Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will hold a birthday celebration fundraiser for his campaign for governor Sunday at Union Station.
Tickets are priced at $50, $150, $250 and $5,000.
Villaraigosa turned 65 Jan. 23.
Villaraigosa told City News Service he is running for governor because “we need a leader focused every single day on growing our economy and creating more high-wage jobs.”
“We have so many unanswered needs, but we have one clear answer — create more high-wage jobs,” Villaraigosa, a Democrat, said.
“The answer to creating millions more high-wage jobs starts with making sure our state is investing enough in our schools, colleges, health care, roads, rail, housing and water infrastructure, which are the basic building blocks of a strong economy.”
To reduce California’s poverty rate, the highest among the nation’s 50 states when the cost of living is factored in, according to figures from the Census Bureau, Villaraigosa promised as governor to “focus first on better schools, better transit and infrastructure and millions more affordable homes because I know these investments grow our economy and help bring our state together.”
“What is so powerful about economic opportunity and economic growth is that they both create a virtuous circle,” Villaraigosa said. “Lifting families out of poverty lowers crime, increases levels of health and even increases academic achievement in schools, because children in stable economic situations do better in school than children living in poverty.
“Creating high-wage jobs and expanding the middle class helps heal the festering wound of income inequality. And certainly, creating high-wage jobs creates dramatically more tax revenue, which we can invest in better schools, better roads and rail, creating affordable and universal health care, protecting our environment and any one of a number of pressing priorities.”
Villaraigosa said he selected “Giving voice to every Californian” as his campaign slogan because “we’re never going to make this state work for us again unless we give voice to the people who are all too often not heard in Sacramento.”
“That’s what my campaign is about — giving voice to everyone,” Villaraigosa said. “That’s what my service as governor will be about — making sure the people are heard in Sacramento and their priorities are addressed.”