The Mayor of Los Angeles and the co-founder of the Dollar Shave Club found themselves in South Bend today—one year to the day after voters elected Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.
“So many people are fed up with Washington, so many people see government as broken, but everybody belongs to a local community where mayors like Mayor Pete and I are solving everyday problems,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, (D) Los Angeles.
So L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti gathered around a table with his South Bend counterpart Mayor Pete Buttigieg and a couple dozen other likeminded individuals in a building that once housed a Studebaker plant. All looked to one another--instead of up the leadership chain--for answers to the nation’s problems.
“The reality is the solutions are not coming from Washington, that’s probably been true for some time but in particular the feeling now is that we shouldn't wait, and we shouldn't look to Washington to find all the answers, the answers are in our communities,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg, (D) South Bend.
For instance, Garcetti learned a thing or two as he oversaw the passage of a $120 billion dollar ballot proposal to fund Los Angeles county transportation improvements through an increase in the sales tax.
“We voted today for instance, on helping ten cities in this country get infrastructure initiatives passed before their voters in this coming year,” Garcetti said. “So this accelerator will actually go to those places like Nashville, like Baton Rouge, like Denver, throughout the country that are looking to do that.”
South Bend today hosted the inaugural advisory board meeting of a new nonprofit corporation called Accelerator for America: https://acceleratorforamerica.org/
“Immediately there was sparks flying, ideas moving through, even some early decisions made that are going to help frame this organization and help it to deliver impact in the years ahead,” said Mayor Buttigieg.
Eric Garcetti is the son of Gil Garcetti who was the District Attorney of Los Angeles County during the O.J. Simpson trial. Eric Garcetti is also a potential presidential Democratic candidate in 2020.
The rest of the Accelerator for America Advisory Council contains several business leaders including Michael Dubin, CEO of Dollar Shave Club, Swati Mylavarapu, CEO of Incite.org., and Rob Slimp, President and CEO of HNTB, an infrastructure solutions firm. There are also other mayors besides Pete Buttigieg, including Nan Whaley of Dayton, OH, and Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina.
Today marked the group’s first ever meeting. The second is set for Columbia, South Carolina in February.