"Canvassing helped teach me that democracy is something that is best practiced face-to-face. My experience prepared me for reaching out to people who tune out television ads and mailings, but who will engage with a direct interaction at their door. I am certainly a better and more effective public servant because of this experience." Eric M Garcetti
Mr. Garcetti 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.
Council President Garcetti chairs the Rules and Elections Committee. He also serves as Vice-Chair of the Energy and the Environment Committee and sits on the Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee, which he chaired for four and a half years. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Ad Hoc River Committee and the Ad Hoc Homelessness Committee, and serves on the Ad Hoc Stadium Committee. He was unopposed for re-election and began his second term in office in July 2005.
During his first term in office, Garcetti 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 doubled the number of parks, ensured the availability of an after-school program in every school in the district, and reduced graffiti by more than 60 percent.
Councilmember Garcetti's work has been recognized in dozens of awards, including a Green Cross Millennium Award from former President Mikhail Gorbachev for his environmental leadership, a "Tiger Award" from the Valley Industry and Commerce Association for his work on business tax reform, 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. Garcetti 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. Council President Garcetti canvassed with the Fund during college.