Confirming rumors that have circulated for weeks, President Joe Biden nominated Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti Friday to become U.S. ambassador to India, it was announced today.
Garcetti, who has reached his term limit and cannot seek another four years as mayor, is scheduled to leave office in December 2022 but would vacate the position early if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, a process that could take months.
"I love Los Angeles and will always be an Angeleno," said the 50-year-old Garcetti in a statement. "I want you to know that every day I am your Mayor, I will continue to lead this city like it is my first day on the job, with passion, focus, and determination ... And should I be confirmed, I’ll bring this same energy, commitment, and love for this city to my new role and will forge partnerships and connections that will help Los Angeles."
Rumors began in early May that Joe Biden was considering Garcetti for the position, but the mayor's office initially said it was speculative and he was focused on ending the pandemic.
The White House's announcement cited Garcetti's responsibilities overseeing the Western Hemisphere's busiest container port, the Port of Los Angeles; the largest municipal utility in the country, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; one of the busiest airports, LAX; and his time as chair of the second-busiest transit agency, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The White House also credited him with leading the city's successful bid to host the 2028 Olympics. However, closer to home, Garcetti has been taken to task by activists and residents over the city's homeless crises. His administration has been embroiled over alleged sexual harassment claims made by one of his closes aides.
Eric Garcetti represented Echo Park & Silver Lake on the City Council
Before he became mayor, Garcetti was elected to the City Council in 2001, representing Council District 13 -- which includes Atwater Village, Echo Park, Hollywood, Silver Lake and other communities -- for three terms.
He and his wife, Amy Wakeland, lived in Elysian Heights and Silver Lake until he moved into the mayor's residence in Windsor Square.
Who would replace Garcetti as LA Mayor?
The L.A. Times notes that it could be months before the U.S. Senate will vote to confirm Garcetti. At that point the City Council would have the power to appoint an interim mayor.