Eric Garcetti invokes Latino-Jewish ancestry in mayor’s race

Eric Garcetti invokes Latino-Jewish ancestry in mayor’s race

The Los Angeles Times

Michael Finnegan

Working a recent breakfast gathering of business owners in Northridge, Los Angeles mayoral contender Eric Garcetti introduced himself in Hindi when a Sikh businessman approached.

A few hours later, Garcetti donned a colorful Peruvian headpiece with ear flaps as he spoke Spanish with immigrants on the steps of City Hall, part of a show of solidarity for designating a stretch of Hollywood’s Vine Street as “Peru Village.”

After lunch, Garcetti joined rabbis at a City Hall menorah lighting. Wearing a yarmulke, the Hollywood-area councilman sang Hanukkah songs in Hebrew, English and Spanish. “Toda la familia,” Garcetti said as the group huddled for a photo.

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…

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