Our new LA director Peter Watts was hired less than a year ago, and already he's making quick strides as a strong leader and networker. Just last week he met with Los Angeles’ Mayor, Eric Garcetti, and later with former Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa.
Pete's meeting with Garcetti was a one-on-one style meeting in an intimate setting. The purpose was to make deeper connections with city officials, thereby leveraging World Impact's ability to demonstrate compassion and justice. Pete spoke confidently in God and told the mayor about World Impact and its four focus areas. He then spoke about one of WI’s newest initiatives called "Siafu Leadership Homes." When he mentioned the Siafu Homes, Mayor Garcetti stopped the meeting and said, "I want to do that!" By the end of the meeting, Mayor Garcetti wanted to do a re-entry home program for recently released inmates as a result of Proposition 47.
Pete was reminded of Nehemiah 2:4-5 when he stood before the king and made his request: “4The king said to me, ’What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5and I answered the king, ‘If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.’”
To follow up, Mayor Garcetti has requested to meet with Pete Watts again, along with any others interested in developing and rehabilitating those who have the potential to be urban community leaders on behalf of the poor.
Pete also met with former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at a leadership development program called LEAD: Los Angeles. It’s focused on entrepreneurship in education and nonprofit leadership. Mayor Villaraigosa spoke about his journey to become mayor and his desire to begin his bid for governorship. This was a time of development and connection for Pete as a leader.