“Los Angeles is an underachieving city,” wrote the Los Angeles Times in its 2013 mayoral endorsement. “The candidate with the most potential to rise to the occasion and lead Los Angeles out of its current malaise and into a more sustainable and confident future is Eric Garcetti.”
An overwhelming number of startup founders seem to agree that Garcetti is the best candidate to bring out the best in Silicon Valley’s sister city to the south.
“Eric is by far the best candidate for Los Angeles, and has demonstrated a clear plan to grow jobs & our local economy. The proof is in his record, he spearheaded an innovative partnership with our company to provide LA business owners/operators the simplest way to get business licenses,” Jason Nazar, founder and CEO of Docstoc, told us in an email. “He has the overwhelming endorsement of our tech community, and he’s someone I know will work tirelessly to make this the best city for every small business.”
Given the strong desire by L.A.’s startup community to see Garcetti in office, and his impressively geeky record as a city councilman, I’m compelled to endorse his candidacy and urge Angelenos to elect him as its next mayor on May 21st.
Government’s have an undeniable impact on technology entrepreneurs: burdensome taxes and regulations can strangle innovation in the cradle, while funding for education and research are foundational to emerging stars.
Mayors can be powerful allies if they care enough about startups. If San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee hadn’t personally gone out to petition for local proposition E, it might never have passed and saved nascent startups thousands in payroll costs.
Most importantly, we likely won’t know the biggest challenges of the industry in the near future. A few years ago, the sharing economy barely existed, let alone faced the aggressive targeting of government regulators. In Garcetti’s (hopefully) eight years as L.A. mayor, the only thing we have to go on in whether he will prioritize startups on unknown issues against established interests is how he has treated startups in the past.
Nearly every startup we spoke to not only knew of Garcetti, but knew him personally. We cannot think of a policymaker in L.A. who has dedicated more of his time to our readers. But don’t take it from me, take it from the flood of endorsements we received on his behalf (below).
Our mission with TechCrunch’s policy channel, CrunchGov, is to keep our readers informed about laws and policymakers that affect your ability to build amazing things. As mayor, Garcetti will no doubt help you all do that.
Tara Tiger Brown, Represent.LA/ LA Makerspace
Eric Garcetti understands the importance of startups and technology to the future of the Los Angeles economy. He wants high school students to learn how to code, he understands that small tech firms are key to retaining engineering talent, and he’s dedicated to working closely with our research universities to ensure we benefit fully from our innovation leadership.
Sam Friedman & Alexander Israel, ParkMe co-founders
Eric Garcetti has the right policies to foster innovation and growth for our tech industry. His stewardship will drive collaboration among the private sector and local government to help create solutions and increase efficiencies to issues such as traffic and parking.
Jason Lehmbeck, Datapop
Garcetti would be the first real tech champion in the LA mayor’s office. His track record on the council in leveraging tech to make Angelenos lives better speaks for itself including launching the first 311 app in his district years ago. His specific plans as mayor point to LA taking its rightful place as a global center of innovation. These aren’t just campaign talking points, they are real initiatives that will have a big impact on city life including appointing a city CTO as well as setting up an office to work with LA’s great universities to encourage all those talented engineers and scientists to stay in LA. As a tech entrepreneur in LA, he has my vote.
Greg Cohn, Co-Founder & CEO, Ad Hoc Labs (makers of Burner)
Eric understands the impact the tech economy is having on LA today, and as an ideas person, the long-term transformative potential inherent in fostering a startup ecosystem. He also gets tech culture — both at the level of what needs to be done to support & enable it, and at the level of what the city could learn from it to be more efficient and effective.
Adam Lilling Managing Director – Plus Capital and Founding Director – LaunchpadLA
Too many politicians make decisions based on personal experience. It’s very limiting. Eric uses data to inform and drive his decisions and he uses it to help others see the way forward. From the first time I met him (he knew the lease terms on my Chevy volt by heart) to the last time I heard him speak (he used historical data and a trend line to make a point) he has the substance to support his charming ways ;)
Marc Mitchell, CEO and co-Founder, Lootsie
Eric has consistently shown that he understands how technology can be used effectively, efficiently and at a low cost to address LA’s everyday problems. In his district, the Garcetti311 app has been used to fill potholes and to identify and remove graffiti in a quick, cost-effective manner that puts citizens directly in touch with their elected leaders. Solutions like these are replicable and scalable and will benefit all of LA when Eric is mayor.
Jason Rapp, Managing Director, Science-Inc.
“Eric Garcetti has actively supported the tech community in LA for years. He understands that the tech industry is a powerful job engine and community builder. He listens carefully and he takes action swiftly — two important ingredients whether you’re running a startup or a city.”