“Rome Burns” – NBC Los Angeles

In what appeared to be stinging criticism of his successor, former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called the city he once ruled “rudderless” and “drifting”.

“I was born and raised here,” Villaraigosa said at NBC4’s NewsConference on Sunday. “I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve never seen this city so dirty, I’ve never seen crime increase so quickly … the spread of homelessness … I think there is a lack of clear leadership in this city. “

At the insistence of the 41st said, nonetheless, he argued that there was a “lack of leadership” from the town hall that he heard “across the city”.

“I think Rome burns for many,” said Villaraigosa. “I cleaned shoes on 7th and Broadway, and sometimes on 5th and Broadway … I know Broadway and downtown. I remember when we left in 2013 it was booming … and we’re going to have to do something. Humanly yes, but something to address the extent of homelessness. “

Villaraigosa supported MP Karen Bass as mayor for next year this week. The two have known each other for almost 50 years when they were both community activists. Both served in the State Assembly and both served as meeting speakers.

“We need someone like her to bring us together,” he said. “Accepting these challenges. Treating the problems of this city with a sense of urgency.”

The 41st mayor also lamented the recent city government scandal, with the federal indictment announced this week against councilor Mark Ridley Thomas.

“I’ve known him for 40 years and have a lot of respect for him and his family … but there is no question that all of this taken together really undermines trust in our city government,” said Villaraigosa.

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