Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Sounding every bit the possible statewide candidate for higher office, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti insisted Thursday that he’s focused on an “American” agenda and not on the politics of the Democratic Party.

After Garcetti’s  massive, possibly record victory for reelection this week, City Hall pundits immediately began speculating about a possible run for governor or even U.S. senator, if that seat opens up next year.

Garcetti, along with a host of nationally elected Democratic bigwigs, has been invited to speak at the Washington, D.C. Center for American Progress’ Ideas Conference in May.

“There was a frustration after the November campaign where everybody said, `What do you think the Democratic agenda should be?’ and quite frankly, I care less, quote unquote, about the Democratic agenda than the American agenda,” Garcetti said when asked what his message at the conference might be.

A “who’s who” of possible Democratic 2020 presidential candidates will also be speaking at the conference, including Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

The Center is a think tank that was founded by John Podesta, who ran Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Politico characterized the conference as the Center for American Progress’ “biggest move yet to establish itself as both the nexus of the Democratic Party’s future and a player trying to shape what that future will be.”

The website also said the center is modeling the event roughly on the Conservative Political Action Conference, which has become an annual gathering of prominent conservative leaders and may be an attempt to become a liberal version of the CPAC.

Garcetti did not want to go along with any characterization of the event’s larger ambitions.

“You can describe it however you want. I accepted the invitation because I work with the Center for American Progress very sensibly on the environment, on immigration and on economic development and jobs programs, and I’m a huge fan of them. And I do think that it is time for us to be generating ideas for the next 20 years for this country,” Garcetti said.

Garcetti said he worries about how the automation of industries could impact jobs and that the country’s focus should be there.

“I think we should be very focused on work, the nature of jobs, good jobs and middle class jobs in the future and the livability of our cities,” he said.

— City News Service

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