Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will be one of five co-chairs of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s 2021 Inaugural Committee. He shares the title with co-chairs James Clyburn, Cedric Richmond, and Lisa Blunt Rochester, all members of congress, as well as Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“I am honored to join the Presidential Inaugural Committee as a co-chair to help organize a historic inauguration for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris that will engage Americans in every corner of the country and keep people safe,” the mayor said in a statement on Monday. “This inauguration will mark a turning point for Americans to unite and start building back better together, for generations to come. As we grapple with threats to our health, livelihoods, and climate, this is a time for Americans to come together, work together, and move forward together.”
While a role with the inaugural committee is not a policy-making position, the appointment does underscore the closeness between the president-elect and Garcetti, who served as his national campaign co-chair.
For two weeks, protesters have gathered outside the mayor’s residence. Known as the ‘Block Garcetti’ protests, the demonstrations are an attempt to call attention to what critics feel are the mayor’s failings here in Los Angeles, with a goal of scuttling any hopes Garcetti may have for a high-profile cabinet or administration gig. Today’s announcement came just before the daily gathering got underway.
On Sunday, a confrontation between the Block Garcetti protesters and the Los Angeles Police Department escalated, with video capturing officers in riot gear and face shields hitting protesters with batons, knocking individuals to the ground, and arresting one participant, a member of the local neighborhood council.
LAPD responds to 13th straight day of #blockgarcetti protests outside of mayor’s residence.
Protesters are fighting a Garcetti appointment to a Biden cabinet bc of his handling of issues like homelessness, transportation. pic.twitter.com/mqnoxjLcrM
— Josie Huang (@josie_huang) December 6, 2020
A LAPD spokesperson asserted that the altercation became violent after protesters “received multiple warnings” that they were too close to the mayor’s residence.
“The crowd’s physical response against the officers resulted in an ‘Officer Needs Help’ call and an Unlawful Assembly was declared,” a spokesperson told Refinery29.
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