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Black Lives Matter and other activists protest possible Biden appointment for Garcetti

By Dakota Smith and James Queally, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES — Banging drums and chanting "Block Garcetti," activists with Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles and other groups rallied outside Mayor Eric Garcetti's home to protest the mayor's possible appointment to President-elect Joe Biden's administration.

Monday's demonstration marked the seventh day in a row that protesters have gathered outside Getty House, the official residence of L.A.'s mayor.

Protesters slammed Garcetti's record on transportation, homelessness and policing and said he shouldn't be in charge of those policies at a federal level.

"It's been a rough seven years with Garcetti," said Channing Martinez, director of organizing for the Bus Riders Union, a civil rights and climate justice group. "The fare increases, the bus service cuts. His policies have targeted Black people."

Garcetti, who served as a co-chair of Biden's election campaign, has been mentioned by various publications as a possible contender for a Cabinet post or other job in Biden's administration. He hasn't dismissed such talk but also has said "it's more likely than not" that he'll remain L.A.'s mayor.

Then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was also the topic of speculation over whether he would be appointed secretary of Transportation under President Barack Obama.

 

Bu unlike Garcetti, Villaraigosa ultimately issued a statement in 2013 announcing he would finish out his term, a move intended to end chatter about his possible departure.

Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles — which has long clashed with Garcetti over policing — and other groups have vowed to protest every day until either the mayor removes himself as a possible appointee or Biden says he won't hire him.

Protesters first showed up on Tuesday, banging on pots to harangue Garcetti. At one point that day, the crowd of about 35 blocked a vehicle from exiting the driveway of Getty House.

"It's a damn shame. Someone who has failed in both the areas of transportation and houselessness and now they think of putting him on a national level to be in charge of any of it," said Sheila Banks, a 34-year-old organizer with Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, during the Tuesday protest.

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