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Bass returns from Washington following unrest at UCLA


Responding to violent events that unfolded Tuesday night and through the early morning hours at UCLA, Mayor Karen Bass cut short her trip to Washington, D.C., today and returned to Los Angeles.

Bass was originally expected to continue co-leading a group of mayors Wednesday, lobbying Biden Administration officials and members of Congress to expand veteran eligibility for housing vouchers, lift the cap on project-based vouchers to provide cities with flexibility to build more affordable and supportive housing, and advocate for increased funding for housing choice vouchers. The mayor had been set to return to Los Angeles later this week.

But after receiving reports about counter-protestors who attacked a pro-Palestinian encampment on UCLA's campus, Bass began an active line of communication with UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, Los Angeles Police Department Interim Chief Dominic Choi and other leaders, according to her office.

Bass also requested the California Highway Patrol and LAPD to respond to Block's request for support on campus.

“The violence unfolding this evening at UCLA is absolutely abhorrent and inexcusable. LAPD has arrived on campus,'' Bass said in a statement.

While in Washington, Bass had expressed confidence in winning bipartisan support for changes in regulations to remove hurdles to provide housing for veterans experiencing homelessness.

During a Tuesday afternoon news conference outside the Capitol, Bass–who was co-leading a group of 48 mayors, including Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson and Santa Monica Mayor Phil Brock--said veterans “should never sleep one night outside on our streets.''

“There are solutions to this crisis--so while we're fighting day in and day out to get people off the street, we have to bring the fight here to Washington, D.C. so that we can look at rules and regulations that need to be tossed aside, given the magnitude of the problem that we have today,'' Bass said.

The mayor's office noted that in the meetings, both Republican and Democratic senators and representatives have shown support for the ideas presented by the delegation in seeking to reduce homelessness.