Los Angeles City Council members Wednesday began steps to prepare the city to host this year’s Summit of the Americas, which takes place every three years as an opportunity for leaders of North, South and Central America and the Caribbean to meet.
The summit, which will be held in June, will focus on “Building a Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Future” in the Americas, the White House announced on Jan. 18.
In preparation, Councilman Paul Krekorian introduced a series of motions Wednesday, including:
— a motion co-introduced with Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Curren Price to have the Economic and Workforce Development department report on how to use the summit to promote foreign direct investment in L.A. and to develop international trade and commerce opportunities for Los Angeles; and to have the department report on options to give local companies the opportunity to compete for contracts related to the summit;
— a motion co-introduced with Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez to have the Los Angeles Police Department and the city administrative officer report on the safety and security requirements related to the summit, partnerships with federal and state agencies to prepare, budgetary requirements and efforts to ensure cost recovery; and
— a motion co-introduced with Martinez and Councilman Gil Cedillo to have the Los Angeles City Tourism Department report on preparations to host the event and the city’s opportunity to highlight its leadership on themes discussed at the summit, including sustainable growth, economic recovery from COVID-19, youth development and immigration.
The United States has not hosted the summit since its inaugural meeting in Miami in 1994. This year’s summit, which is the ninth of its kind, was originally scheduled for 2021 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Los Angeles submitted a bid to host the summit in September. In announcing that the city would host the summit, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office noted that Los Angeles has the largest Latino population in the United States — as well as numerous diaspora populations — the third-busiest airport in the world, the busiest port in the Western Hemisphere and the third-largest consular corps in the world.
“Los Angeles has a rich history of bringing the world together to share ideas and celebrate what we all have in common as members of the global community,” Garcetti said.
“With our deep cultural and economic ties throughout the hemisphere, L.A. is the perfect host for this gathering, and we know this gathering will benefit our communities and our local economy. I am grateful to the Biden administration for selecting our bid, and I’m thrilled to welcome the summit to our city.”
His office added that the summit would provide a boost to Los Angeles’ hospitality industry by bringing people from around the hemisphere to area.
According to the U.S. State Department, the meeting promotes regional cooperation and helps address the region’s most pressing issues, including increasing economic competitiveness, enhancing access to technology, countering human trafficking and promoting democracy and human rights throughout the Americas.
During the most recent summit — which was held in Peru in 2018 — the region’s leaders committed to fighting corruption, according to the U.S. State Department.
The White House said Tuesday it would work with Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom to convene the region’s leaders and stakeholders in the city for the summit.