Dare to Cross Borders, Garcetti Tells New Hampshire Graduates

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has entertained a 2020 presidential run, spoke of navigating borders Sunday during his commencement address at a university in New Hampshire — a key primary state.

 Garcetti on Sunday addressed 1,800 graduates of Southern New Hampshire University's College of Online and Continuing Education. Many of the graduates faced such challenges as work or parenthood.

 ``To get here today, each one of you had to navigate borders, borders of geography, of opportunity, borders of identity and of your own doubt,'' said Garcetti, 47.

 He spoke of his own grandfather, who crossed the border from Mexico as a baby, and his great-grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Russia.

 The theme of borders extended into politics. Garcetti urged graduates to speak to those with differing views.

 He encouraged graduates who had never spoken with a veteran to do so. He urged supporters of President Donald Trump to reach out to Democrats. He asked Hillary Clinton supporters to seek out Republicans.

 ``You can never allow boundaries to become barriers,'' he said. ``You simply have to cross them.''

 Stepping outside of one's borders may be uncomfortable, he said, but in the end it will lead to common ground.

 ``Imagine if we had that in Washington today.''

 Maybe, Garcetti said, ``we could tear down the boundaries of mistrust and replace them with new borders of compassion.''

 Garcetti ended his commencement reminding graduates to be ambitious about not just their professional lives — but their personal lives, as well.

 ``Don't just seek to be the best entrepreneur, soldier, programmer, nurse or executive,'' he said. ``Dream of being the most loving spouse and the most devoted parent possible. Call your mother. Trust me. She'll appreciate it. And not today just because it's Mother's Day.''

 Sunday's speech was Garcetti's second visit to New Hampshire in 10 months; in August, he campaigned for Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig. Garcetti, a Democrat, has also made recent visits to Iowa, which holds the nation's first presidential caucuses.

 Political adviser Yusef Robb, though, told the Los Angeles Times that the commencement address had less to do with a possible presidential run than with speaking at a school known for providing opportunities for veterans and older students.

 The trip was paid by the university, Robb said, adding that the mayor made no other official stops on the trip.

Photo: Getty Images

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