“I have cherished memories of huddling in the Iowa snow with other early believers in a message of hope and change, knocking on doors in Des Moines to talk to people about a charismatic young senator from Illinois, and celebrating an Election Night that will live as one of the most transformative chapters in the story of our republic.
There was just something about Barack Obama that lit a spark in the American people, and spoke to the nation we aspired to be. As candidate and President, he inspired an entire generation of young people to engage in the civic process and take ownership of their country for the first time.
President Obama has led America with wisdom, integrity, compassion, and grace. I am privileged to call him a friend, honored to have served on his Climate Change Task Force, and grateful that he has been such an extraordinary ally to Los Angeles during his time in the White House. The Obama Administration has been a steady partner with our city, making investments and providing guidance that will leave a lasting legacy in L.A. His leadership has helped us expand our transportation network, house more homeless veterans than any other city, invest in young people who need a second chance to complete their education or enter the workforce, develop new technologies that will deliver the next generation of manufacturing jobs, begin to bring the L.A. River back to life, strengthen relationships between police officers and the communities they serve, preserve our natural heritage by declaring a national monument in the San Gabriel Mountains, and make L.A. the only city in the nation with two Promise Zones. These are powerful achievements that testify to remarkable progress, and speak to what can be accomplished when we unite behind unyielding hope and a fierce determination to bring change.
The Obama presidency will be remembered not just because it represented a landmark moment in our history, but because you can’t listen to the President and First Lady without feeling an abiding love for this country. They inspired us to believe again in the power of government as a force for good — and over the past eight years reminded us why we have to look out for the poor, speak up for the defenseless, and take a stand for working people and Americans who for too long have lacked basic necessities like quality health care they can afford. Angelenos and people throughout our nation and world owe President Obama a huge debt of gratitude — and though his leadership will be missed, we will forever treasure his friendship and look forward to seeing what the next chapter will bring.”