How times have changed.
In 2013 Eric Garcetti battled arch-rival Wendy Greuel to be mayor of Los Angeles. Garcetti won. Greuel lost.
But now Mayor Garcetti has appointed Greuel to a key post in the the city’s battle against homelessness, and the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday unanimously confirmed former city Controller Greuel to the board overseeing the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Greuel will be part of a 10-person team that oversees a joint city- county agency providing services to homeless individuals in the region and decides how to distribute federal funding for related programs. Garcetti has made the fight against homelessness one of his key issues.
Greuel called homelessness “one of the toughest issues that I, as a public servant, has ever had to deal with,” and said she is “ready to roll up my sleeves.”
“The great news is that … the city and county are working so well together in developing a strategic plan, and it’s time to begin that implementation,” Greuel said. “The bad news is that we have more homeless than any of us would like to see on the streets of Los Angeles.”
Tackling homelessness “has been a passion of mine for many years,” said Greuel, who worked in former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s administration for 10 years as an adviser on issues such as education, housing and homelessness.
She was also deputy director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during Bill Clinton’s presidency.
Greuel noted she was part of Bradley’s team when the city sued the county “because we weren’t talking to one another,” which led to the creation of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Prior to becoming city controller, Greuel served as a Los Angeles city councilwoman, representing a San Fernando Valley area district from 2002 until 2009.
She is now a consultant for Discovery Cube Los Angeles, a children’s science museum.
Council members welcomed Greuel’s appointment, with Curren Price telling Greuel that “we need your help.”
“You are the right person at the right time,” he said.
Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who co-chairs the council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee, said he is “glad we got an A-list player to help us through this time and get to the other side, where Los Angeles is a place where we have the reasonable expectation that human beings sleep indoors at night.”
The council voted 15-0 to approved Greuel’s appointment to replace United Way of Greater Los Angeles President Elise Buik, who has been on the commission for five years.
Greuel was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was her 2013 mayoral race opponent.
The LAHSA commission includes 10 members, with five appointed by the county Board of Supervisors, and another five by the Los Angeles mayor and City Council. The position is unpaid.
—Staff and wire reports
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