Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Who Mentored Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa?

Interview  Watch the video of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Antonio Villaraigosa is the 41st mayor of Los Angeles.

Herman Katz was a high school teacher of mine who had taken an interest in me, who spent a great deal of time with me, and encouraged me to stay in school and go on to college and take the SAT. He was somebody who wasn’t a formal mentor but really was a mentor in every sense of the word. He just spent a lot of time with me in a way I’ll always remember and I’ve always acknowledged. And so whether he was a formal mentor, a high school teacher, a committed human being who not only helped me but helped many others. A real hero.


There’s no adult quite like my mom. My mother was a woman of indominable spirit. I mean, to raise four kids on her own, single mom, never owned her own home, rode the bus her whole life. A woman who really pushed her kids and had high expectations and encouraged us to dream and reach for the stars. She was without question the inspiration in my life and the biggest reason why I’ve been able to enjoy success.


We have some 10,000 homeless children in our L.A. public schools. Many of the children who go to those schools are on the school lunch programs and live below the poverty line. They need a mentor. They need someone who could provide them with the experience and the guidance and the friendship and support, the safety net, if you will, that’s critical to success. Many of these kids without a mentor just won’t make it. And this is an opportunity for you to say, I’m going to give back. I’m going to share my experiences with someone who can benefit from those experiences and make it. It’s an opportunity for us to create community in a city where we oftentimes feel so separate and apart from one another.