Five Los Angeles mayoral candidates came to campus on Thursday, Feb. 7 for a pre-election debate. The debate is one in a series of candidate forums leading up to the mayoral election on March 5. From left: City Councilman Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel, attorney and radio talk show host and attorney Kevin James. Photo by Daily Sundial Photo Editor Loren Townsley.
California State University, Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison welcomed five Los Angeles mayoral candidates to campus on Thursday, Feb. 7, to discuss their stance on issues ranging from education to transportation to business taxes.
“Given the challenges facing Los Angeles and its communities at this critical time, we are pleased to be partnering with the business community to host today’s forum,” said Harrison to more than 500 attendees in the university’s state-of-the-art Valley Performing Arts Center. “The appearance of the candidates here this morning particularly underscores the importance of both CSUN and the Valley in Los Angeles.
“In addition to providing needed performance and classroom space for our students, the Valley Performing Arts Center at Cal State Northridge is a marquee facility that serves as a gateway between the university and the community, affirming CSUN’s place as a cultural and economic hub of the San Fernando Valley and the greater Los Angeles region,” Harrison said, noting that the university with its more than 36,000 students is one of the largest and diverse universities in the state.
Thursday’s debate was one in a series of candidate forums leading up to the mayoral election on March 5.
To be elected mayor, a candidate must win at least 50 percent of the vote. If none of the contenders win at least 50 percent, the top two candidates will compete in a runoff election on May 21.
City Councilman Eric Garcetti, City Controller Wendy Greuel, attorney and radio talk show host Kevin James, City Councilwoman Jan Perry and former technology executive Emanuel Pleitez participated in Thursday’s debate.
The debate was co-hosted by CSUN, the Daily News of Los Angeles, Time Warner Cable, Southern California Gas, the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors and the Los Angeles County Business Federation, which is also known as BizFed. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s former deputy mayor, Austin Beutner, moderated the debate.
Jack Klunder, president of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, who was introduced by President Harrison, said CSUN was a wonderful location for the debate as a “centerpiece” of the San Fernando Valley. He said the Daily News was committed to covering the mayoral election and would have an endorsement in Sunday’s newspaper.
BizFed Founding chairman David Fleming ’09 Hon. D. (Law) and member of the CSUN’s Foundation Board of Directors said it was a pleasure to have been part of organizing Thursday’s event. He said BizFed, which is a “co-op” of hundreds of businesses, chambers and other organizations, was organized to advocate on behalf of businesses.