City Councilmember Joe Buscaino Wants LA Mayor Job
Joe Buscaino is the first Los Angeles city councilmember to confirm a campaign for mayor of Los Angeles in 2022, setting his sights on the city’s top job when Eric Garcetti is termed out next year.
The Democrat said in a statement on Monday that he plans to make combating crime and addressing homelessness central themes of his campaign.
“This is a city that welcomed my immigrant parents to its shores, a city that has given my family so much, a city that I have committed my life to,” Buscaino said. “I believe in this city. I have much more to give to it, and I know we can do better.”
Buscaino represents the 15th District, including Watts, Wilmington and San Pedro. (If you’re wondering how all these communities fit into one district, it’s because the boundaries are shaped like a ladle… or maybe a walkie-talkie.)
City Attorney Mike Feuer is the only other elected official to launch a campaign to replace Garcetti so far, though Councilmembers Kevin de León and Mark Ridley-Thomas are considered likely to throw their hats in the ring. As candidates in last year’s city elections, they both declined to rule out leaving their council districts early for the mayor’s office.
Buscaino is currently a reserve officer in the Los Angeles Police Department, where he served as a full-time officer for 15 years. He was first elected to the City Council in 2012.
A police officer who has opposed city legislation to cut funding to the LAPD, Buscaino is at odds with civil rights activists’ calls to defund or drastically alter the city’s support of traditional law enforcement in favor of alternative community safety investments.
Buscaino also introduced a measure last year to reinstate enhanced cleanups -- referred to as “sweeps” by critics -- in “special enforcement zones” near A Bridge Home homeless shelters, which had been on pause during the pandemic. Homeless advocates called the practice disruptive and unsafe at a time the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was advising keeping people in place.
Buscaino argued the growing encampments were public health hazards, and the city had to fulfill its promises to neighborhoods that welcomed new shelters with the assurance they would be accompanied by services and cleaning.
“I'm tired of simply managing this issue -- I want to solve homelessness in my district and throughout the city,” Buscaino told KPCC’s Take Two last year.
Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.
Ex-Councilmember Martinez Opposed Healthy Streets LA Plan. Candidates To Replace Her Say She Was WrongAt a forum focused on transit issues, no one mentioned the disgraced former councilmember.
The candidates include a city council staffer, two community organizers, the head of a housing nonprofit, the head of the San Fernando Valley NAACP, and three people in private business.
The new state Legislature is the most diverse ever, but by some measures, it still isn’t fully representative of California. See details in our interactive tool.
Newly-elected Kenneth Mejia joins Councilmember Nithya Raman as some of the city’s most visible Asian American progressives.
While the mayor is the city’s highest office, there’s a lot they can and can’t do.
The council has been through scandals and elections, all within the last six months. New faces are in, and longstanding members are gone. We help you understand who's who and what's next.