“Thank you Los Angeles–the hard work begins but I am honored to lead this city for the next four years. Let’s make this a great city again.” twitted Mayor elect Eric Garcetti.
“You can’t look to the stars until you’ve fixed the cracks in the sidewalk,” Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti often says. As the third-term councilmember serving the 13th Council District, Garcetti has shown that a commitment to the street-level health of the community is a necessary first step in creating positive change. His unique combination of pothole politics and vision has won measurable results in the 13th District, showing how local solutions can show the way to make our city safer, create transportation solutions, and ease the city’s housing crisis.
A fourth-generation Angeleno, Eric Garcetti was born at Good Samaritan Hospital and grew up in Los Angeles. He won a hotly-contested election to the Los Angeles City Council in 2001, becoming one of the youngest city councilmembers in the city’s history. Over 100 languages are spoken on the streets of his district, from Hollywood to Downtown and across the Los Angeles River. The neighborhoods he represents constitute the beating heart of Los Angeles.
Garcetti was unanimously elected as Council President in December 2005 and unanimously re-elected in July 2007 and July 2009. During his tenure as president, he modernized the council’s legislative assignments, making the council’s committees more reflective of the issues that face Los Angeles.
During his first term in office, Garcetti emerged as an effective local problem-solver and as a strong advocate on citywide and national issues. He led the effort to fund the nation’s largest Affordable Housing Trust Fund, oversaw the economic and cultural revitalization of Hollywood, wrote and championed Proposition O to clean up our local water, won passage of a plan that eliminated the city’s business tax for 60% of all businesses, and helped bring thousands of new high wage jobs to Los Angeles and his district. In his district, he tackled neighborhoods’ most intractable problems, nearly tripled the number of parks, ensuring the availability of an after-school program in every school in the district, and reducing graffiti by more than 60 percent.
Councilmember Garcetti’s work has been recognized in dozens of awards, including the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award for Americans under 40 who are changing their communities with a commitment to public service; the Green Cross Millennium Award from former President Mikhail Gorbachev, for environmental leadership; a “Tiger Award” from the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, for his work on business tax reform; the New Democrat of the Week recognition from the Democratic Leadership Council, for his work on safety in commercial office buildings and security officers’ working conditions; and the first Olson Award from Human Rights Watch for his human rights activism.
The Los Angeles Times writes that Garcetti is “smart” and “imaginative” and offers the city “refreshing idealism.” He was featured in LA Weekly’s Best of Los Angeles issue and the Los Angeles Alternative Press readers named him “L.A.’s Favorite Elected Official” of 2003. In 2004, The Los Angeles Business Journal named him one of the 25 Angelenos who stand out for their potential to shape lives in Los Angeles. A profile in Los Angeles magazine in 2006 called him “a rising star”.
Prior to his election, Garcetti taught public policy, diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College and the University of Southern California. In 1998, the Rockefeller Foundation selected him as a Next Generation Leadership Fellow.
Eric Garcetti was raised in the San Fernando Valley. He studied urban planning and political science at Columbia University, where he received his B.A. and M.A. in International Relations. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and the London School of Economics. He is an avid photographer, jazz pianist and composer. He lives in Silver Lake with his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland.