you for being here tonight, and thank you to Mayor-elect Garcetti for bringing together the community for this necessary effort to improve our neighborhoods.”
Attendees were then divided into small groups and asked to write down their ideas for solving challenges in three different categories: “economic development/jobs,” “making City Hall work” and “neighborhoods.” The ideas were then shared on poster boards.
Garcetti circulated through the room, stopping by each breakout group to review the ideas and receive feedback directly from attendees. He then took to the stage for closing remarks.
Noting that he appreciated having this event at CSUN and pointing out the importance of the many institutions of higher education in Los Angeles, he noted, “I am a Valley boy at heart and look forward to staying connected to the San Fernando Valley as mayor.”
Garcetti ended his remarks by noting that he will have an office in Van Nuys City Hall and that this event had the largest community turnout so far on his “Back to Basics” Town Hall tour, with three more to follow.
For more: Visit our online photo gallery of the event.