Los Angeles has a strong mayor council form of government,
giving the mayor the position of chief executive of the city.
The city does not have a city manager and as a result, the mayor
truly is the one responsible, much like a President or Governor,
for the success of the city. The mayor is given the authority
to appoint general managers and commissioners, remove officials
from city posts, and is required to propose a budget each year.
Most of the Mayor's appointments and proposals are subject to
approval by the City Council, but the Mayor has the power of veto
or approval of City Council legislation
R. Villaraigosa is the 41st mayor of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, April 06, 2008
Antonio R. Villaraigosa is the 41st mayor of Los Angeles
He was elected on May 17, 2005 and sworn in to office on July 1,
Villaraigosa is known for his exceptional skill at building broad
bi-partisan coalitions and is considered one of the leading progressive
voices in the country. His mayoral platform emphasizes finding solutions
to the major issues facing Los Angeles including education, transportation,
public safety, economic development and ethics.
Born on January 23, 1953 in East Los Angeles to a Mexican immigrant
father and a California-born mother of Mexican descent. His birth
name was Antonio Villar. His alcoholic father beat his mother, and
abandoned the family when Antonio was in kindergarten. He remains
estranged from his father.
He is the oldest of four children raised by a single mother, Natalia
Delgado. Villaraigosa graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School
and attended UCLA, where he received a B.A. degree in history. He
is a graduate of the People’s College of Law.
At the age of 15, Villaraigosa began his lifelong involvement with
the labor movement as a volunteer with the farm workers movement,
later he served as a field representative/organizer with the United
Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). He also is a past President of the
Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the
American Federation of Government Employees.
In 1994, Villaraigosa was elected to the California State Assembly;
four years later, his colleagues elected him the first Assembly
Speaker from Los Angeles in 25 years. While Speaker, Villaraigosa
oversaw passage of landmark state legislation including the modernization
of public schools, the toughest assault weapons ban in the country,
the largest urban neighborhoods parks initiative in America, and
the “Healthy Families” program that provides healthcare
for over a half a million California children.
He ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 2001 and narrowly lost the election.
He then was appointed a distinguished fellow at UCLA and USC, where
he helped write “After Sprawl” a policy blueprint for
addressing the issues facing many urban centers.
In 2003, he won the 14th District Los Angeles City Council Seat.
During his tenure on the City Council, he championed many of the
issues he is addressing today as Mayor and is widely credited with
resolving the MTA transit strike, creating the largest passive park
on the Eastside and Los Angeles, and protecting funding for the