Rep. Karen Bass, (CA-37) believes a lot has been accomplished in the first 100 days of President Joe Biden’s administration.
Bass held a virtual town hall May 4 to mark the early accomplishments of the new Biden administration via Zoom and Facebook for her Culver City and Los Angeles area constituents.
“The trauma that we went through every day for four years is over,” said Bass, in reference to the previous presidential administration. Bass is a leader in Congress with 11 years of political experience, having previously served in the California Assembly. She’s currently serving her sixth term in Washington D.C.
The congresswoman highlighted the billions of dollars of COVID relief that have been provided across the country under the Biden/Harris administration. Bass also believes it is a good sign that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 100 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated.
However, Bass said at this time, the fight against COVID-19 is not over. That’s why she dedicated a portion of her virtual town hall to discussing vaccine reluctancy and vaccine hesitancy with a local African-American doctor.
Dr. Gregory Taylor II is a lifelong Angeleno. In fact, his parents were also born in Los Angeles, so he knows what it is like to experience the highs and lows of LA life.
Taylor said his favorite question to answer is how does the vaccine work.
“It is actually sending instructions to your body on a cellular level that it normally doesn’t do,” shared Taylor, medical director at USC Keck School of Medicine. “The spike protein effectively helps fight the virus.”
Taylor added: “The public should prepare to have booster vaccinations.”
During the evening, Bass also highlighted The American Rescue Plan, which provided $1,400 economic impact payments to more than 120 million people. The COVID relief plan has also provided up to $3,600 in child tax credits, $300/week in enhanced unemployment benefits and $20 billion in emergency rental assistance.
Property owners can apply for the Mortgage Relief Program offered through Los Angeles County by calling (888) 895-2647 or visiting nhslacounty.org/mortgagereliefprogram.
Bass said the rescue plan also directed $123 billion to reopen schools, $76 billion in relief for small businesses, and $93 billion to accelerate vaccine production and vaccine distribution.
Moving forward, Bass said police reform via “The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act” is a must at the federal level.
“How many times do we have to watch these murders on video?” Bass asked.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would ban the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants. It would require officers to intervene to prevent abuse. It would also require national standards for police departments and officers and restrict police access to military weaponry.
Bass said the ultimate goal would be to empower local communities to reimagine public safety in an equitable and just way. She believes The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act should be passed before the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder on May 25.
Protecting voting rights with the John Lewis Voting Rights Act is equally as important to the congresswoman. The proposed legislation is named after the late Georgia congressman and voting rights activist. Lawmakers said the John Lewis Voting Rights Act will respond to the current voter suppression climate in some states. The act will restore the full protections from the original, Voting Rights Acts of 1965.
Democrats hold a slim majority in the House of Representatives. They also hold the tiebreaker in the Senate via Vice President Kamala Harris. However, Bass believes it is extremely important to receive bipartisan support when passing voting and police reform so that future sessions of lawmakers will not look to reverse those landmark laws.
Bass said it is important to continue having town hall meetings and she’s looking forward to hosting one of the next town hall meetings, in-person.
“We think we can have a live town hall in the fall,” said Bass, who is hopeful that by then, everyone will be double vaccinated and life will be back to normal in Los Angeles.