(Reuters) – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s White House hopes could hang on how he quickly he is able to resolve the city’s first teachers’ strike in three decades, which disrupted classes for nearly half a million students for a fourth day on Thursday.
Although the 47-year-old Democrat does not have direct control over the nation’s second-largest school system, he will mediate talks between union and district leaders after days of protests that grabbed nationwide headlines.
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The move may help Garcetti, who is considering a presidential run but has not officially declared his intentions, raise his national profile.
Strategists said it also could tie his reputation to the outcome, with a quick deal giving him a boost while drawn-out scenes of the union’s 30,000 mostly Latino teachers on picket lines could harm his standing with key Democratic constituencies.
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“Before the strike, I had this in the column of things that would be really hard on his presidential campaign,” said Raphael Sonenshein, the executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University in Los Angeles. “If he’s able to bring some influence to bear that contributes to a positive resolution, that would potentially be a plus.”
Garcetti is one of more than a dozen Democrats weighing whether to take on the Republican Party’s presumptive 2020 nominee, President Donald Trump. White House aspirants are already scrambling to try to raise their national profiles and secure staff and donors.
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In his two terms as mayor and decade before that on the city council, the Spanish-speaking Garcetti focused on environmental and urban planning initiatives, seeking to cut back Los Angeles’ famous dependence on cars.
He frequently employs the hashtag #MayorsGetThingsDone on Twitter, part of his argument that his experience compares favorably with that of lawmakers in often-gridlocked Washington.
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But other than leading the city’s bid for the...
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