The city’s corrupt coupling with unions has killed off many businesses here, encouraged some to expand elsewhere and dispirited others. That’s one reason for the fact that’s so often and cynically cited by business operators here: While Los Angeles was gaining in population over the last 20 years, it was steadily losing payroll jobs. That’s an embarrassing reality, and largely the fault of City Hall.

This is the Business Journal’s first endorsement. We are doing it now because it is crucial that the city get on the right path. And while we harbor few illusions that Los Angeles can truly become business friendly, we believe it can at least stop abusing businesses and regarding them as cows to be milked. We call on the next mayor to stop, and perhaps even reverse, the city’s union activism that has so marked recent years.

Greuel does not appear able to do so. She is in the position of having to pay back the extensive financial and political support she has accepted from unions.

The important and troubling question is whether Garcetti is up to the task. He is from the same pro-union mold, after all. On the other hand, he has taken some steps to try to resolve the city’s pension problems. And since the unions have thrown their support to his opponent, he is in far better position to confront them.

What’s more, Garcetti is an intelligent and reasonable administrator who, by several accounts, grew into his job as council president.

We endorse Eric Garcetti, and we hope he would grow into the job as mayor and understand he needs to fairly represent everyone.