Los Angeles has choking traffic, high poverty rates and slow job growth, a new report on the city concludes.
Also, locals don't trust City Hall, pension costs are rising and planning documents are outdated.
"Los Angeles is barely treading water while the rest of the world is moving forward," the report titled "A Time for Truth" states.
The 13-member, 2020 Commission helmed by former U.S. Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor released the much-anticipated document on Wednesday marking the end of a nearly year-long research process.
City Council President Herb Wesson requested the report as a way to bring "fresh eyes" to the city's ongoing budget woes.
The reaction to the report seemed to mostly be met with the refrain: "So, what else is new?" A handful of local leaders noted it broke little new ground.
"I didn't learn anything from this," said Steve Soboroff, Los Angeles Police Commission president. "This is stuff that has been out there."
Still, the 20-page report was unsparing in its criticism: The Los Angeles Unified School District is "failing our children," traffic remains gridlocked despite planned transit lines and "special interest and nimbyism" slowed economic growth at the Port of Los Angeles.
Despite the negativity toward the city, Kantor and Wesson appeared largely upbeat at a Wednesday morning news conference, and, rather than criticize city leaders, Kantor praised Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City Council and Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy for making improvements in areas such as pensions and education.
"They have made big changes that are taking us in a good direction," Kantor said. He also suggested that all leaders -- political and civic -- are responsible for turning around the city.
Likewise, Wesson appeared unruffled by the panel's findings of distrust at City Hall and told media members that he welcomes more transparency.
The panel includes former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, former California Gov. Gray Davis and former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner.
Several panel members have financial ties to the city. For example, USC Senior Vice President Thomas Sayles is on the panel, and the report criticized how long it took for the city to approve a USC expansion.
Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said in a statement that the mayor welcomed the 2020 Commission "joining our work to improve L.A.'s economy and reform City Hall." Robb didn't address any specifics in the report.
Soboroff said he's more interested in the panel's next report that will offer suggestions for fixing the city's problems. That report is due in about 90 days.
In an email, Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, wrote: "The report says what we all know: The City of Los Angeles is screwed up." ___