LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — President Joe Biden is officially nominating Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to be the next U.S. ambassador to India.
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Garcetti would be the first Los Angeles mayor to voluntarily leave office before the end of his term in more than a century. Garcetti's term ends in December of 2022, and if confirmed, there will be a special election to fill his seat.
Garcetti – who was a national co-chair for the Biden campaign and served on his inauguration committee -- has been the mayor of Los Angeles since 2013, after serving 12 years on the City Council. The Biden Administration credited Garcetti with leading the successful bid to bring the summer Olympic Games back to Los Angeles. He is also the co-founder of Climate Mayors, led the charge for more than 400 cities to adopt the Paris Climate agreement, and is currently the chair of C40 cities – a network of 97 of the world's biggest cities taking action on climate change, which included engagement and expansion in India.
In a statement, Garcetti he was honored to accept the nomination.
"I love Los Angeles and will always be an Angeleno. 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," Garcetti's statement read in part.
Garcetti mayoral record has come under increasing criticism as it became clear he was being considered for a role in the Biden Administration. Black Lives Matter staged several days of protest last year in front of the mayoral residence, the Getty House, over his record on homelessness and transportation. And two high-profile members of his staff have recently stepped down – Rick Jacobs "took leave" from his nonprofit work and volunteer work with Garcetti in response to allegations of sexual harassment, while Chief of Staff Ana Guerrero was asked to step down after inappropriate comments made in a private Facebook group surfaced.
Garcetti said he's had a long history with India, leading up to this nomination.
"I have a deep relationship with this president and I think (Biden) wanted somebody that he knew the Indians could trust that's close to him," Garcetti said. "If confirmed, it would be the honor of a lifetime... It's my own history. I studied Hindi and Urdu in college. I visited first as a teenager. I've actually stayed at the embassy, done work with the Asia Society there, so I've had a long history with India and I love the country. It is an amazing place."
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