The Mall Mogul and Former Republican Who Could Lead Los Angeles

 

Still, his supporters say it’s exactly his expertise exterior authorities that’s driving their enthusiasm. They see a metropolis riddled with crime, the place tent encampments for the homeless have taken over sidewalks and freeway underpasses — a metropolis at its lowest level in years. Many complain about R.V.s parked for days or even weeks on residential streets, individuals defecating in public parks, robberies within the metropolis’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

“It’s simply uncontrolled,” Jay Sures, a Caruso supporter who’s the co-president of United Talent Agency, stated when speaking about crime, citing a latest instance of considered one of his staff getting held up at gunpoint close to Universal Studios. “This homeless factor can also be uncontrolled,” he stated. “We should make it so our youngsters can exit within the streets. I believe our metropolis is in shambles proper now.”

On a latest stroll by means of Venice, a rich seaside group and metropolis neighborhood that has change into a main battleground over homelessness, Mr. Caruso, wearing an impeccably tailor-made swimsuit, listened as a resident, Marjorie Weitzman, lamented each the enduring presence of encampments and plans to develop extra low-income housing within the space.

Ms. Weitzman stated she thought-about herself “a reformed liberal.”

“There’s lots of people such as you,” Mr. Caruso stated, nodding in settlement.

During an occasion Mr. Sures hosted in Brentwood, one visitor requested Mr. Caruso in regards to the headline-grabbing homicide of a 24-year-old girl within the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles through which the authorities have stated they consider the killer was homeless. Mr. Caruso regarded over at his daughter and started to tear up. His daughter was a classmate of the sufferer’s at Brentwood High School.

“A younger lady being stabbed over 20 or 30 instances alone — dying alone — it might be anyone’s daughter,” he stated later in an interview. “But I believe it additionally went, you recognize, to this worry that you just’ve bought of individuals which are homeless.”

Mr. Caruso has lengthy cultivated a picture as a doting household man.

For years, he advised associates he was reluctant to run for mayor due to the impact it may have on his spouse and 4 kids. A Roman Catholic who has a weekly Sunday supper together with his priest, Mr. Caruso has donated generously to church establishments, together with the Caruso Catholic Center on the University of Southern California. Critics, together with Planned Parenthood, have sharply criticized him for backing Republicans and for making donations to church organizations, contributions that some characterised as “anti-choice.” But Mr. Caruso dismisses such criticism as anti-religious and insists he helps “a lady’s proper to decide on.”


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