Tom and I welcome you to our home this evening.
If Los Angeles were a country, our economy would be the 17th largest on the planet. So it is not hard to envision that what happens around the world – in nations large and small – in major metropolitan cities and in tiny dusty villages – has a tremendous effect on us here – in this the most diverse city in the U.S.
Our city – the city of angels – is indeed inextricably shaped by global affairs. At the Vatican they call this “urbe et orbi” … the City and the World.
Make no mistake — what happens around the globe has great resonance here in Los Angeles — and those global decisions don’t take months or years to reach our shores. A new energy policy adopted in the middle-east is digested and disseminated moments later in L.A. An economic catastrophe in Europe is felt on the soundstages in our backyard in record time. A human rights campaign begun in an impoverished land far from here — can become the 'talk of the town' on the Westside within one news cycle.
As most of you know, The Los Angeles World Affairs Council seeks to promote a better understanding of our world and our place in it — by hosting events like tonight — where we get a first hand and up close chance to hear from prominent speakers — leading decision makers of our day.
And tonight is a perfect example of that.
I first came to know tonight's speaker, our Attorney General Jerry Brown, when he was the Governor of California — and when he took the bold and controversial step of appointing my late partner, Rand Schrader, to the bench.
Rand was fond of saying that what defines leadership is one's persistent commitment … it's the longevity and steadfastness of your ability to see your goals and ideals come to fruition. And when it comes to that kind of dedication there are few that can compete with Jerry.
In the last 15 days alone … Jerry’s office has:
… in 15 days!
And in the nearly 40 years of committed public service leading up to those last two weeks — Jerry has served us as a Secretary of State — a Governor — a Mayor and an Attorney General. And I think that he will tell you that he is just getting started. We have no greater friend in Sacramento.
A committed civil rights advocate, a passionate protector of the environment, a voice for the less fortunate and ignored … ladies and gentleman, our good friend, Jerry Brown.