Facing an audience of about 150 in a barnyard-sized building in South Los Angeles, a paper placard marked “Eric Garcetti” sat before an empty seat. The mayor had been invited to the public forum, hosted by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), on the potential negative impacts of the 2028 Olympics. To no one’s surprise, the mayor did not show.
In late July, the 2028 Olympics were awarded to Los Angeles, following a lengthy bidding process that involved the mayor, city council, a number of wealthy donors, President Trump, and the International Olympics Committee. According to DSA spokesperson Jonny Coleman, L.A. officials barely engaged ordinary residents, beyond a few overpriced luncheons billed as “public forums.” (The mayor’s press secretary did not respond to a request for comment.)