Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) announced that she will be running for Mayor of Los Angeles next year, joining a growing list of candidates to preside over America’s second largest city.
Born in Los Angeles in 1953, Bass began her career by volunteering for Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s run for President in 1968 at the age of 15. Bass quickly turned to more radical causes, such as becoming an organizer for a communist, pro-Cuban group in the 1970’s, as well as being a member of the Black Panther Party and being largely influenced by other communist activists, before receiving a Bachelor’s degree from California State University Dominguez Hills and a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California. In the 1980’s, she worked in medicine for USC’s Keck School of Medicine and experienced the crack epidemic in South Central LA in the 1980’s. She quickly became a community organizer against the epidemic and soon became one of the main voices against it in the 1990’s.
In 2004, she turned to politics, being elected to the state Assembly for three terms. For her last term, between 2008 and 2010, Bass was Speaker of the Assembly. In 2010, former Congresswoman Diane Watson announced her retirement, recommending Bass run for her seat. Since 2011, Bass has been in Congress in Washington, where she has proven to be one of the most liberal members of the House. Among her highlights in Washington have been voting against the repeal of Obamacare more than 60 times due to her support of universal healthcare, supporting stricter gun laws such as having an extensive background check for every gun bought, creating student loan reform legislation, and voting twice to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Recently, Bass was also considered by President Joe Biden as a running mate during the 2020 election, and as both his Housing and Urban Development Secretary and his Health and Human Services Secretary. However, many of the Congresswoman’s previous comments, such as hinting at support for Fidel Castro, praising recently deceased communists, as well as her radical past, kept her from from receiving Biden Administration positions, becoming one of the few top Californian Biden supporters to not receive such a post. Ill-will from an attempted House Speaker takeover in 2018, where Bass was largely rumored to have been a part of a movement to replace Pelosi before finally siding with her, also likely played a part in her staying as a Congresswoman.
Bass announces 2022 Mayoral run
With LA Mayor Eric Garcetti term-limited out in 2022, and likely to receive an ambassadorship to India soon, Bass announced her long hinted run for Mayor on Monday. In a statement, Bass noted that she wanted to confront homelessness, affordable housing, health care, and other issues within the city to improve the humanitarian emergency there.
“Our city is facing a public health, safety and economic crisis in homelessness that has evolved into a humanitarian emergency. I’ve spent my entire life bringing groups of people together in coalitions to solve complex problems and produce concrete change – especially in times of crisis,” said Bass on Thursday. “Los Angeles is my home. With my whole heart, I’m ready. Let’s do this together. I’m running for mayor.”
With my whole heart, I'm ready. Let's do this — together.
I'm running for mayor.https://t.co/CLkJfFddHT
— Karen Bass (@KarenBassLA) September 27, 2021
“Bass is trying to be the first woman, as well as the first African-American, to become Mayor,” explained Los Angeles issue advisor Ramon Martin to the Globe on Monday. “She also has a lot of support, especially in black communities. But she will need to win over white and Latino voters. She’s already lost Republicans and some Latinos due to her Communist leanings, but she also has name recognition, which could be to her favor.”
“But the thing is, her past and beliefs cost her top Biden administration positions, possibly even the Vice Presidency. She does well in small elections, such as her House seat or her previous Assembly seat. But with a city-wide election it may not be enough, especially when running against candidates who never left the city.”
Bass enters the race in a field that includes well-known LA politicians such as Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, city Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Kevin de Leon.
The Mayoral primary is due to be held in June of 2022, with the election happening that November alongside the Congressional mid-term races.
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