Joe Buscaino is the President Pro Tempore of the Los Angeles City Council, elected on January 17, 2012, to fill the vacancy left by Janice Hahn, following her successful bid for US Congress. He was re-elected to his first full four-year term on March 5, 2013, and re-elected on March 7, 2017.
Councilman Buscaino quickly won the respect of his City Council colleagues and was appointed by the Council President to serve as Chairman of the powerful Public Works & Gang Reduction Committee. As Chair, Buscaino was tasked with oversight of the City’s gang reduction efforts and the Department of Public Works for his first term. Public Works is the City's third-largest department and is comprised of a staff of more than 5,000 employees who are responsible for the construction, renovation, and operation of City facilities and infrastructure. The Department builds the City's streets, installs its sewers, and constructs storm drains as well as public buildings, rights-of-way, and service facilities.
Councilman Buscaino’s previous committee assignments included serving as the Vice-Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Vice-Chair of the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee and as a member of the Entertainment and Facilities Committee, Health, Mental Health, and Education Committee, Trade, Commerce, and Technology Committee, and the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2024 Summer Olympics.
In 2017, Councilman Buscaino was named Chair of the new Trade, Travel, and Tourism Committee which oversees the Port of Los Angeles - the busiest Port in the United States, LAX - the 2nd busiest airport in the United States and the LA Tourism Bureau. Councilman Buscaino currently also serves as Vice-Chair of the Economic Development, as well as a member of the Public Safety Committee, Transportation Committee, and the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2028 Olympics and Paralympic Games. In 2019, he was elected by his peers to serve as the Council's President Pro Tempore.
Prior to his election to the City Council, Buscaino served for 15 years as a police officer in the Los Angeles Police Department. His assignments included the Office of Chief of Police, West Traffic Division, Emergency Operations Division, and, for the previous six years, Senior Lead Officer for the Harbor area, where he became a well-liked and well-respected leader in the community. He created the LAPD’s first Teen Community Police Advisory Board, an organization that works with teens to problem solve and break the barriers between police and teenagers. His concept of bringing youths’ perspectives to problem-solving with the police department was implemented citywide in 2011.
In 2019, Councilmember Buscaino was elected as President of the National League of Cities which represents more than 2,000 cities, towns, and villages across the country. In November 2020, he became NLC's Immediate Past President.
Councilman Buscaino has lived in the 15th District his entire life and is a first-generation Italian-American, whose parents emigrated from Italy over 40 years ago, in pursuit of the American dream.
Buscaino graduated Cum Laude, with a BA in Communication from California State University – Dominguez Hills.
He has served on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Harbor Area, the San Pedro YWCA’s Racial Justice Committee, and the Advisory Council for the Los Angeles Watts Summer Games and is active with Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church and various Italian-American organizations.
Joe and his wife, Geralyn, a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, are raising their two children in San Pedro.
The 15th Council District includes the Port of Los Angeles and the communities of San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway and Watts.