Austin Beutner speaks to members of the Asian American community at the 'Visions for LA' speaker series.
A group of 30 of the most prominent members of the Asian American community attended Center for Asians United for Self Empowerment's (CAUSE) inaugural 'Visions for LA' speaker series featuring its first guest, major declared mayoral candidate Austin Beutner on Wednesday, January 25 at a luncheon in Chinatown.
Beutner began by giving an overview of his mayoral campaign, proposing to eradicate the “lack of common sense and lack of accountability” prevalent in City Hall by the use of a new business model approach. Additionally, he promised to form a partnership with the Asian American community, saying that he would listen to and work closely with the community on City issues.
Having recently worked as Los Angeles’ First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy, Beutner said that a results-oriented approach to running the City was needed.
“I spent 30 years in business and one year in city hall and what I learned over and over again in business is you have to deliver a result, that’s what you’re measured on,” said Beutner. “Enough rhetoric, enough promises. Let’s see the potential of Los Angeles realized.”
Beutner criticized his opponents, all of whom have served in City Hall, claiming that they do not deserve the promotion to mayor by constituents because they have all failed to solve problems that have been plaguing the City for the last 10 years.
“I thought I would find dedicated elected officials who got up every day and thought about how they can make life different and better for their constituents,” said Beutner. “I found people more interested in their own life and lifestyles than those of their constituents... I read in the newspapers that everything is intractable, excuses... I actually found it was possible to do things.”
CAUSE Board Chair Charlie Woo, who served as event moderator, repeatedly commented on how important it was for the Asian American community to build solid relationships and share their visions of the City with the next mayor of Los Angeles.
The community leaders present also sought to learn more about Beutner by asking him questions about the City’s toughest issues, which included immigration reform, education, unemployment and transportation. The overarching answer in Beutner’s responses was that in order to solve these issues, the City’s officials and its residents – including all Ethnic communities– need to band together.
“My commitment to the Asian Pacific community in particular is to listen carefully and to work with you in partnership, you belong at the head table, you belong seated next to the mayor making decisions about the direction Los Angeles goes and you belong next to the mayor working arm-in-arm to make sure that we rightly secure the place we should have in the 21st Century as that nexus between Asia and America and I think that’s going to provide the foundation for success in our city,” Beutner said.
Woo commented on the success of the event and Beutner’s solid introduction to key members of the Asian American community.
"He definitely has left a strong impression today and we expect him to bring a refreshing perspective to the 2013 mayoral campaign," Woo said.
'Visions for LA' is a speaker series developed by CAUSE as a way for members of the Asian American community to participate in in-depth conversations with the leading 2013 mayoral candidates of Los Angeles. The speaker series will span through the year to include other major candidates. The next luncheon will be held in March with Councilmember Eric Garcetti.
"As the Asian population continues to grow in the City of Los Angeles, it is crucial for the community to be take part in electing the next leader of Los Angeles," said Sandra Chen Lau, a member of the CAUSE Board. "This Vision of LA series provided the community with an up close and personal opportunity to directly speak with the candidates. Austin Beutner, with his outsider candidacy, has set the tone to include Asians at the table as he discussed key issues of the Asian community, such as small businesses, education, and arts and culture."