Matteo and Rosa Buscaino moved to Los Angeles from Italy more than 40 years ago in search of a better life.
Their son, Joe Buscaino, grew up in San Pedro and witnessed the hard work and dedication of his parents who worked in the commercial fishing industry.
With a resume full of experience as an LAPD officer and 15th Circuit councillor, Joe Buscaino is running for mayor of LA. He wants to build on his work with the LA City Council to lead the city into a brighter future.
“Those humble beginnings inculcated in me the importance of faith, family, and service over myself,” Buscaino said. “I know what’s happening on the street because I’m a problem solver who comes off the street. This is the mayor we need and that’s why I’m running.”
Buscaino has chaired the city’s Commerce, Travel and Tourism Committee since 2017 and oversees the country’s busiest container port and second busiest airport.
In 2019 he was elected President of the National League of Cities, which represents more than 2,000 cities and towns across the country. He is the immediate past president of the NLC as of November 2020.
Under his leadership, the NLC led a campaign for federal assistance to help local government funding during the pandemic, culminating in President Joe Biden’s stimulus bill to endow Los Angeles with an estimated $2 billion in recovery funds.
Buscaino said he believes there is an opportunity for LA leaders to reinvent the city and start a fresh start as Los Angeles emerges from the pandemic.
“You’ve seen the exodus of downtown residents and the exodus of businesses in downtown LA, that’s the heartbeat,” Buscaino said.
“Downtown LA is the identity we need to restore and that’s why I’m running to restore who we are as Angelenos. There is hope to make that happen, but it takes the right leadership, leadership with backbone and someone who, like I have done in my district, is brave and not afraid of the bullies.”
Buscaino’s first job with the city was working for the Department of Recreation and Parks before joining the Los Angeles Police Department. During his time with LAPD, he served in the San Fernando Valley and later served as a senior lead officer in his home community of San Pedro, where he still resides.
After leaving the police academy, Buscaino worked as a foot beat officer on Broadway. His experience with the LAPD allowed him to work locally with local people and businesses, and exposed him to pressing issues affecting the city, such as mental health and drug use.
“Everything depends on public safety,” Buscaino explained. “If people don’t feel safe, they won’t live here, do business here, or come here. We’ve lost sight of that, and people in Los Angeles are tired of being scared.”
If elected mayor, Buscaino’s budget would allocate $150 million to the LAPD. He would also seek to increase the department’s staff, both by hiring new officers and by offering incentives to officers once licensed from other agencies to transfer to the LAPD.
To address drug use on the city streets, Buscaino will seek to create an office space for the Drug Enforcement Agency at City Hall to encourage increased drug law enforcement and target and arrest drug dealers.
“Aside from the housing issue, this is a drug addiction and mental health issue,” Buscaino said, shifting his focus to homelessness. “We’ve allowed this chaos, and as mayor I’m going to bring back this ‘broken window theory’ that if you allow little things, you’re going to see more crime. It’s about leading with urgency and following the formula I’ve made here in my district.”
Inspired by the model he has implemented in his district, Buscaino will seek to activate an emergency response center that will include an additional 9,000 emergency shelter beds, also recognizing that some might refuse an emergency shelter bed. In response, he would introduce a citywide “ban on camping” law.
“Storage tents have to be taken down during the day,” Buscaino said. “When you allow an unlimited amount of personal property, you have nothing but chaos. Compassionate is not allowing people to sleep on the sidewalk when there is a place to go.”
Buscaino sees ending the homeless crisis as a goal that will take both time and money, but can be achieved by embracing the work of the police and providing shelter to those in need across the city, along with mental health and drug rehabilitation services.
In addition to his work as an official and council member, Buscaino has served on the LA Tourism and Convention Board; was Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations; and a member of the Public Safety Committee, the Transportation Committee, the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, and the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games Ad Hoc Committee.
Buscaino believes the city can reinvent itself and its modern image by taking a thorough look at public safety across LA before welcoming the world onto its streets for the 2028 Summer Olympics.
“Downtown LA is an important travel destination,” said Buscaino. “I want to let downtown LA, not just the residents but the businesses, know that they can achieve their dreams and I will be the mayor who will listen to them and be with them.” I will be a mayor who will no longer allow chaos and mayhem on our streets, and I will be a DTLA mayor who will restore order to our streets so people come back.”
To learn more about Buscaino’s mission and campaign ahead of the 2022 Los Angeles mayoral election on November 8 and the first two primary elections on June 7, visit joebuscaino.com.