The candidates for Los Angeles mayor finished their first major debate on Wednesday at Taglyan Cultural Complex, giving them a chance to emphasize their major reforms and policies. The debate was sponsored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and focused on local improvements, maintaining the film industry, and a controversial zoning plan.

The four main candidates are City Controller Wendy Greuel, city council members Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, and federal prosecutor Kevin James.

James made accusations towards the other candidates, mentioning their lack of improvement in Los Angeles. He is the only one who could be considered an “outsider,” as he had never served the city.

Garcetti continued his campaign’s upbeat message of looking forward, rather than focusing on past problems.

From her position in City Hall, Greuel had the unique ability to discuss the process of balancing the budget and cutting the deficit.

Two major issues raised were with the possibility that the entertainment industry, which has been historically synonymous with Hollywood, could relocate to another city to cut costs, and the egregious spending of tax-payer dollars, including the now-unsustainable 2007 increase of wages for city employees. Both of these issues will have significant impact on the future economic status of the area and be deciding factors in the election.

To read more about this event, check out Kate Linthicum’s article in the Los Angeles Times.

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