Last weekend, after months of speculation and hours before Saturday’s deadline, the billionaire developer Rick Caruso jumped into the race to become the mayor of Los Angeles.
He entered an already crowded field of prominent candidates, including Representative Karen Bass; two current members of the City Council, Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino; and city attorney, Mike Feuer.
But the election won’t happen for several months, and it’s likely Los Angeles will need a new mayor before that.
If the current mayor, Eric Garcetti, is confirmed as the US ambassador to India, he will almost certainly take up the new job before his term ends. That might add to the confusion emanating from the City Hall mired in scandals and controversies.
“Los Angeles needs to be prepared for what is to come,” Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State Los Angeles, wrote in a recent memo.
In case you need a refresher, Garcetti testify in December before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, last month forward his nomination. His confirm now before the full Senate, where it requires a simple majority.
If Garcetti steps down, Sonenshein writes, the city’s charter offers a clear short-term solution: City Council President Nury Martinez will automatically assume the position of mayor.
Because it’s an automatic change, Martinez – who serves as mayor whenever Garcetti leaves the state – will also keep his Council role.
“It would hardly be fair to force the council president to assume the role of mayor and thereby lose the office he or she won in an election,” wrote Sonenshein.
What is less clear is how long she will be mayor.
If the City Council does not take any action, Martinez will continue as mayor until December, when the winner of the election takes office. Or, the Council could choose to formally appoint her mayor to end Garcetti’s term, in which case she “probably will have to resign from Council,” Sonenshein told me.
The council could also appoint someone else to become mayor temporarily – including the winner of the June 7 primaries. However, Sonenshein noted that it is unlikely any candidate will. who will receive the majority of votes in the primary, which is required to win outright without leading to a vote.
Sonenshein says he thinks City Council is more likely to take the path of least resistance, which means essentially doing nothing.
“My guess is there will be a desire for the city to run fairly smoothly through the election,” he said.
The deadline to enter the mayoral race is Saturday, meaning Martinez cannot run for the permanent job, reducing the risk of political tensions surrounding her work in the interim role.
Martinez told me that she and her staff are well prepared for the transition. Leading the work of the Pandemic Council is a useful practice, she said.
“The city is designed to adapt and sustain this change,” she said. “We will continue.”
Currently, she and her colleagues are working to temporarily fill the Council seat of Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was suspended after he was indicted on federal corruption charges. As The Los Angeles Times reportedit’s a much more complicated issue.
If you read a story, make it this story
The Afghans betting on a quick road to the United States are facing a closed door.
Where we are traveling
Today’s travel tip comes from David W. Crane, who recommends San Francisco’s hidden stairs:
“Many of these stairs start between two houses, and there’s no way to tell unless you know they’re there. I drop them at the top and pick them up at the bottom. Don’t go up the stairs, just go down. There will often be gardens next to the stairs. If you catch the owner, they often like to talk about their garden. The stairs often offer great views of the city. There are guidebooks that will tell visitors how to get to the stairs. ”
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We will share more in upcoming versions of the newsletter.
And before you go, some good news
In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered glimmers of gold in a valley northeast of Sacramento, a discovery that sparked the Gold Rush.
The site is now a public park and, on Friday, officials dedicated a new path to honoring a group often forgotten in California history.
The Gam Saan Trail, which means “Golden Mountain” in Cantonese, records Chinese immigrants working in the mines in California. A hillside near the passage was recently discovered to be the burial site of Chinese miners.
“Gold mining is the beginning of the economic development of the state,” said Douglas Hsia, board member of the nonprofit Locke Foundation, tell CapRadio. “And the Chinese play a big part in that, but we’ve never been written about and never talked about before.”
Thanks for reading. We will be back tomorrow.
P.S. here Small crossword todayand a clue: The pony (4 letters).
Soumya Karlamangla, Briana Scalia and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can contact the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/us/los-angeles-mayors-race.html Los Angeles Mayor’s Race Explained