By Megan Goulding
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed a crowd of more than 300 civic leaders, public servants, and philanthropists Oct. 8, when he provided the lunchtime keynote address at a major conference on veterans’ affairs, hosted by the USC Price School of Public Policy. The event marked Garcetti’s first visit to USC as L.A.’s mayor since taking office in June.
The day-long conference, “Work and Home: Addressing the Urgent Needs of Returning Veterans,” was held on the University Park campus, and featured a number of high-profile national experts who discussed the complex challenges facing returning veterans, including housing and workforce development.
During his remarks, Garcetti announced plans to establish a new Office of Veterans Affairs within the city of Los Angeles, specifically calling for innovative, progressive and promising practices to support the 120,000 veterans that call the city of Los Angeles home.
“I want this new Office of Veterans Affairs to develop a comprehensive strategy for Los Angeles; to create partnerships among our city, state, federal, nonprofit, faith-based and community-based organizations to address the varying and complex needs of our veterans and their families,” said Garcetti.
In welcoming Garcetti, USC President C.L. Max Nikias noted the university’s longstanding commitment to veterans, and praised the Price School for convening such an important conference.
“USC is such a natural place for the military and our veterans for one simple reason — we are all committed to lives of all service and leadership that benefit our neighbors and our nation,” said Nikias.