Eric Garcetti is a Jewish American politician and the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles.
Garcetti is the child of a mother descended from Russian Jews who immigrated to the U.S. and a father whose predecessors were Italian Catholics who moved to Mexico to escape 19th century turmoil and fled north to the U.S. during Mexico’s revolution. As an Italian, Mexican and a Jew in America, Garcetti’s identity showcases the story of America.
Born in Los Angeles and in 1971 to the former LA County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, and Sukey Roth, Eric was raised in Encino, California. He went to elementary school at the University of California Los Angeles’ Lab School and completed the rest of his primary education at the Harvard-Westlake School. In 1992 he graduated from Columbia University in New York City with a degree in political science and urban planning. In college, Garcetti was active in student government, the literary society, and actor in and writer of student musicals.
Garcetti continued to study international affairs at Columbia and earned a Masters degree from the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and the London School of Economics.
Garcetti began his professional career as an academic, teaching at the university level and writing scholarly articles and book chapters about ethnic conflict and nationalism.
In 2001, Garcetti was elected to the LA City Council and was reelected in 2005 and 2009.
On the national political scene, he endorsed Barack Obama in the spring of 2007 and co-chaired his presidential campaign in Southern California. Garcetti was a superdelegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and elected to chair the Democratic Municipal Officials that is affiliated with the Democratic National Committee, on whose executive committee he serves.
In 2013, Garcetti was elected mayor of Los Angeles, a city known for many diaspora communities including the largest Korean demographic outside of Seoul, the most Iranians outside of Tehran, the most Guatemalans outside of Guatemala, and the most Samoans not living in Samoa. The city is also the second-largest concentration of Jews in the United States following New York City.
Garcetti lives with his wife and daughter in the Getty House, the LA official mayoral residence.