Michelle Obama Talks Veteran Homelessness, Fundraises in L.A.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to a crowd of business owners and civil activists about the issue of veteran homelessness at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on Wednesday morning.

“We are here today to find concrete opportunities, to get past the rhetoric to get results,” Garcetti said in his introductory remarks. “L.A. is a national leader in so many ways: we’ve got the most trade coming through our ports, the most visitors… but we’re also a leader in some bad ways. We’ve got more homeless veterans than anywhere in America.”

Before introducing the First Lady, Garcetti talked about a new initiative called Homefront L.A., an effort to end veteran homelessness in the city by the end of 2015. As part of this effort, the mayor cited the “10,000 Jobs Mission,” in which 160 business leaders in Los Angeles have committed to hiring 10,000 veterans by 2017.

The mayor then introduced Michelle Obama, who he described as “one of our brightest and best,” and “rightfully the most popular person in America.”

“I have had a number of incredible opportunities as First Lady,” Obama began. “Right at the top of the list is the time I’ve spent with veterans, servicemen, and their families. I have been blown away by their stories, blown away by their courage, dedication, and commitment to excellence.”