Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's 2011 State Of The City Address

04/13/2011 02:36 pm ET | Updated Jun 13, 2011
  • Alice M. Walton

This live blog will be updated throughout the State of the City address. Refresh page for updates.

5:51 p.m. Randy Newman! I Love L.A.!

5:50 p.m. Here comes Elvis, with a little less conversation.

5:48 p.m. That’s it, folks. Speech ran 33 minutes and was interrupted for applause 23 times. I’m guessing no one did a site visit because with the wooden chairs in this place, it sounds like a herd of elephants is about to rush the stage as everyone stands up at the same time.

5:47 p.m. “Our time is now. The nation is watching. L.A. must take the lead. We can be the best in the west, and the first in the nation.” Are you ready for some footb – Oops, wrong venue.

5:45 p.m. What’s going to be the storyline following tonight? The mayor’s role in contract talks with the teachers’ union.

5:41 p.m. Villaraigosa calls for setting up a fund for public education, which would bring back art, music and after-school programs.

5:40 p.m. At 25 minutes into the speech, the mayor has received 17 applause breaks. Oh – now it’s 18. The crowd is picking up.

5:39 p.m. “I think of John as Bill Bratton with a ruler.” Laughter, applause.

5:38 p.m. With the auditorium doors open, we can hear the protestors outside.

5:36 p.m. “The Partnership was instrumental in a legal victory that protects low-income schools from a ‘last hired, first fired’ policy that results in disproportionate layoffs that create revolving doors of teachers and unstable learning environments for kids.”

(This is where the site went down.)

5:34 p.m. The next four pages of the speech, which are also the last four, are all dedicated to public education.

5:32 p.m. “I have a message for Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker: Collective bargaining works in Los Angeles!” Well, that got a big round of applause from this crowd.

5:31 p.m. Now we’re moving into the budget portion of the mayor’s speech. Villaraigosa is about to tell the crowd that his budget for fiscal year 2011-12 will include a 11 percent cut to his staff’s budget. Other budget highlights include the restoration of library hours, including Monday service, new park facilities and the filling of 300,000 potholes.

5:30 p.m. Talking about youths and public safety is playing well with this crowd. Two applause interruptions for Villaraigosa’s comments on Summer Night Lights.

5:29 p.m. Just realized the podium is surrounded by birds of paradise. Somewhere in Los Angeles there is a very clever florist.

5:27 p.m. Los Angeles has 9,963 police officers, Villaraigosa says. By way of comparison, NYC has about 35,000 and Chicago has 13,500.

5:25 p.m. Villaraigosa is bragging about the Department of Water and Power’s ability to reach 20 percent renewable energy by 2010. Big applause from the audience, but didn’t the city controller just release a report that said that was luck?

5:22 p.m. What did get a laugh? The mayor’s pronunciation of Target as Tar-jey. So hip!

5:21 p.m. "We no longer let the palm trees do our marking." Was that line suppose to get a laugh? It didn't.

5:21 p.m. "We set ambitious goals from the very start; understanding it would take time; realizing we wouldn’t succeed at everything we try; but knowing in our hearts that setting big goals is the only way you accomplish anything worth believing in."

5:19 p.m. Three minutes and 40 seconds into the speech, the mayor has been interrupted by applause five times.

5:17 p.m. Mayor is starting speech by remembering how dangerous Jefferson was six years ago. So far, word-for-word by the prepared remarks.

5:15 p.m. OK, here comes the man himself. Villaraigosa is 15 minutes late, which is actually right on time for him. Standing ovation over, and here we go.

5:14 p.m. Taft is touting Villaraigosa’s Partnership for LA Schools. According to the mayor’s office, the 21 schools in the Partnership schools have more students than the Santa Monica-Malibu and Beverly Hills school systems combined.

5:11 p.m. The president of the Jefferson High School student body just led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Up next, school principal Michael Taft.

5:10 p.m. Cheers and a round of applause for the kids in the drumline.

5:09 p.m. Like a good Boy Scout, Chief of Staff Jeff Carr has been helping City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and Councilwoman Jan Perry find their seats in the front row.
Drumline is still at it.

5:06 p.m. Villaraigosa gal pal Lu Parker is here, standing in front of the drumline to kiss Councilman Tom LaBonge hello and shake Rosendahl’s hand.

5:05 p.m. Is the drumline going to be the most exciting part of the speech? Maybe! On the bright side, these kids are great and they seem to be having a good time.

5:00 p.m. Kicking things off tonight is the Jefferson High School drumline.

4:56 p.m. Also spotted, Controller Wendy Greuel, Gary Toebben from the LA Area Chamber of Commerce and reps from SEIU and LAANE. Recognizing these faces is a talent that will never serve me in any other job.

4:54 p.m. On the media front, there are about a dozen television cameras, plus radio and print.

4:52 p.m. Oh! Two notes I forgot to mention earlier. There are about 25 protesters outside, who said they want Villaraigosa to stop criminalizing the city’s youth. OK …

Also, I have cupcakes. Hungry? Come sit by me.

4:50 p.m. Members of the Los Angeles City Council are beginning to show up, including a chatty Bill Rosendahl.

4:44 p.m. Villaraigosa supporter Richard Katz just walked in. Spotted him earlier looking for parking on 40th Street. Why no, the BMW did not look at all out of place.

4:41 p.m. Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti is in the back, handing out free hugs and chatting up Schatz. John Mack from the Police Commission is also here.

If you imagine there are a lot of cheek kisses and handshakes going on in here … you’re right.

4:38 p.m. And we're off. The doors have opened up here and already LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia and the Central City Association’s Carol Schatz have made their way into the auditorium.

It is April 13 and in about 25 minutes, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will give his sixth State of the City address live from the auditorium at Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles. The text of the mayor's speech will be posted at that time. Stay tuned right here for live updates from the speech.

Lets hope something interesting happens.