The former leader of the California State Senate announced his candidacy at a Tuesday morning news conference. De León focused his message on affordable housing, citing his own family's difficulties as a child and saying it's time to chart a new course.
One of his early moves on the City Council was a series of motions as part of his "A Way Home" initiative to have the city develop a plan to create 25,000 new homeless housing units by 2025.
"The people of Los Angeles are hurting in ways that I understand on a deeply personal level. I know what housing insecurity feels like. Growing up in crowded basement apartments, sharing houses with strangers, and sleeping in my car -- I understand what it means to live on the margins, wondering whether we would eat or keep the lights on from one month to the next,'' he said in his campaign announcement.
De León joins a race that includes fellow City Councilman Joe Buscaino, City Attorney Mike Feuer and Central City Association of Los Angeles President and CEO Jessica Lall.
Garcetti is termed out from running again in 2022, and is expected to leave office early pending the U.S. Senate's confirmation of his appointment as ambassador to India.
This comes as a petition to recall him from office was recently approved by the L.A. City Clerk, though it would need several thousand more signatures by mid-December to get on the ballot.
De León is the third City Councilmember to be targeted for a recall.
City News Service contributed to this report.