January 29, 2019

on Tuesday, January 29 at 5 p.m. [Pacific] at L.A. City Hall.  He spoke for about five and a half minutes, then answered questions.


Good evening everybody.  Last week after six long days of difficult and challenging negotiations right here in this room, I stood here to announce an historic agreement between our teachers union and our school district for moving our schools forward.

I said that at a time when so many of our country feel like we're being pulled apart, that it was amazing to see us pull together.  And I have to say it renewed my faith in democracy and renewed my faith in this country. 

I am a person of faith.  Faith in God, faith in my family, faith in this City and faith in this country.
And over the last year I have traveled through America, and I have witnessed an America awakening in small towns and big cities across this great nation.

I see cities and local leaders who are reinventing American manufacturing, who are cutting opioid deaths in half, getting 100% renewable energy for their cities.  I saw a vision of a brighter future and a better day.  It's quite a contrast to what we see coming out of Washington, DC every day.

Reflecting on those travels and recognizing the incredible opportunity that I have every single day as mayor of this great town, I realized that this is what I am meant to do.  This is where I want to be, and this is a place where we have so much exciting work to finish.

I've also realized in my thinking that I'm kind of old fashioned.  it may be out of vogue today but I kind of believe that whenever possible you should finish the job that you set out to do.

And finally, I also know that the two things I love the most, my family and my city, are right here in L.A..

So I have decided not to throw my hat into the ring to run for president in 2020.

This was not an easy decision given the extraordinary times that we live in.  As an American, like so many of us, we look to Washington for our better angels; we look to a government that would be kind and caring, but today we see one that is corrupt and cruel.  Worst of all, they can't seem to get anything done.

I left this room where we, in less than a week of negotiations, were able to hammer out our differences, and I went straight to Washington to see head first, the longest government shutdown in American history.

It is such an honor to work at the local level, where America works every single day.

You see you can't make anything great if it doesn't even work, and we all need to make America work again.

And you can count on me in that fight now and always.  I'm so proud to be mayor of this city, this city of angels.  Four million souls who've entrusted in me the leadership of this city of tomorrow.
It embodies an America where we all belong.  And when I thought hard about this place where we have our fights and differences, but where we have moved so much forward.  In just over five years, think about what we have done together. 

We've raised the minimum wage and cut unemployment in half.

We lowered our city's business taxes and saw nearly a quarter million new businesses open up.

We passed the nation's largest measures for homeless housing and homeless services. 

And passed the largest transportation measure in the nation's history times two to build 15 transit lines in this city.

We've tripled the number of jobs for our youth and made community college free.

We've reduced homicides and fatal police shootings.

LAX and the Port of L.A., those great gateways to America, are being remade and are setting new records.

We won the Olympics and the Paralympics while paving a record number of streets, and we're the number one solar city in America.

I'm so proud of this city and its people.  But I have a message for my fellow Angelenos. This isn't just a city of shared work.  This is a city of shared convictions—a belief in a country where we all belong, whether we're immigrant or native born, LGBTQ or straight ,Anglo or people of color, retirees or even millennials.  If we are—there's one millennial in the back there.  If we were able to accomplish all that in the short time that we've had together, think of what we can do in the next four years.

And finally, I want to say I feel even more secure in my decision watching the field of candidates who are jumping into the race in 2020—friends, colleagues, even fellow mayors.  Each of them share my belief in a more United States of America, and they can count on me to be with them every step of that fight to take our country back.

So tonight, I know I can't wait to go home and tuck my daughter into bed and to read her a book, to wake up and to see that beautiful red sun sunrise here in Los Angeles and to put on my suit and come to City Hall and to work on behalf of those people who have no voice, for those who have been left behind, for those who dream of a better country and a better day and here where America lives right here in this nation, to take this country back.

Let's get to work.

Q&A followed...

Over the last year, I have traveled across America and witnessed an America awakening in small towns and big cities across our nation. (1/4) EG

I’ve seen cities and local leaders reinventing American manufacturing, cutting opioid deaths in half, and bringing 100% renewable energy to their towns. I saw a vision of a brighter future and a better day. (2/4) EG

What I saw is such a contrast to what we see coming out of Washington every day. Reflecting on my travels and recognizing the incredible opportunity I have every day as an American mayor, I realized that this is what I am meant to do. This is where I want to be. (3/4) EG

I am so excited to finish the work that we have begun here in Los Angeles. So I have decided not to throw my hat into the race for president in 2020. (4/4) EG