Our Weekly stands with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Cory Booker, the California Legislative Black Caucus and the Sierra Club in endorsing Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) for mayor of the City of Los Angeles. To this publication, the choice is clear between a billionaire versus an experienced community leader.
Bass, 69, has represented the 37th U.S. Congressional District (Mid City, Westwood, Exposition Park, Baldwin Hills) for six terms. Before that, she was elected Speaker of the California State Assembly in 2008, making her the first Black woman in U.S. history to lead a state legislative body.
Earlier, she founded the Community Coalition and the National Foster Youth Institute, both in Los Angeles.
Her endorsements include the California Legislative Black Caucus; United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA); the California Nurses Association; the Stonewall Democratic Club and the Los Angeles Times.
During a zoom call, Bass, who has represented the 37th District since 2011, addressed her opponents’ recent negative commercials. She noted that the ad sponsored by the Police Protective League is particularly surprising, as she consulted with the league when she was working on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in Congress.
“I have two plans for public safety,” Bass said, noting that she does not support defunding the department. “One does call on the hiring of some 200 to 400 officers. The city budget calls for 9,700 officers, but on any given month it is down by 200 officers because of attrition. We need to hire an amount, up to what we’re budgeted for.”
Bass believes in reducing the city’s reliance on the LAPD. Her second plan mentions supporting community-based prevention strategies. Those civilians will use a public health approach to violence prevention and crime reduction and address the foundational problems that cause both: joblessness, income inequality, lack of education, mental health issues and untreated substance abuse.
“But some communities do want to have an increased visibility of officers,” she said. “We could hire those now on civil desk duty to be back on the street.”
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) spoke to Bass’ experience.
“Karen doesn’t just talk the talk, she has a proven record of walking the walk,” Roybal-Allard said. “She is the only candidate who has the personal experience and knowledge of the state legislature and Congress of the United States.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33) was featured on the zoom call, too, and also worked with Bass in the state assembly.
“Karen has been a long time Democrat. She is in politics for all the right reasons, she wants to do good and help the people,” he said.