Silver Lake resident Eric Garcetti's campaign for Los Angeles mayor shifted into a higher gear Thursday at Los Angeles City College's Camino Theater.
Before about 200 people--many from Echo Park and Silver Lake--the former city council president said "jobs" will be his top priority as mayor.
Garcetti highlighted community colleges as a place where those job can incubate.
He pointed to LACC programs already teaching government job skills and computer programming as models.
Garcetti said he would create an office to partner with USC, UCLA, CalTech and other colleges and universities.
He said it would help take ideas "from the school to the boardroom" and "keep the best and brightest in L.A." so they can "produce good jobs as they start businesses here."
Garcetti also returned to a favorite theme--City Hall reform to make it easier for businesses and residents.
Toward that, he said he would require every department head at City Hall to re-apply for their positions, and make "customer service" metrics part of employees' accountability.
He also said he would create the position of Chief Technology Officer for the city, in a move to bring more efficiency to City Hall.
Garcetti also highlighted the dramatic changes in his own district.
He pointed to Silver Lake's shopping district, recently commended in Sunset Magazine, to Atwater, Hollywood and Echo Park as representing the kind of growth possible in other parts of Los Angeles.
"We are ready to take the lessons we have learned in [Council District 13] city wide," he said.
Silver Lake's Donna Choi, who owns on Sunset Boulevard, was in the audience Thursday.
She told us she thinks Garcetti's anti-graffiti program UNTAG could definitely transfer.
Choi's gift and accessories shop is not far from the first location of Garcetti's field office, now in Hollywood.
She also hopes he'll bring the "open door policy" that characterized that office and staff to City Hall.
In a case of life imitating art, during Thursday's speech Garcetti referred to his office's success in taking down a "gang house on Drew Street in Glassell Park."
And, on Sunday, Garcetti joins actor Jake Gyllenhaal for a fundraiser featuring a screening of End of Watch.
The film is the story of two LAPD officers targeted by a crime cartel.
Garcetti has a cameo as L.A. mayor in the film, which opens Sept. 21.