Eric Garcetti is an American politician and a member of the Democratic Party. In 2013, he became the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles. He was the first Jewish mayor of Los Angeles city. He served as city council president of Los Angeles for 6 years. He also served in the military, Information Dominance Corps and the U.S. Navy reserve for 8 years. In 2021, he was nominated as the United States Ambassador to India.
Eric Michael Garcetti was born on Thursday, 4 February 1971 (age 52 years; as of 2023) in Los Angeles, California, United States. His zodiac sign is Aquarius. He was brought up by his parents in Encino, a neighbourhood in the San Fernando Valley region in Los Angeles County, California.
He went to UCLA Lab School, an elementary school, in Los Angeles. Later, he attended middle and high school at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. When he was studying in high school, he was involved in the Junior State of America, which is a national civic engagement organization where members debate current political issues. The Chronicle In 1992, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in New York, where he majored in political science and urban planning. When he was living in the Carman Hall dormitory, while studying in college, he became the president of St. Anthony Hall, an American fraternity and literary society. He was a member of the student council in college. He co-wrote and performed musicals at the Varsity Show for three years, which is Columbia University’s performing arts presentation. In 1993, he graduated with a Master of International Affairs degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York. Columbia College Later, he attended Queen’s College, University of Oxford, England. When he was studying at Oxford, he became a member of the Oxford University L’Chaim Society. Later, he pursued a PhD in ethnicity and nationalism at the London School of Economics. Canvassing Works He was a Rockefeller Foundation Next Generation Leadership Fellow.
Height (approx.): 6′
Weight (approx.): 80 kg
Hair Colour: Salt & pepper
Eye Colour: Light brown
Eric Garcetti belongs to a family of Mexican and Jewish immigrants in California, United States.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Gilbert Salvador Iberri Garcetti, is an American politician and a lawyer. He is the former district attorney of Los Angeles County. His mother’s name is Sukey Roth.
He has a sister named Dana Garcetti Boldt, who formerly worked as a deputy district attorney in her father’s office. Later, she became an acupuncturist. She is an advisor to Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Wife & Children
On 4 January 2009, he got married to Amy Elaine Wakeland. She is the executive director of the Coalition for Kids, director of the Progressive L.A. Network, and strategic planner for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. She is also the co-chairperson of the Board of Advisors at Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. ACNUDH
The couple has a daughter named Maya Juanita Garcetti, who is adopted. Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times
Eric Garcetti and his wife are foster parents of seven children.
Eric Garcetti dated Amy Elaine Wakeland before getting married in 2009. The couple met each other at Queen’s College in England, where both of them were studying as Rhodes scholars.
He follows and believes in Judaism. He regularly attends IKAR’s services, which is a post-denominational Jewish congregation. Reportedly, he studies Talmud two times a week with Rabbi Sharon Brous, the founder of IKAR. The Times of Israel He talks to her on a daily basis for religious guidance. In an interview, he shared that he began having faith in Judaism in college. He said,
I always felt myself to be Jewish and Latino very comfortably. Weekends were both filled with bowls of menudo and lots of bagels. My parents aren’t practising Judaism, either of them. We celebrated Passover and Chanukah. I went to a Jewish camp. I think I have become more of a practising Jew or observant later in life. I came to my faith in college.” Jewish Journal
Eric Garcetti belongs to Italian-Mexican ancestry from his father’s side and Russian-Jewish ancestry from his mother’s side. His paternal grandfather, Salvador, moved from Mexico to the United States with his family, after Salvador’s father, Massimo ‘Max’ Garcetti, was murdered in Mexico, who immigrated from Italy to Mexico. Eric Garcetti’s maternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, who founded a clothing brand named Louis Roth Clothes, the first union shop in L.A.’s garment industry. Forward
Before the elections of the Los Angeles City Council, Eric Garcetti worked as a visiting instructor of international affairs at the University of Southern California and as an assistant professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.
Meantime, he wrote articles and chapters of books on post-conflict societies, Eritrean nationalism, and non-violent action. He was a member of the California Board of Human Rights Watch, an NGO. He is serving on the advisory board of a Los Angeles-based arts education NGO named Young Storytellers. He is also a member of a US-based think tank named Inter-American Dialogue.
Los Angeles City Council
In 2001, Eric Garcetti was elected to Los Angeles City Council District 13 after Jackie Goldberg became a member of the California State Assembly. He defeated Michael Woo by 52 to 48 per cent votes. He was elected again to Los Angeles City Council in 2005 and 2009.
From 1 January 2006 to 12 January 2012, he served as council president. In 2004, he wrote Proposition O, which was a city stormwater bond to take care of cleaning the city’s waterways. The bond was supported by voters with 76%, which reportedly made it the most widely supported clean water bond in the USA. In 2005, he helped in finding the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. He authored two municipal green building laws; the first law was to build all the city buildings according to the LEED-certified standards, and the second was for all the commercial buildings of more than 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2) to be built in Los Angeles must be built according to a LEED standard. In July 2010, he discontinued the 2009 lawn watering order, which was to water the lawn two days a week, and changed it to water the lawn three days a week. He worked towards making Historic Filipinotown a Preserve America Community. He had also been criticised by the public for unexpectedly demolishing cultural and historic landmarks for development. In 2011, he allowed the demolition of three small buildings at historic Sunset Junction for the development of a large condominium; however, after the demolition, Sunset Junction land remained vacant for more than 10 years. He created the Neighborhood Leadership Institute in his district to train constituents to be active citizens. He helped in creating the Uniting Neighborhoods to Abolish Graffiti (UNTAG) program to put an end to graffiti art; this program helped in reducing graffiti by 78% within the first 4 years of its implementation.
While he was the chairman and member of the Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee, he helped in forming a $100 million housing trust fund. He restored the Hollywood area in Los Angeles and changed the taxation on city business.
Mayor of Los Angeles
On 8 September 2011, declared to contest the mayor elections. On 21 May 2013, he won the elections by defeating Wendy Greuel with 53.9% of the votes. On 1 July 2013, he was officially appointed as the mayor of Los Angeles. On 7 March 2017, he was re-elected as the mayor of Los Angeles.
In October 2013, he called on the heads of departments to form a ‘starting point’ budget while keeping in mind the 5% cut from the previous year. In April 2014, he introduced a ‘hold-the-line’ budget, which put forth the idea of making genuine increments in some of the city services and no reduction in the business tax. The budget policy proposed that the city’s workforce including police officers and firefighters would not be given any raise in the upcoming year. The policy also announced other changes including merging the city’s police and fire dispatch centres to enhance the response time to emergency calls on 911 and streamline the workforce, creating an innovation fund of $1.4 million to modify city services. In August 2014, according to his commitment to enhancing accountability among the officials of Los Angeles, he declared his yearly review of the general manager of every city.
In 2014, he allegedly pressurized Jerry Brown, California governor, to increase the film production tax credit. In the same year, he wanted minimum wages in Los Angeles to reach $13.25 in the next 3 years. Many members of the city council supported the increase in minimum wages. The academics department at the University of California, Berkeley, prepared an economic analysis, released by Eric Garcetti, which mentioned that increasing wages from $9 to $13.25 in Los Angeles would remarkably help low-income workers without imposing burdens on business. His ordinance required businesses to increase workers’ wages from $9 in 2014 to $10.25 in 2015, $11.75 in 2016, and $13.25 in 2017. Later, he supported the city council to vote for a new law that needed large hotels to pay $15.37 per hour. In 2015, he signed legislation and supported the ‘Fight for 15’ movement for raising minimum wages to $15.37 an hour.
In June 2014, he pledged to find 10,000 jobs for veterans by 2017 while stating that the long waiting times at the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System for the VA were unacceptable. In addition, he accepted the Obama administration’s challenge to put an end to veteran homelessness in Los Angeles in the next 17 months. In a 2017 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Eric Garcetti said that he should be credited for both helping to house 8,000 veterans and winning approval for Proposition HHH in 2016, which sought to significantly increase the number of new apartments constructed in the city. Proposition HHH was overwhelmingly approved; however, it’s possible that the funding allocated won’t be enough to build the 10,000 apartments. According to a Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) study in June 2019, there were nearly 60,000 homeless people living on the streets of Los Angeles, a 16 per cent increase from the previous year. In an interview, Eric talked about the report and said,
Skyrocketing rents statewide and federal disinvestment in affordable housing, combined with an epidemic of untreated trauma and mental illness, is pushing people into homelessness faster than they can be lifted out.”
In July 2014, Eric Garcetti declared that the Los Angeles Police Department would no longer honour the majority of federal requests for holding detained individuals while deportation cases were being looked into. He declared that Los Angeles was teaming up with other jurisdictions to stop the practice of holding individuals in custody without a hearing as they were living in the country illegally. He added that this practice was costly to the local government and damaged public confidence in the police department. Later that month, he announced that talks with a federal agency had begun and that Los Angeles would assist in housing immigrant children who have been detained after crossing the border. He teamed up with Hilda Solis, the Los Angeles County supervisor, to establish the $10 million L.A. Justice Fund, which offers legal aid to unauthorised individuals facing deportation. In April 2019, he criticised President Donald Trump’s decision to release detained immigrants into sanctuary cities, calling it ‘hateful’ and a ‘waste of time.’
In 2013, he vowed that by 2020, 5% of the firefighters in the Los Angeles Fire Department would be female. 3.1% of the department’s firefighters were women as of 2018. On 20 March 2014, he responded to criticism of the department’s hiring procedure, which disqualified thousands of qualified candidates, Eric declared the hiring process was being scrapped. He claimed to have found that ‘the fire department’s recruiting process is fatally flawed.’ The mayor’s administration declared that neither the next scheduled Fire Academy class of 70 cadets nor any additional hirings from the present civil service list will take place. Later, it was revealed that assistance in revamping the hiring procedure had been requested from the RAND Corporation.
In July 2016, he was one of the members of a 25-person contingent that travelled to Rio de Janeiro with a group of 25 people to support Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. A general session of the Association of National Olympic Committees was conducted in Doha, Qatar, in November 2016, and he served as the presenter alongside six-time gold medal sprinter Allyson Felix. While preparing for hosting the games, he introduced the ‘Twenty-eight by ’28 strategy,’ which gave accelerated priority to the city’s most important transit infrastructure projects.
To assist with organising the Olympics and developing the city’s international ties generally, he appointed former ambassador Nina Hachigian as deputy mayor for international affairs.
In August 2013, he shared that he would not be part of a proposed four-year contract with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers. It was estimated by officials that the contract would take more than 30 years to save about $6.1 billion. The main motive of the deal was to save money by discontinuing the pension benefits given to newly hired workers and workers that did not receive any pay raise in the previous 3 years. Later, he accepted the agreement as it included a labour management council for reviewing work rules and adding them to the salaries of LADWP workers, an improved healthcare infrastructure, a new pension for newly hired workers, and reduce inequalities in salaries with other workers of the city.
When he became the mayor of Los Angeles, he spent the first day appreciating Los Angeles leaving the culture of owning a car and concentrating towards ‘walkability and transit.’ He supported the development of multiple boulevards, which were more welcoming to pedestrians, cyclists, and small businesses. In April 2014, he signed a new waste franchise agreement, which was planned to make recycling reach apartments and businesses. He aimed at recycling 90% of Los Angeles’ trash by 2025. In 2014, he co-founded the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, an association of US mayors, in partnership with Annise Parker, mayor of Houston, and Michael Nutter, mayor of Philadelphia. The association consists of 379 US mayors and had the goal of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. In April 2015, he revealed a long-term plan to make Los Angeles more economically and environmentally sustainable.
In January 2014, on the 20th anniversary of the destructive Northridge earthquake, he introduced a new plan to take care of earthquake safety. In the same year, the mayor’s administration department collaborated with LADOT and introduced a strategic plan, Vision Zero, which is a multi-national road traffic safety project, to put an end to deaths caused by traffic by the year 2025. He supported architect Frank Gehry’s collaboration with Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation for the River LA project, a project to revive the Los Angeles River. In 2016, he supported Measure M, which is a half-cent sales tax measure for funding the spreading of the metro rail network of LA. He was against Measure S, which is a NIMBY referendum to restrict large-scale development in Los Angeles. In 2022, he was against California state legislation for ideating the elimination of parking requirements close to public transport stations for building houses.
US Ambassador to India
In May 2021, US President, Joe Biden considered Eric Garcetti for the position of the next US Ambassador to India. On 9 July 2021, he publicly declared Eric Garcetti’s official nomination for Ambassador to India. On 14 December 2021, the hearings regarding his nomination took place in front of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
On 12 January 2022, the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee accepted his nomination. On 10 March 2022, Chuck Grassley, the senator, suspended Eric Garcetti’s nomination for alleging that he had information about the sexual harassment and assaults carried out by Rick Jacobs, his top advisor and must have taken immediate actions to stop that; however, he did not. On 23 March 2022, senator Joni Ernst also suspended his nomination after it was revealed in some investigations that Eric Garcetti knew about Rick Jacobs’ sexual misconduct. On 22 May 2022, Chuck Schumer, the U.S. Senate leader, informed that because of not enough votes in support of Eric Garcetti’s nomination, the senate did not pass his nomination. Since Eric Garcetti’s nomination had expired, on 3 January 2023, the Senate returned his name to the White House; however, Eric Garcetti was again nominated by President Joe Biden for the post of US Ambassador to India on the same day of returning his name by the Senate.
On 14 January 2014, mayor Eric Garcetti was travelling in the passenger seat of an LAPD car. The police car was taking the mayor eastbound on Second Street when the car hit a pedestrian in downtown Los Angeles. The car hit a 59-year-old woman at about 12:20 p.m. near Second and Spring streets. According to police, the woman was crossing the road against a red light, which caused the car crash. According to the mayor’s office, the mayor was talking to a reporter on the phone and did not see her crossing the road. NBC She was later hospitalised, and Eric Garcetti visited her in the hospital the next day after the crash. In an interview, he talked about his meeting with the woman and wished for her fast recovery. He said,
I had the pleasure of meeting Juliet Nicolas this morning at L.A. County-USC Medical Center. We had a nice conversation and I am very pleased that she is in good spirits. I wish her a speedy recovery.” NBC
Dropped an F-Bomb
On 16 June 2014, he spoke at the celebration event of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, after the team won the Stanley Cup. While wearing a Kings jersey, he said,
There are two rules in politics – never be pictured with a drink in your hand, and never swear.” Los Angeles Times
He then picked up an empty bottle of beer and said,
But this is a big fucking day.” Los Angeles Times
After he dropped the f-bomb, the Kings hockey team’s players and the crowd gave him a huge round of applause and standing ovation. Los Angeles Times However, he later faced some backlash after the incident. Reportedly, Eric Garcetti received PG-rated messages on social media. On the evening of the same day, when the incident had taken place, he appeared on the American late-night talk show ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!,’ where the host of the show asked him about the incident to which he replied that it was hockey, not a match of lawn bowls. The next day, he went to Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza for an official lunch, where he apologised to people who found the statement offensive.
Accidentally Endorsed Hilary Clinton
On 5 November 2015, Eric Garcetti accidentally sent an e-mail endorsing Hilary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee using a government e-mail account. The e-mail created a huge confusion among people. A government e-mail account is a government resource, and according to city and state law, political figures or public servants can not use government resources for campaigns or endorsements. However, he was supposed to use his e-mail from his campaign instead of using his official .gov account accidentally. The campaign strategist for Garcetti’s re-election committee, Bill Carrick, had no clue how the endorsement mail was sent from the mayor’s office, which was supposed to be sent out to him. According to sources, Eric Garcetti had an uneven relationship with the Clintons and in the 2008 US presidential elections, he endorsed Barack Obama, who was Hilary Clinton’s opponent. Reportedly, the mayor’s office admitted the mistake of using the wrong e-mail account indicating that the intern made the mistake. Vanity Fair
Donations by Turf Terminators
In 2016, Eric Garcetti praised Turf Terminators, a landscaping company, in his State of the City address. In February 2016, it was revealed that before his address, the former CEO, workers, and other members of the company made a donation of $45,000 to his mayor’s fund for Los Angeles and the mayor’s re-election campaign. On 12 March 2016, Ryan Nivakoff, the former CEO of the company, donated $1,400, which is the maximum amount of money allowed by law to be donated, to the “Garcetti for Mayor 2017” campaign. Four weeks before the mayor’s speech 13 donations were made to Garcetti’s campaign by the Turf Terminators’ employees, friends, and relatives within legal limits; however, Ryan Nivakoff’s mother, Rosemary Arway, revealed that the donations and Turf Terminators had no connection in between and the sequence to events was just a coincidence. In an interview, on being asked about the timing of the donations and mentioning Turf Terminators in his speech, he replied,
No way, I didn’t even know about those preceding the speech. But this was highlighting a great company, a company that’s been able to, with Angelenos, save a record amount of water.” CBS
In 2019, Los Angeles County reported the mistakes made by the government while taking care of the Woolsey fire, which took place in 2018 in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, and found that some firefighting units were unavailable during critical times of one of the most destructive fires in the history of the county. According to the Los Angeles Times report, politicians asked firefighters for checking particular locations, which hindered their capability to put out the fast-growing Woolsey fire. According to the report,
Politicians asking firefighters to check on specific addresses complicated their ability to fight the fast-growing Woolsey fire. But in a move that government accountability experts called legally questionable, L.A. officials provided The Times with heavily redacted records of the communications, obscuring key details such as specific addresses.” Los Angeles Times
In November 2018, Eric Garcetti allegedly messaged Ralph Terrazas, the fire department chief, to know about the destruction caused by the Woolsey fire in the Ventura County neighbourhood. A few hours later, Eric Garcetti and Ralph Terrazas texted back and forth about Bell Canyon, a gated community in eastern Ventura County, California. Ralph asked Eric if he wanted any home, in particular, to be checked, Eric gave him an address of a home; however, the address of the home was not disclosed due to ‘an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.’ Los Angeles Times
Witnessed Sexual Misconduct
On 13 July 2020, Matthew Garza, an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department, who worked in security to provide protection to Eric Garcetti, filed a lawsuit against Rick Jacobs, who is Eric Garcetti’s senior advisor, for sexual misconduct. He alleged that Rick used to forcibly touch him by hugging, squeezing his biceps, and grabbing his shoulders. In Matthew Garza’s complaint, he said,
Mayor Garcetti was present on many, if not most of the occasions when Jacobs made sexually inappropriate comments, but the Mayor took no action to stop the comments from being made or even identify the comments as being inappropriate. On some occasions, the Mayor would laugh at Jacobs’ crude comments.” Yashar
On 19 October 2020, Yashar Ali, an American journalist, reported that he had been sexually harassed by Rick, and Eric Garcetti knew all about the sexual assault and harassment and did not take any action against Rick Jacobs. On 20 October 2020, Yashar Ali wrote about his and Matthew Garza’s sexual assault in his newsletter and mentioned the incidents that took place. Yashar said,
Over the course of a decade, from 2005 through 2015, Jacobs used to forcibly kiss me on the lips when I encountered him through my previous work in politics. After Garza’s lawsuit became public, I confronted Jacobs via text message and also alerted one of Garcetti’s top city hall aides about my past experiences with Jacobs.” Yashar
Shutting off the Water and Power Supply
On 5 August 2020, Eric Garcetti announced that he is approving the city to cease the water and power supply if any large house parties or gatherings are reported from any property, violating public health orders meant to slow down the spread of COVID-19. In an interview, while talking about announcement, he said,
If the LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at a property, and we see these properties reoffending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that the Department of Water and Power shut off service within the next 48 hours.” NPR
Many people did not receive the announcement positively and called it authoritarian.
On 30 January 2022, Eric Garcetti went to Los Angeles Rams game, where he clicked pictures with an LA Lakers player Magic Johnson. Magic Johnson posted the pictures on social media with Eric Garcetti, Gavin Newsom, governor of California, and London Breed, mayor of San Francisco. None of them was wearing a facemask while posing for photos, neglecting the city, county, and stadium mask mandates due to COVID-19, which stirred controversy.
In a press conference at SoFi stadium, on being asked about why did he not wear the mask he defended himself by saying he wore the mask the whole time, only removing it while posing for pictures. He said,
I wore my mask the entire game and when people ask for a photograph I hold my breath and put it [mask] here and people can see it. There’s a 0% chance of infection from that. It’s funny, on the way out, I had friends who said ‘you seem like the only guy wearing the mask the entire game’ and I woke up the next morning to that shock.” Fox 11
Awards & Honours
- He won Green Cross Millennium Award for Local Environmental Leadership in 2003
- He received New Frontier Award presented by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in 2006
- He won George D. Nickel Award for Outstanding Volunteer Services from the California Social Welfare Archives in 2007
- He won ‘Person of the Year’ Award from the National Association for the Advancement of the Coloured People (NAACP) in 2014
- He was honoured with a Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) from Whittier College in Whittier, California in 2015
- He was honoured with the Green Cross Millennium Award for his environmental work by former President Mikhail Gorbachev
- He won a Tiger Award from the Valley Industry and Commerce Association for spearheading business tax reforms
- He received Olson Award from Human Rights Watch for his human rights activism
He owns a Chevrolet Bolt, which is an electric car.
As of 2021, he received an estimated annual salary of $283,827. Government Compensation in California
- Food: Tommy’s Burgers’ chilli cheeseburger
- Sport: Baseball
- Apart from English, he is fluent in Spanish. Politico Magazine
- Reportedly, he was the youngest mayor of Los Angeles in the history of 100 years.
- He has an interest in photography and has more than 3.4 million views on Flickr.
- He is a jazz pianist and also a music composer.
- Eric Garcetti follows a non-vegetarian diet.
- He likes to share the story about his high school, when he went to Ethiopia to provide them with medical supplies.
- Reportedly, he works 18 hours a day. He just comes home to have dinner with his wife and his adopted daughter, Maya. He also revealed that he does not consider America’s environment suitable for her daughter to grow up in.
- In 2003, he was named ‘L.A.’s Favorite Elected Official’ by the Los Angeles Alternative Press readers.
- In 2004, he was listed by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the 25 Angelenos for their outstanding potential to shape lives in Los Angeles.
- In 2006, Los Angeles magazine called him ‘a rising star.’
- When he was a city councilman, he appeared on TNT’s show ‘The Closer’ and its spin-off ‘Major Crimes’ from 2010 to 2012. He played the role of Roman Quintero, the mayor of Los Angeles.
In 2016, after he became the mayor of Los Angeles, he made another episodic appearance on ‘Major Crimes.’
- In 2016, he made an episodic appearance as a desk security guard working in the mayor’s office in the first episode of the American comedy sitcom ‘Angie Tribeca’ by Steve Carell.
- In 2016, he appeared in a cameo role in the episode ‘Take a Break’ of the American talk show ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden.’ In the episode, the host of the show, James Corden, played to be the mayor of Los Angeles for a few hours. By the end of the episode, Eric Garcetti takes back his position as the mayor, while some security officers escort away James Corden.
- In 2017, Eric Garcetti joined Hollywood Post 43 to honour his family’s military history and to continue helping his fellow veterans.
- In 2019, he became the chairperson of C40 at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen.
- He played the role of Mr G in the 2020 American romantic comedy film ‘Valley Girl.’
- In 2020, Eric Garcetti made a guest appearance on ABC’s TV show ‘Black-ish.’
- In 2022, he was featured on the cover of Los Angeles magazine.