On Thursday, November 17th, election results declared Representative Karen Bass as having won the election to become Mayor of Los Angeles. Bass becomes not only the first black woman, but the first woman to assume control of the Mayor’s Office in Los Angeles. Bass, a Democrat, took an unassailable lead in the race for mayor that forced her closest rival, billionaire Rick Caruso, to concede.
“The people of Los Angeles have sent a clear message: it is time for change, and it is time for urgency,” Bass said in a statement released after it had become clear she was mayor-elect. “Tonight, 40,000 Angelenos will sleep without a home – and five will not wake up. Crime is increasing and families are being priced out of their neighborhoods. This must change.”
Bass won the election despite the fact she faced off against billionaire Rick Caruso, who had a $100 million campaign, ten times more than Bass’s. Caruso had used his business acumen as an example of how he would work in the mayor’s office if he won. After it became clear she had won the election, Bass called on Caruso to continue doing the civic work he does in Los Angeles. Bass takes over the Mayor’s Office during a time when City Hall is fractured due to a racism scandal that involved Los Angeles Council members. LA is also facing serious problems with rising costs of living, homelessness, and crime.
Karen Bass grew up in Los Angeles. As a member of Congress, she represented the south LA area she grew up in for six terms. Before she stepped into the world of politics, Bass worked as an emergency room physician’s assistant. She showed her commitment to helping people and her community when she started a non-profit organization. After Bass came into politics, she steadily rose up the ranks, serving as a California state representative, state assembly speaker, and congresswoman. She was also touted as a possible running mate for President Joe Biden before he picked Vice President Kamala Harris.