Antonio R. Villaraigosa is the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles. He was first sworn in as Mayor on July 1, 2005. His second term began on July 1, 2009.
He is currently President of the US Conference of Mayors. Leading the nation’s mayors, Villaraigosa has advocated for innovative public policy reforms to create jobs, improve the country’s public schools, and expand investment in America’s transportation infrastructure.
As Mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa has pursued an agenda of making Los Angeles the safest big city in America, building a 21st century transportation system, achieving fundamental and far-reaching education reform, spurring economic development by eliminating government red tape and streamlining the City bureaucracy, and making Los Angeles a national model of sustainability and green growth.
Under Villaraigosa’s leadership, Los Angeles has reached a number of historic milestones.
More police officers are on the streets than at any point in City history. Crime has dropped to levels not seen since the 1950s. The Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) has developed the City’s first comprehensive anti-gang strategy and has contributed to a dramatic citywide decline in gang violence.
Billion dollar modernizations at both LAX ($4.1 billion) and the Port of Los Angeles ($1.5 billion) are currently underway. Both projects will generate tens of thousands of construction and permanent jobs and maintain Los Angeles’ status as a premier hub of international trade and tourism.
With the passage of Measure R, a half-penny sales tax increase dedicated to transportation, Los Angeles County will invest $40 billion in new rail, road and highway projects. By the end of Villaraigosa’s second term, four new transit lines will have opened and four will be under construction.
Since 2005, the number of LAUSD schools meeting California’s Academic Performance goal has doubled. There has been a 100% increase in the number of charter schools, and nearly 100 low performing schools have undergone innovative transformations, with leadership dedicated to improving student learning.
Since 1996, Villaraigosa has co-chaired bond initiatives that have brought in $20 billion to finance the building of 111 new schools and 60 school addition projects, providing 124,000 new classroom seats and decreasing the number of schools operating on a multi-track calendar by 89%.
Villaraigosa founded the Partnership, one of the largest school turnaround organizations in the country, to improve student learning at low performing schools and pilot innovations that can be replicated throughout the District. The Partnership serves nearly 17,000 students across 22 schools in LA’s most underserved neighborhoods.
Los Angeles has met the Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gases four years ahead of schedule. The City has also met its first target of getting 20% of its energy from renewable sources. Through its Clean Trucks Program, the Port of Los Angeles has taken over 2,000 dirty diesel trucks off the roads and reduced emissions by 80%. The City is on track to synchronize all traffic lights in Los Angeles, a measure which will save travel time and reduce carbon emissions by 1 metric ton. And 650 acres of new park space have been completed, more than the previous 12 years combined.
Building on the historic success of Measure R and continuing his leadership in the transportation arena, Villaraigosa is leading a bipartisan coalition of more than 100 mayors, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the AFL-CIO in support of America Fast Forward, an innovative transportation funding plan currently before Congress.
Under America Fast Forward, municipalities that dedicate local dollars for transportation projects could leverage federal funds in order to accelerate the construction of their road and rail projects. America Fast Forward would spur billions of dollars in transportation investment and generate as many as 1 million jobs nationwide.
Before being elected as Mayor, Villaraigosa served on the Los Angeles City Council and in the California State Assembly.
Elected as the Councilmember to Los Angeles’ 14th District in 2003, Villaraigosa was widely credited with resolving the Metropolitan Transit Authority transit strike, creating the largest passive park on the Eastside of Los Angeles, and protecting funding for the Arts.
In 1994, Villaraigosa was elected to the California State Assembly and, four years later, his colleagues elected him the first Assembly Speaker from Los Angeles in 25 years.
While in the Assembly, Villaraigosa spearheaded a $9.1 billion initiative to rebuild and modernize California schools, led a $2.1 billion initiative to provide parks and open space throughout the state, funded an extensive expansion of water quality enforcement by the state, and authored the state health insurance program, Healthy Families.
Villaraigosa’s sense of civic justice and political action began at a young age. As a high school student, he volunteered with the farm workers movement and led student walkouts.
After graduating from Theodore Roosevelt High School, Villaraigosa attended UCLA, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He went on to attend the People’s College of Law, a night school dedicated to public-interest law.
By the age of 25, Villaraigosa was elected President of a local union representing civil rights workers and lawyers in six states. Over the next fifteen years, Villaraigosa continued this work as a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union, United Teachers Los Angeles, and then as President of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Federation of Government Employees.
Born on January 23, 1953 in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa is the oldest of four children raised by a single mother, Natalia Delgado.
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- Antonio R. Villaraigosa
- April 2009
- Los Angeles, CA
- Los Angeles, USA
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