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Jimmy Blackman’s Farewell Message: ‘An Honor to Have Served’

Mayoral Villarigosa’s long-time aide and most loyal supporter, Deputy Chief of Staff Jimmy Blackman sent out this email blast Friday afternoon after announcing he was resigning. In a statement and email he told the LA Times:  “I will always remain loyal to Mayor Villaraigosa and proud of our accomplishments over
the years…”I am not a part of any inquiry into this issue, nobody has asked to
speak with me about it, and it has absolutely nothing to do with my
departure.” Here is Blackman’s email to friends explaining his departure:

From: Jimmy Blackman

August 13 will be my last day in the office working for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  

This decision is mine and mine alone and it came after a great deal of personal deliberation.  Public service, politics, and the Villaraigosa world has been near the center of my life for most of the past 13 years – more than one third of my life.  It is not easy to walk away. I plan
to take some time off and figure out what my next career move will be. I have solicited no job offers and have nothing lined up.  I will continue to work hard at this job until my very last day in the office.

Over the past years I have tried to stay true to my values and beliefs. I have tried to remember the reason why I got into this business – to serve others and create positive change, particularly in under-served communities.  I have made many mistakes along the way, but I have no regrets.

I ask that this email serve as my going away message to those that I have worked with and for. I will leave the office the same way that I entered 13 years ago.  I want no parties, no fan fare, and no long good byes.  Anybody who knows anything about me knows that I would not have it any other way.

I will be in the office for the next two weeks for those who wish to stop by or send me a message.  Other than that, let this message serve as closure from this chapter in my professional life.  If it is too long  I apologize in advance.

In April of 1997 I was given an opportunity by Assembly Majority Leader
Antonio Villaraigosa and his District Director Suzanne Manriquez to be a Field Deputy in Echo Park and the surrounding communities.  Shortly thereafter I became a Special Assistant to Speaker Villaraigosa, worked as the Field Director for his 2001 campaign for Mayor, served as his Campaign Manager in 2003 for his race for City Council, then as his Chief of Staff in City Council and most recently as his Deputy Chief of Staff in the Mayor’s office for the past 5+ years.  
 
An opportunity was given to me in 1997 and I have tried to make the most of it.  At each step along with way I have realized how fortunate I have been.  Hard work and loyalty has helped me to build my career, but nobody can ever make it here all alone.  With that in mind, I have many people that I need thank and acknowledge.

First and foremost I want to thank the Mayor for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity.  It has been my honor to work with a great leader and a great team in an effort to create positive change in both the State of California and the City of Los Angeles.

I was there when we lost in 2001 and then again when we won in 2003.  I was there for the 24 hour bus rides and once again on election night in 2005 when I held the phone as Mayor Hahn graciously called to concede and wish newly elected Mayor Villaraigosa well.  I was right in the  middle of history as it all unfolded.

It has been a long and incredible journey.  I will always remain loyal to Mayor Villaraigosa and proud of our accomplishments over the years  I have thousands of stories that will remain with me.  Those who know the most say the least.

I want to thank Richard Alarcon for being the first one to give me a chance to have a leadership position in politics when I served as his Chief of Staff in the State Senate in 2002.  I remain thankful for the opportunity that he gave me and I will always be a supporter of his.
I want to thank the rest of the City Council that as a body has been very good to me over my past 7 years here in city hall.  In addition to Richard Alarcon, I want to especially thank Ed Reyes, Tom LaBonge, and of course my friend Dennis Zine for always being there for me
personally.

I want to thank all of the people that I worked with for Councilmember Villaraigosa from July of 203 to June of 2005 and the honorary members of the team like Michael Trujillo and Miguel Espinoza who were always busy working on “outside projects”. We built a great team and many of you are still with us today.  I will always have a connection to CD 14 and the team that we had.

When we started in the Mayor’s office in July of 2005 we had a limited staff and a small leadership team that included myself, Robin Kramer, and Marcus Allen.  Together we built a great team of staff, commissioners, and general managers that I remain extremely proud of.
The best part of this job has always been the people that I have had the privilege of working with.  Robin Kramer – a truly incredible leader.Marrcus Allen – the single smartest person that I have ever worked with.  And of course Larry Frank – the most effective person I have
ever worked with.

I want to thank all of the people in the Mayor’s office who stay behind the scenes and get the work done.  I am proud to be one of you.There have been so many unsung heroes over the years in this office, many of whom I have had the opportunity to personally hire.  People who
work hard to get the job done and ask for very little in return.  People like Mike Fong, Paola Valdivia, Margarita Rivas, Patricia Bryant, John Choi, Martha Preciado, Antonio Sanchez, Brenda Anderson, and many, many others.  I hope that you know that your work has been recognized and is appreciated.  You are the ones that have made this place work and you
are the ones that have made the journey worthwhile for me.

I want to thank all of my assistants who have worked with me along the way.  Cathy Finley, Serena Zeise, Angelica Ayala, Carla Martinez, Jessica Oleta, and Alvaro Pacheco – yes there have been many.  You have given me so much and taken care of me and my family at every
opportunity.  I am proud of each one of you as you have all moved on to bigger and better things.  Know that you are appreciated and I will forever be loyal to each one of you.

Most importantly I want to thank the very small group of people who have been through the battles and stayed loyal to both the Mayor and me at every single turn.  The people who have never let me or the office down.  The people who know the real story of this administration.
People like Areen Ibranossian and David Rahimian who I love like brothers.  People who knew the story before the words were ever spoken.

To my mother and father, Sam and Susie Blackman.  I have tried to learn from you.  You have kept me grounded and reminded me to work hard, pay my dues, and always remember where I have come from.  My mother came to this country from Taiwan, never went to school a day in her life, and rides the bus every single day – yet she worked hard to put my brother
through Columbia Business School and me through both Stanford and graduate school at USC.  And my father – if there is one person on the planet who is smarter than Marcus Allen it’s Sam Blackman.  I got my work ethic from my mother.  My brother got his intelligence from our dad.  Go figure. Thank you both for always being there for me.

To my ex-wife Maria – I will always be grateful to you for being there when I was not.  You have endured so much and remained true to yourself and our family.  You have supported me at every step along the way, even when I didn’t deserve it, and been the primary caretaker of
our beautiful daughter. I will be thankful to you for the rest of my life.

Finally to my 14 year old daughter Alyssa who has grown up with this job almost from the start.  Every day I remind myself that I am the luckiest man in the world to have you in my life.  Over the past 13 years this job has been synonymous with my struggles to balance the
demands of my work with my responsibilities as a parent. 
It has never been easy, but you have been worth it.  You are, and always will be, the single most important thing in my life.

From the Speakers office to the City Council to the Mayor’s office it has been a wonderful experience.

One day the real story of the Villaraigosa administration will be written (not by me) and it has truly been my honor to have played a small role in this history.

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28 Responses to Jimmy Blackman’s Farewell Message: ‘An Honor to Have Served’

  1. Anonymous says:

    WHAT AN ABSOLUTE LOAD OF BULLSHIT…What is going on? He either was asked to leave because of some corrupt crap or another reason. No one leaves a job at this time in our economy without going to another job making over $145,000. He failed his parents by being a kiss ass corrupt dirty low down scoundrel for the Mayor. Because of him and the Failure Mayor the staff has ballooned to 229 staffers and many who aren’t needed are making over $125,000. Jimmy sounds as if he’s been an elected official. He has been the Mayor’s pit bull and threatened and cursed at anyone who had a different point of view. He’s had too many affairs with all those staffers to name. He was arrested for domestic violence New Year Eve in the Valley a couple of years ago and should have been fired then. There are many of us very happy his sorry ass is going. Now when are the rest of them leaving

  2. Anonymous says:

    WTF??? Ticketgate: Jimmy Blackman, Deputy Responsible For Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Scheduling, Resigns…Weekly has the story

  3. Anonymous says:

    Jimmy writes “……..one day the real story of the Villaraigosa administration will be written(not by me)”. What a story that will be! And he still has 3 yrs to go. Can`t wait to read it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Complete meltdown!! Let`s see what investment banker( crook )Antonio will bring into his administration to arrange with Beutner his soft landing, when he is out of office.

  5. Walter Moore says:

    “. . . .one day the real story of the Villaraigosa administration will be written(not by me)”.
    But not until all applicable statutes of limitations have expired.

  6. Anonymous says:

    adios crook and liar what i crap why dont you thank los angeles rate payers  and taxpayer of who you bend over and use no gress dont wait for a wish well card from us we wish you the same you have done to us in los angelesratero, ladron no fare well from los angeles

  7. Anonymous says:

    What a collection of fools have been accumulated on this blog.
    Jimmy Blackman is a smart, hard working, stand up guy. He is A CLASS ACT.
    For you all to trash him like this is symptomatic of the crap that spews out from this blog.
    I will stand with Jimmy back to back against any of the jerks that I know are posting here, including the author, Ron Kaye, his butt boy, David Abel and all the other wanna be’s and never-was’s thay follow this loser.
    Jimmy, I hope you and your family never read thia trash. Because that is what it is, sour grapes from losers who couldn’t get arrested. and just plain nobodys.

  8. anonymous says:

    As much as I’d like to think the “real story” is something juicy that Blackman knows, consider the context in which it was written. His “real story” seems to be something he’s proud of.
    I’m certainly not saying I agree; but methinks it isn’t something any of us should hold our breath about.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Jimmy is a good, loyal person, but he decided to abandon the Titanic while there is time . He doesn`t want to go down with the looser

  10. Anonymous says:

    A tad overly self-indulgent, Jimmy. Sure come off self-important. Johnny Carson’s good-bye was less sappy and shorter. You really must be something. I especially like where you were sure to be clear on how uncertain your future is and you have not spoken with anyone, nor have no idea what lies ahead for you. That’s the part I believe most!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey 9:15, if I want to know what you think, MikeT, I’ll just pick up the phone and ask you.

  12. anonymous says:

    10:48PM. Read the last sentence of my comment. What part of I’m “not saying I agree” that his real story is something to be proud of did you miss?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I never even heard of Jimmy Blackman until this article. I guess I’m not an inside baseball person. But I do learn from this blog.
    And when I read the comments from “July 30, 2010 9:08 PM” with a fresh perspective, I do not gain any additional information since those comments come across as personal and angry.
    When someone goes on the attack, or counter attack, they should offer specifics as to why others our wrong in their criticism. But 9:08′s comments just offer an empty defense and put down of critics.
    I haven’t learned anything new about Jimmy Blackman from 9:08 and see the real problem at the head of the leadership – the Mayor and City Council.
    In the end, we are stuck with a lack of transparency or true partnership with stakeholders, preferential treatment to wealthy contributors, and no concern about future generations who will be stuck with the bill.

  14. Sandy Sand says:

    From the first paragraph:
    “…”I am not a part of any inquiry into this issue, nobody has asked to speak with me about it, and it has absolutely nothing to do with my departure.”
    To what INQUIRY is he referring? Ticketgate? And is it the L.A.Times that’s inquiring?

  15. SJS says:

    Statutes of limitation have expired.
    Right on, Walter!
    Except for the mayor’s friends who want to see their names in print for the final fizzle in their fifteen minutes of fame, if he has any friends when this is all over, who would want to waste money or time on this kind of book. Hizzoner and pals have already taken enough of our money.

  16. Anonymous says:

    9:08pm it clueless and out of the loop of what people in this city feel about anyone working or should I say “covering up” for the Failure of a Mayor. Jimmy Blackman is the most arrogant piece of shit walking earth. He was Antonio’s butt boy who did all his dirty work behind the scenes. He knows where the bodies are buried. And what the hell has he been doing besides covering up all those events and making up crap why the Mayor had to attend. I bet Jimmy is getting a HUGE severance package. We need to find out how much money $$$$$ he’s being paid off to go away. Antonio takes care of his corrupt staffers.

  17. Petra says:

    Okay Walter, that was pretty funny!
    That’s some email blast – he wrote a friggin’ novel.

  18. Anonymous says:

    LA Slimes reports”"Deputy Chief of Staff Jimmy Blackman, who oversees the mayor’s schedule and his interactions with neighborhood councils”"
    I don’t know about you guys but I have never ever seen Jimmy Blackman at any neighborhood council meetings, no Alliance meetings, no Congress of neighborhood councils, no LANCC meetings. Now I know why DONE has fallen apart. Jimmy was in charge. Word out of city hall is Jimmy thought NC’s were a bunch of radical complainers. Well I have news for Jimmy, this group of radical complainers are going to clean out city hall once and for all. They are now feared by the politicians because they are speaking out loud and clear.

  19. Anonymous says:

    He singles out Alarcon and the Latino activists and then saving the “best” for last, Dennis Zine the Republican, Cooley-Trutanich Republican hack, wolf in sheep’s clothing, as his personal friend who he thinks always had his back? Has he ever HEARD his good friend Dennis Zine on shows like Kevin James? Sounds more like there’s been a wolf in the chicken coop.

  20. Anonymous says:

    He singles out Alarcon and the Latino activists and then saving the “best” for last, Dennis Zine the Republican, Cooley-Trutanich Republican hack, wolf in sheep’s clothing, as his personal friend who he thinks always had his back? Has he ever HEARD his good friend Dennis Zine on shows like Kevin James? Sounds more like there’s been a wolf in the chicken coop.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Lazy journalist of the day so far:
    Rick Orlov asserts in today’s Daily News that Jimmy “said he is leaving Aug. 13 for for a job in private industry.”
    Jimmy says in his farewell email: “I have solicited no job offers and have nothing lined up.”
    Now, I know the Daily News isn’t much of a paper anymore, and Rick has been phoning it in for years. But given the consistent track record of local media in this town getting basic facts wrong, is it any wonder our civic culture is run amok with no checks and balances?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Lazy journalist of the day so far:
    Rick Orlov asserts in today’s Daily News that Jimmy “said he is leaving Aug. 13 for a job in private industry.”
    Jimmy says in his farewell email: “I have solicited no job offers and have nothing lined up.”
    Now, I know the Daily News isn’t much of a paper anymore, and Rick has been phoning it in for years. But given the consistent track record of local media in this town misreporting basic facts, is it any wonder our civic culture is run amok with no checks and balances?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Jimmy Boy, you forgot to mention the Mayor girl friend during the mayoral named JENNY. Yeah, you were loyal to your boss, but did not care a rat ass what you thought you blinded fool. So, since you forgot to mention Jenny I will. Finally, to Jenny thank you for taking care of and all his needs. Jenny, speak up and tell Los Angeles YOUR STORY!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Something’s not right with this story – why would the Mayor let Jimmy go knowing Jimmy has the goods on him?
    I think we haven’t heard the real story yet.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Don’t make fun of Rick Orlov. He’s get some of the details right, sometimes. Either way, you get an overall picture.

  26. steve says:

    I worked at City Hall. That was quite a goodbye letter. Jimmy. You should have thanked the unions who have a stranglehold on the City. We all know they’re the ones who really control what happens with the City. Amazes me that the taxpayers of L.A. put up with this constant crap. I would NEVER live in the City of L.A. for that reason alone.
    Also…who cares how many girlfriends the Mayor had or has. What he does is his business unless it affects you as a voter. You should pay more attention to the Union whores you FOOLS. Cops and Firemen making over six figures. Bumping pension pay in the last year……what an F-ing joke…and all you care about is someone named Jenny.

  27. Antonio Sanchez says:

    I met Jimmy Blackman during Mayor Villaraigosa’s 2005 campaign and I’ve worked directly with Jimmy since I began my career at City Hall in 2007. Aside his strong work ethic, his positive imprint on public policy and his passion for the City of Los Angeles, Jimmy helped develop and mentor many of the future leaders of this City. He is a mentor and a friend. I’ll never forget that he took a chance on me, a recent CSUN graduate from Pacoima and invited me to join the Villaraigosa administration. I am sure his departure is a personal decision and I wish him all the best.
    Antonio Sanchez

  28. Anonymous says:

    The bootlickers in the Mayor’s office close ranks to protect their own.
    Blackman was the enforcer for the Mayor. Everyone knew it. I hope he sings to the feds, and then, “the true story of the Villaraigosa administration will be told.”

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