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If you like Antonio Villaraigosa's story, you might also like:
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Related Links:
City of Los Angeles
L.A. Historical Society

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Antonio Villaraigosa
Antonio Villaraigosa
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Antonio Villaraigosa Profile

Former Mayor of Los Angeles

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  Antonio Villaraigosa

As Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa presided for eight years over the nation's second largest city, but his life might have turned out very differently. He grew up poor, in a tough neighborhood on the city's east side. A high school drop-out at 16, he was headed for trouble, but his mother would not give up on him. At her urging, he returned to school, attending night classes to finish his diploma. A sympathetic teacher saw his potential and paid his college entrance examination fees.

At the University of California, Los Angeles, Villaraigosa distinguished himself as a student leader in the civil rights and antiwar movements. As a union organizer, labor leader and Speaker of the California State Assembly, he earned the admiration of allies and adversaries alike with his formidable gift for building consensus across party lines and ethnic divides. In 2005, he was elected mayor in a historic landslide. The first Latino to lead the city in over 130 years, he won election with support from every community in the most diverse of American cities.

Easily elected to a second term in 2009, he emerged as a dynamic national spokesman for education reform and expanded investment in America's transportation infrastructure. His administration increased the city's use of renewable energy, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality and saw crime drop to its lowest level in 60 years.

This page last revised on Jul 01, 2013 16:08 EDT
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