... A top contender to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Garcetti prides himself on his ease with the city's diverse cultures. He sees his mixed ancestry ("I have an Italian last name, and I'm half Mexican and half Jewish," he says) as a powerful part of his appeal in a city where voters for decades have split along racial and ethnic lines in mayoral elections.
But as the campaign begins to capture public attention, a big question is whether Garcetti can re-create the surge of Latino support that helped secure Villaraigosa's historic election eight years ago as the first Latino mayor of modern Los Angeles.
Garcetti has always stood by his raza. Kevin Roderick writes:
While at Oxford [in 1994], Garcetti phoned Times columnist George Ramos with the scoop that he was leading a student hunger strike to protest California's passage of Proposition 187, the measure intended to cut off most public services for illegal immigrants. As a fourth-generation Angeleno of Mexican heritage, Garcetti said he felt compelled to make a transatlantic statement of solidarity.
Eric Garcetti grew up on the mean streets of Encino, in the barrio of Brentwood, and in the broken-down classrooms of the Harvard-Westlake School. His father (right) was a lowly two-term Los Angeles County District Attorney who did such a bang-up job prosecuting O.J. His grandfather had to scrape by owning a national menswear corporation.
The only more authentic Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles are the Weitz Brothers.