March 09, 2017
By Jennifer Bihm
Incumbent Mayor Eric Garcetti will avoid a May runoff in his bid for reelection, having garnered more than 80 percent of the vote on March 7. Garcetti eclipsed his ten challengers in fundraising during his campaign with over $3 million. That, along with support from a large number of Los Angeles voters and a relatively low voter turnout “virtually guaranteed a majority win,” according to Brianne Gilbert, associate director at the Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, which conducted a poll during the campaign.
During his first term, Garcetti has supported a minimum wage hike, lowered business tax and helped to pass a $1.2 billion measure to combat homelessness. Garcetti was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 2001 and reelected in 2005 and 2009. He succeeded Alex Padilla as president of the City Council on January 1, 2006 and was re-elected as president at the beginning of the Council's subsequent terms in 2007 and 2009.
“While other people are talking about doing big things, Los Angeles, we are doing big things right now,” Garcetti told his constituents on election night.
“My friends, big things don’t happen by accident. They require leadership. The job of the mayor is to get things done, and that's what I'm going to keep on doing for each and every one of you here in this city.
“We’re breaking records at our port and our airport. We’re breaking records for tourism and filming. We've housed more homeless veterans than any city in America. We've paved more roads than ever before. We've confronted climate change head on, by cleaning our air, conserving our water and expanding our green spaces. We enacted the largest tax cut in our city's history and we've seen more small businesses start in the last four years than we've seen in decades…”
Garcetti supported recent expansions of the Los Angeles Police Department and the re-implementation of the Senior Lead Officer Program. Crime has fallen in his district by more than forty percent since 2001, according to reports.
“We know that standing up for equality and for liberty and for justice for each and every one of us are the values that directly lead to our collective success,” he said.
“We are all Angelenos. And we are all Americans. And we will rise together. At a moment when politics is being used to divide us, here in L.A., we stand for something bigger. We stand for the ideal that when we come together we propel our city and our nation forward.”
Garcetti was raised in the San Fernando Valley and earned his B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University. He studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and the London School of Economics and taught at Occidental College and USC. A fourth generation Angeleno, he and his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland, have a young daughter. He is a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy reserve and is an avid jazz pianist and photographer.